Thursday, October 23, 2014

Making Fairy Mud



Caty perks up and says, "I need to do a science project today."  Well I didn't have anything planned.  I was extremely busy and didn't have time to really sit and do science at that moment. But I knew she would not leave me alone until I had something for her.  So I dug out this easy project I have had put away for a while.

Fairy Mud (this was for each girl)
2 cups warm water
1 bar Ivory soap - microwaved
glitter of choice
1 roll of toilet paper (maybe a little more, we have the double rolls)

First the girls microwaved their Ivory soap.  This was a favorite thing to watch.



 Then they took the soap and broke it up in tubs.

 Next we poured in the warm water and started mixing it up.

Then we started adding the toilet paper and the glitter.  


 It looks like this when done mixing.
Then the girls started playing and using it like playdough.



This was great fun.  And the kitchen smelled pretty from the soap.  You can add food coloring, but I was out.  You can leave out the glitter for the boys.  I think we may do this again really soon.  We have a Frozen day I am planning for the girls and their friends.....hhhmmmmmm great activity.

Time.....about 10 minutes to make
Supplies....Easy and cheap
Fun level....Priceless!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses Review



The higher the boys get, the more nervous I get about messing up their education.  I know I am not the only Homeschool mom that feels like this.  I also have a full plate educating four different school levels, all with individual areas of special need.  We were given the opportunity to review Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses from Standard Deviants Accelerate.  I was intrigued at a program that provided so much information in visual format.  Something that our boys really need.


The Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool program offers 14 subjects that take students through a complete course of study at their grade level in subjects of your choosing.  Grade ranges are 3rd grade though high school.  The program uses short videos that are down to earth to teach students and make learning more fun.  They try hard to make book learning more fun and easier for the kids to understand.




Students can use Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Program to teach and even re-teach or refresh students in skill areas where they are struggling.  It allows students to progress to the point of mastering a subject.  The best part is, there is little or no extra planning needed on your part as the parent.  All the work is done, parents simply assign out the lessons.  Grading is done for you and you have access to the score through your parent account.  


Students receive feedback and you can easily check their progress.

Each class is broken down into a video lesson, vocabulary explanation for that lesson, charts and diagrams that go along with it and then an online quiz.  At the bottom of each page there is a note taking section where students can jot down what they want to and need to remember.  

If you need, you can also print the full topic.


View a trailer from one of the classes:



Materials are available for students as young as 3rd grade through high school.  The pricing for Standard Deviants Accelerate is affordable, it's $24.95 a month per course for student or $99.00 a year.  AP courses are $14.95 a month.


How has it worked for our family?  I have to say I really like Standard Deviants Accelerate.  With me balancing so many different levels, and the boys really benefiting from a video lesson approach, this program has really worked out for us.  

We have been using the US History, the Earth Science and Nutrition programs.  I plan on adding in Fundamental Math for Brayden by next month.  He needed to tweak a few skill before advancing. 

My planning is so simple.  I simply check what the lessons are under each topic.  Here is a sample of just a few of the lessons under the Nutrition class:


I add what sections need to be completed on the boys weekly to-do list.  I will also read over the notes for the assigned lesson so that I know what they are learning about.  This allows me to ask them questions and know that they are retaining the information.  I can also think of extra hands-on projects that they can do to really help them retain the material they are leaning.

Under my parent login, I can easily check on quiz scores and check their progress.  Much to Brayden's dismay, he doesn't like the record of me being able to check and see if he actually did do the work he was assigned.

I am impressed with each level of the lessons.  They really do provide a great amount of information.  I don't remember tackling this information when I was in school.  Our US History class was never that intense when I was in high school.  I was in college before I really studied US History in-depth.  It is actually above Brayden's abilities to finish a full lesson each week and fully understand the information that is presented.  That may sound bad, but remember he is delayed.  So the information is great!!!  I know I am enjoying watching his classwork on his shoulder.  

The Nutrition class is very impressive.  It breaks food down past the basic food groups and really makes the students dig in and see why we need to eat and what we need to get from our food to survive.  

The Earth Science program is also very impressive.  We are learning so much about space right now.  The videos are informative and the boys are enjoying them.  I like that the vocabulary is next and you can not only read the definition, but the word can be read to you so that the kids can learn the proper pronunciation.  

Needless to say I am very happy with the materials that we have been using.  The ease of use for both myself and the boys is awesome.  There is not a ton of hoops that I need to jump through to log in.  Finding grades is super simple.  I literally cannot express how much easier using Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses has made planning for the boys.  As they get older, I can definitely see us using even more of their courses.  

Both the boys seem to really like using Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses.  I am impressed with the ease of use.  The information provided.  And how much extra research time it has taken off my plate.  So the question is, will we continue using it?

