Tuesday, September 17, 2019

City Creek Press, Inc. - Online Times Alive Review

We got the opportunity to review a wonderful math program from City Creek Press, Inc. - Online Times Alive.  Online Times Alive subscription takes the boring out of learning multiplication facts.

Flashcard, after flashcard, and then a worksheet.  Or a jumping game or even a board game.  We all have been there. Have you been trying to get your kids to memorize their multiplication facts?  It can leave both you and your child so frustrated and in some sad cases there are tears shed from everyone.

Online Times Alive was created because everyone's brains are not wired the same way.  Since many students need different ways to learn new things, we need to be open to new ideas.  It's time to throw out the old-fashioned way of doing things, and introduce your student to Online Times Alive.

Online Times Alive is a creative math program that takes those hard to remember multiplication facts and makes them fun and easy to remember.  Using a mnemonic-based program, Online Times Alive has short and cute stories that students are easily able to recall and repeat.  They do not even realize they are learning their multiplication facts at first.  Online Times Alive was created especially for those hard to remember upper times tables facts.  It was created for elementary aged students, but we have used it with our special needs older kids and they were able to use the program easily also.

Online Times Alive provides online lessons with animated songs and stories that students can repeat and before they realize it, they have learned multiplication facts..  It really makes multiplication come "Alive"!  Through this use of games, fun stories, and songs, Online Times Alive breathes a fresh life into the boring chore of learning multiplication tables.

Multiplications facts between 0s and 9s are covered with funny songs and number people.  Great for kids just learning their facts or working on reinforcement for those struggling.  The program is very user friendly.  The login is easy and your student can easily figure out where they left off since it is marked in their lesson plan list.

Tests are easily marked and instant grades given.  Parents can also get their student's progress report with just a few clicks.

Caty has been using Online Times Alive for a few weeks.  She actually is remembering the facts, and is not even realizing it.   She really has been enjoying the short, and easy to use Online Times Alive program.  She logs in and watches her story and song.  Next she answers questions meant to reinforce the song she has been singing along with.

It's really great how short the sessions are.  This has been wonderful for her short attention span.  The whole time she has been using this program, she hasn't reached her frustration level that appears when she gets frustrated with math.  In fact there were several times, where I walked away while she was working on her lessons and she finished her lesson so quickly that I didn't believe her that she had finished.  I was able to quickly check and see her score.

Caty has been making gradual improvement on her facts.  I have seen such an improvement that I have already been recommending Online Times Alive to my friends.  It's budget friendly for families, which is another plus.

A few more positive points that I like about Online Times Alive Review:

  • The stories are fun, cute and memorable
  • Multiple students can use the account, and their records are kept separate
  • Easy to read printable parent records

One downside, you do need an active internet connection.  Which means unless you have a tablet with internet connection, you might not be able to take the program on the go.  But City Creek Press, Inc. also has a Times Alive app that you can download and use without connection.  We had the opportunity to use this app also and it is pretty close to the exact same program as Online Times Alive, but in tablet app.  It's just as user friendly as the Online Times Alive program.  Caty was able to keep practicing when we were out and about.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Online Times Alive.  Click on the link below to read about Online Times Alive and also review on the Times Alive App.

Online Times Alive {City Creek Press, Inc. Reviews}

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Softball, Bowling, and Soccer, Learning about Arkansas, and Book Club

Lydia had to work at the zoo and had a staff meeting on Sunday, so we took advantage of it.  We played some at Dave and Busters.  I was able to try and relax for a bit and watch the Titans game on the big screen in the bar area.  Of course we had to leave during the game, but we were able to watch it in the van.  I was glad that Joe insisted we get Hulu Live TV.  It was a great game with lots of action throughout.

Last week I posted a picture of what my living room generally looks like due to books laying all over.  Each kid has a backpack to keep their materials in, including their favorite pens, pencils and markers/colored pencils.  But it still lays all over.  So I splurged and bought the girls each an ottoman to keep their materials in.  This keeps the excess books off my couches and floors.  Plus it is a place to store their books when we are at co-op and they do not need all their other materials.

Caty worked at the kitchen island area on some drawing the other day.  Watch for our upcoming review on Creating a Masterpiece.

Caty's edible food science activity was Spring rolls.  She made these to order.  Everyone seemed to enjoy them.  I helped her make a spicy peanut sauce for Joe for his rolls.

I had to buy her a cook book holder.  She was killing me getting a potential mess all over the book.  I keep the recipes and cooking projects for the week on the board for easy find.

On Monday, Lydia and her friend attended their first book club meeting.  The book was Beyond the Bright Sea.  This was a good book.  It started out very slow, but definitely got better.  Lydia struggled a bit with comprehension, which is why we joined up with this book club.  She did an online club last year and it turned into more of a reading to her and I didn't like that.  She had already read the book.  I want her to understand more about character development and story elements.  They had a lot of fun, and she's excited about next month's meet up.

Monday was our last softball game.  Joe did the scoreboard.  We may have distracted him a bit talking around him.

Lydia was last one up.  We took a major loss.  I love Special Olympics though.  She finally hit the ball.  She's having trouble with her ribs popping out of alignment.  Needless to say this affects her softball energy big time.  So I'm trying to get her a chiro appt.

In state geography this week, we visited Arkansas.  Of course we watched Aerial America and also State Plate on Amazon Prime.  But I did learn that Arkansas is proud of their cheese dip.  They hold a cheese dip world championship.  So that was our state meal.  The cheese dip recipe I found had mixed reviews.  I really do spend a lot of time researching state foods.  I have to look at allergies and food sensory issues, and possible food waste.  The leftovers from this lunch were used in my burrito casserole the next day...lol.  You can easily research state meals and state foods and find many suggestions.

