Friday, April 20, 2018

Andy Warhol, Ohio History, Star Wars, and Sickness Invades....

This was supposed to be my week to get a ton done and we can go on a trip to Tennessee next week with Joe.  Ugh...but as usual life has other plans.  We started out our week doing book work on Monday and Tuesday, before Science/Art Club.  That was our only actual days of book work as a group this week.  But some of them had work to finish independently, mainly practice math.

We finished our textbook for Ohio History.  We had been using Ohio as America.  I had bought this book last fall in preparation for Ohio History.   It's stories of people from Ohio that made an impact on our world.  There are lots of historical figures including Tecumseh, Simon Kenting and even Mother Bickerdyke.  We watched videos 8 different videos this week about various people of Ohio.  We'll finish up next week.

We had another lecture this week at the local history center.  It was on the Battle of Fort Meigs and the Battle of Lake Erie in our area.

The boys working on their coloring and math sheets.

Earlier in the week, I took the kids to open their first official bank accounts.  Ones that they have access to, with parent supervision.  Now we just need to continue working on savings and spending

This week's artist was Andy Warhol.... 

I love connecting my laptop to the AppleTV....It makes it easy for group lessons.

The girls used boards to create a pop art design with bright colors and stencils.

Joey used a wooden picture frame.

We attempted this project in Art Club.  It did not turn out like I thought it would.  Was very disappointed.

In Science part of our learning, they learned about bird beak styles, and we also played Bird Bingo.

The boys had Social Club night, so the girls and I dropped them off and hung out at McDonald's while they were doing their thing.  I worked on our annual budget.  It was a rocking good time!!

Star Wars event at our local library.... Brayden was in love.

Tie Fighter ships

I spotted our daffodils trying to make their appearance.  It's been sooooo yucky this week, we'll probably miss most of their blooms this year.  

With all of my autoimmune issues going on, I've been watching what I eat as carefully as possible.  I also forced myself to take a few walks around our town to get the mail every time I could.  I think I'm going to keep that going on nice weather days.  Or I should say nicer weather days.  They are few and far between right now!!

We ended our week with illness.  Somewhere Caty picked up a bug, and Lydia's allergies were off the chart.  So Friday was pretty much a flub day of laying around, since I developed a migraine in the afternoon.  I pretty much stayed on the couch most of the day.  It's a good thing for the flexibility of homeschooling and the ability of moving what we did not get finished up a week so that we do not get behind.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week!  See you all next weekend!!

Weekly Wrap-Up
Homeschool Coffee Break

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Meme Thursday

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - Help Teaching Pro Review

In our house, having access to good online resources is really an essential to our homeschool running smoothly.  We had the opportunity recently to review the Help Teaching Pro subscription from is an online program that provides educators and parents with extra educational resources in a wide variety of subjects including social studies, language arts, life skills, art, math, study skills, and even science.  Grade levels range from early learning (PK) through Grade 12.  Services offered include printable pre-made worksheets (and answer sheets), practice skills sheets, pre-made quiz and tests, as well as a create your own Test Maker. There is also a section to create your own word searches and various other printable games to make learning more fun.

There were a few things that drew me to  There is a large diversity of subjects that they provide pre-made worksheets for.  These include not just Core subjects such as math, science and grammar, but also life skills, physical education, art, and even vocational education.

With special needs kids, the idea of the vocational education and life skills sheets were intriguing to me.

The actual lessons are not provided to go along with subjects such as writing a resume, using coupons, meal planning, and even sewing.  The worksheets provided are to accompany the material you are already working on with your students.  You could use them to reinforce the lessons or as a quiz.  I know there are many times that the kids and I will be talking about a subject, and my reference isn't a set curriculum, but a few webpages that I printed with the information I want to cover with the kids.  So I was easily able to have my discussion with the boys on "How to Use Coupons", and they reinforced our discussion by answering the question sheets I printed from - Help Teaching Pro subscription.  

Other lessons I used with the boys Freezing Meals, How to Learn about a Job, Housekeeping Tools, Cleaning suggestions, and when certain household chores should be done.  I have found a couple different ways have worked with these sheets while working with my boys with disabilities.  The previous paragraph I mentioned how I covered information and then had them work through the questions on the worksheet.  But the other way was to simply just start out with the worksheet.  We would work our way through the questions and have a discussion about which answer was the best answer for each questions.  This worked well when we worked our way through, "When to Do Certain Household Chores".  

Another way that I was able to use was to create my own worksheets for Lydia's 4H poultry reading and research.  I used the Test Maker section of the program to create questions for her to answer when her reading was done.

I was able to choose from different types of questions.  I could have multiple choice, fill-in, true or false, or fill-in-the-blank.  As I'm creating, I could save the worksheet/tests under my account.  I was able to print another copy then, when she spilled juice all over a

If I had to invest the time, at least it is now saved.  I could have the boys go through the same Life Science reading also for their studies.

The Pro Plan gives you access to video lessons in many different subject areas, including grammar.  I used several of these videos with Caty.  