Yes we are going to continue with Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses.  I really do think it is worth the extra money.  As we get closer and closer to high school, I really like the level of work presented.  The easy tracking of materials for a high school transcript is an added benefit.  You can choose to assign out the extra writing for the essay questions, or simply allow the students to take the quiz and move on to the next section.  

Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses is perfect for those extra tough subjects as the kids get older.  It has put my mind at ease teaching the higher level courses with the kids.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses.  See how the classes worked in their homes:

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer



Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 20's Triumphs and Accomplishments



I can't believe that I just typed Week 20!!  Time flies by.  One of my favorite things about homeschooling is our ability to change things up.  We can spend extra time on a subject that we may be struggling in and if we get a new skill in less time than I thought we would, boom we can move on quicker.  This week has been one of those.  Caty is struggling with reading, so we are working and restructuring to slow down for her.  Lydia needed a little extra time for multiplication skills, so instead of introducing too many numbers this week, we slowed off and practiced the numbers she was struggling with.

We covered a lot of school this week.  Joey has started his study of World War I.  He is using Heritage Christian studies and I am supplementing.  This week he learned about trench warfare and the beginning of the war.  One assignment this week was to make model magic and create a trench model


 His finished model after painting and adding details.  He had help, of course, since he cannot use a glue gun without injuring himself.



Caty worked on not just knowing the days of the week, but recognizing these words.  We are using the story Cookie's Week with felt board pieces I cut out and laminated for her.  I have had these put away for a while now.  Used them with Lydia and Brayden also.  Caty knows her days of the week, we are working on word recognition now.


 I made a fishing game with her words for the week.

A project she needed to complete by following the one I made.  She did really good!
 Making glow in the dark Flubber.


The girls working with their "model magic".  They are attempting to make a safari to go with their study of Kenya.
Caty was dying to play in the facepaint.  We had just been learning about the Maasai tribes in Kenya.  She decided to paint her own face like theirs.
 Of course Lydia had to play too.
 Doing art on her own.  She was creating a picture of the pyramids after watching the Dear America series episode on Cleopatra.
 Lydia was working on her detective badgework this week.  She is looking fingerprints here.
 Caty looking at her fingerprints.

They tried to lift fingerprints too.  This was a lot harder than they thought it would be.



 Doing our exercises one morning.


We did the chicken bone experiment with vinegar.


She thought this experiment was cool and very yucky & stinky.


Pulled out Learning Wrap Ups - Multiplication for Lydia to practice her multiplication with.


Working on adjectives, Lydia started a Who I am board.


The girls both had riding this week.  Joe took Lydia and I took Caty (they are on separate days until November).

While Caty was doing her lesson, Lydia volunteered to help out in the stable.  She has decided that the Horseless Horse project is going to be one of her 4H projects.  She has already started reading and learning a bunch about horses for science.  I highly recommend the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker book on Horses.  She has learned so much, still has a lot to go...lol.  The book Horses! by Gail Gibbons is also wonderful!


Lydia has a thing for Nutcrackers.  She found one at Hobby Lobby last week and finally was able to start painting it.  I'll post pics when she's done.


We had a great week.  Everyone got their schoolwork done.  I made some adjustments of subject activities for some of the kids as I saw necessary.

We are working on writing skills with Joey.  One of his assignments this week was to write me a letter from the trenches.  He was supposed to tell me how he felt, what sounds he heard, and even what he was doing to pass the time.  He was assigned this after we had done lots of reading about the trenches, looked up pictures and watched a movie and documentary about life in the trenches.  He is definitely all boy.  He is supposed to email me his assignments.  The first email, I let him do completely on his own.  I got a two-sentence email.  I had to snicker, but like most men.  He said, "Hi, life is awful in the trenches.  It's muddy."  So then we had to work on adding information to his email.  I told him that when so many families had  people that loved them so far away, most families appreciated more than two sentences.  Then that led to the discussion about how many hours these men had to pass, and they would've hopefully had time to write home more than two sentences.


Brayden is at a steady place right now.  We are maintaining skills and hopefully learn some new ones.  I found some science that he is enjoying.  Currently he is using the Magic School Bus Chapter books.  I can combine science with reading comprehension.  I am going to sneak a few experiments in next week for him.  Currently though he is learning about bats, so looking for some science stuff.  Maybe even the Sound - MSB episode.

Next week is a relaxed week, they are not doing formal studies, just a few projects.  We were supposed to be in Washington DC, but the plans changed.  I didn't plan actual school, so I just left the plans I made in place for our schoolwork.  Made a few adjustments for the girls.

Linking up with other homeschool moms at:

Weekly Wrap-Up