Joe added heat to his.  Brayden wanted me to add chili to his, which technically then takes it to Texas.  Because this is a rivalry between Texas and Arkansas restaurants.

 I love this series.....

It was Caty's turn to scratch off the state for this week.

September brings on new sports.  This week was the first week of bowling.

This is Brayden's favorite sport!

Wednesday is co-op day.  We went to co-op where I teach two classes, and Lydia takes piano and Crafting.  Caty takes sewing, crafting, and a Makers class.  But this week, Wednesday also brought the start of soccer.  I was so busy, I didn't get any pictures of the kids actually playing.  I realized that I am out of shape...and need to definitely start exercising more.  I did snap a picture of Caty wearing her new library shirt.  Our local library got these shirts for anyone who read over 30 hours this summer.

When we got home, Grandpa has started a campfire in the pit.  He was roasting marshmallows and hot dogs for them.  Grandpa just started cancer treatments this week.  He has a battle ahead of him, and we are ready to help him fight.  This is the third time he has had to battle.  It was so nice to sit and watch the campfire and talk.

This guy built at least a 4-5 foot web between my parent's house and our patio.  I am not a spider fan, but enjoyed watching it.

The girls were learning about minerals in their science reading, and they needed to grow crystals.  They both started epsom salt crystals.  I found the "recipe" here.  Her experiment did not turn out, so we are re-trying next week.

Caty finished up her study guide and book for The Courage of Sarah Noble.  She enjoyed this book.  Next week she starts Shadow Spinner.

Friday mornings I teach online and Lydia has sign language class.  But in the afternoon the girls had a field trip to listen to a lecture on the Native Americans of Northwest Ohio.  The presenter from the museum does a phenomenal job.

He had a beaver pelt for the kids to examine.

And some stone tools.

Friday night we helped at a fundraiser BBQ...check out the pile of desserts!!!

Saturday was a busy day and we did two small educational field trips.  I'll post those soon.  We visited the only known existing Indian mounds in Northwest Ohio and also visited a Korean festival.  Plus we spent some time with our cousins and went to a corn maze. 

We are always busy.  There's always something going on.  The kids have sports and responsibilities, such as work.  Brayden is still working 1 day a week, but we may be increasing that some too.  I can't believe he's almost 18!!  Trying hard to prep him for the working world the best we can.  We live in a county with wonderful special needs services.  They truly want to see individuals succeed.  Many...many meetings the last couple months for Joey and many more for Brayden as he continues to age into adulthood. 

Life is never going to really slow down.  I am thankful for Google calendar to help keep our schedule.  What are some ways or apps that you keep your families more organized?

Linking up with other homeschool families at Homeschool Coffee Break.

Homeschool Coffee Break

Friday, September 13, 2019

Easy Grammar Systems - Daily GRAMS: Grade 7 Review

Grammar and proofreading skills are so important.  We recently had the opportunity to review Daily GRAMs: Grade 7 from Easy Grammar Systems.  These short daily activities have really helped Lydia to get her sentence writing under more control.

Daily GRAMS: Grade 7 was created for students to have a short daily practice sessions.  Skills that are practiced range from capitalization, punctuation, alphabetizing, various parts of speech, sentence combining, spelling rules, analogies, abbreviations, letter writing skills, and compound/complex sentences.  

The review isn't just randomly included, Daily GRAMS:  Grade 7 is specially laid out so that students are learning a new skill by repeating the practice daily for so many days.  This allows them to practice the skill to mastery.  
One of the skills that Lydia has mastered so far using Daily GRAMS:  Grade 7 is sentence combining.  At first she struggled and needed my help, but after practicing daily she has mastered to combine sentences independently.  

Each daily gram is meant to only take roughly 5-10 minutes.  I found some days took Lydia a little longer when a new topic that she didn't completely understand was introduced.  Those days, she may work a bit longer.  But remember she also has learning delays that take her longer to comprehend topics.  This makes Daily GRAMS:  Grade 7 an excellent resource for her, since the repeated practice really does allow her to master topics.  Lydia is quite proud when she finishes her daily page and realizes that she has mastered a topic.  Daily GRAMS: Grade 7 has been a real confidence booster for her.

There are 180 Daily GRAM pages in Daily GRAMS:  Grade 7.  These can be used not only in homeschool settings, but also in public schools, homeschool co-ops, and even by parents that just want to make sure that their students are getting the extra practice that they may need.  

We received the digital download of Daily GRAMS:  Grade 7.  This has allowed me to print pages the pages, and we keep them in a 3 ring binder.  I simply add the "day" to Lydia's daily to-do list.  She generally just works on them in her binder, but sometimes she takes them out and leaves them on her clipboard with her daily work for me to check.  

The book suggests that teachers go through instructions with their students.  But I found that she understood what was expected after the first few days, so unless there is a topic that she is starting that she may struggle with, she works on Daily GRAMS independently.  Each day's material can take her from 10 - 20 minutes.  That really depends strongly on her and her struggles.  With her learning disability and her hand tremors, she may lean toward 20 minutes if she is having a bad day.  

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunities to review various products from Easy Grammar Systems, including other grade levels of Daily GRAMS.  Click on the banner below to see how they used these products in their homes and how their students felt about them.

Easy Grammar, Daily GRAMS & Easy Grammar Ultimate {Easy Grammar Systems Reviews}

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