Then she and I were able to work on printable worksheets to go along with the lessons.  I found this whole section very easy to use, and easy to teach with.  (Grammar is not my favorite

Many of the lessons for are linked to Common Core standards if you are interested or required to use those materials.  Though I am not a fan of Common Core, I did not see any materials that I would not have used or anything different than our non-Common Core curriculum.  So I only mention that in case it is something that you may be required to use, or worried about.

The amount of materials that provides at no charge is amazing.  So why purchase the Pro Plan?  The Pro Plan provides some extra benefits to busy homeschool parent who are teaching multiple levels.  The Pro Plan gives access to many more materials at all the various levels of worksheets and lessons.  You have access to unlimited materials that you can either make yourself or pre-made materials. It a family price, that is not the cost per student, which makes it a very budget friendly addition to your lesson planning.

I plan on continuing to use the Help Teaching Pro Subscription in our homeschool.  It has been bookmarked as a reference place as I am putting together our weekly lessons.  We really mainly all the printable resources available, but they also offer online quizzes for your student to take.  So that may be something you would use in your homes.   I'm finding the Pro Plan very helpful for all our subjects, including the way out ones like life skills and vocational education.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the Help Teaching Pro subscription from  Click on the link below to find what parts of the program they used and how they felt about the program.

Help Teaching Pro. { Reviews}
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Monday, April 16, 2018

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology

We recently had the opportunity review Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology science curriculum written by Jeannie Fulbright, Brooke Ryan, M.D. from Apologia.  

Science is one of those subjects that I MUST have a lot of experiments and hands-on activities with.  Caty can handle cartoon videos and movies, but just sitting and answering questions in a textbook is extremely difficult for her and her siblings.  When teaching multiple grade levels and learning styles, I have found that Apologia has been a great addition to our curriculum.

In the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology program, students will be exploring...Human Anatomy including the all the various systems that make us who we are.  There are 14 lessons or chapters that cover the heart, vitamins and minerals, the nervous system, the heart and how our bodies grow.  In roughly two days a week, your can complete this study in roughly 28 weeks, or you can increase the workload for older students and finish sooner.

But something that sets Apologia Science Curriculum apart from others in our homeschool is the MP3 textbook audio cd.  The set we reviewed came with the MP3 Audio CD.  This has allowed us to listen to the textbook while we are out-and about running errands.  Caty brings the textbook along and can follow along.  We discuss the materials, and can get part of our science done each week in this way.

But the fun part of Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology is the experiments.  Throughout each lesson, is not only the information that student's are reading or listening too, but also Try This! boxes that encourage students with ideas for hands-on experiments.  These can range from building an edible cell to creating a blood model.  The pictures below are a few examples of some hands-on project ideas.

Edible cell (we used cake, even though the book suggested gelatin....We have pork allergies in our house and I couldn't the gelatin I needed for them to make it so they could eat it.)

Exploring DNA

Exploring spinal abilities

Digging deeper into what makes up our blood with a edible blood model.

You can also use the Anatomy Notebooking Journal with your study in the textbook.

At the end of each lesson there is a brief review of the information that you have been reading and studying about.  This is where you can use the Anatomy Notebooking pages.  Each lesson in the Anatomy Notebooking Journal contains scriptural copywork (both print and cursive), vocabulary crossword puzzle, and suggestions about more experiments.  This could be testing yourself with brain games, library book suggestions, more Q&A, experiment sheets, and lapbook style components that your student would create.  The Anatomy Notebooking Journal is basically a place for your student to keep and create notes for their studies.  It is a record of their experiments and notes about what they have learned.  

There are two different levels fro the Anatomy Notebooking Journal.  The Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal is perfect for students in early elementary grade levels and even older students who are struggling with learning disabilities.  In the Junior level, crossword vocabulary is a little easier, and diagrams are much easier to label.  

Experiment page

Extra book suggestion and even suggestions for dissecting.

Notebook puzzle to assemble.

The Anatomy Notebooking Journal (both for older students and the Junior Anatomy Notebook Journal)  really has most of the work done for you as the parent and lesson planner.  Instead of searching out a bunch of extra materials for your studies, you simply need to make sure that you have experiments supplies, writing utensils and sometimes some coloring pencils.  With the cost of binders, printing pages (toner and paper), plus your precious time, the Anatomy Notebooking Journal is a bargain for your school.  Even daily lesson suggestions are given to help your planning process.

We received The Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology textbook ($42.00), The Young Explorer Series Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal ($29.00), The Young Explorer Series Anatomy Notebooking Journal ($29.00), and also the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio Cd ($29.00).  When you are teaching multiple grade levels, the two different levels of Notebooking pages is awesome.  You can take the same textbook and teach all your kids.  

You can easily use Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology for grades Kindergarten through 6/7th grade.  That's another great benefit of using Apologia Young Explorer series, the flexibility that you have in how your use the materials and even how you space out your studies.  This series does not require a strict daily usage into order to advance in science.

Studying Human Anatomy using Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology has been a fun and messy time.  But it's that hands-on immersion that helps students to remember what they are studying and also cultivate their love of learning and exploring.  I definitely recommend visiting their page and downloading more sample chapters to go through and see for yourself the ease of using this program and the flexibility that it can give you.  

Several members of Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology.  Click on the link below to see their thoughts and feelings on using this program with their families.

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Reviews
Crew Disclaimer