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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CTC Math {Review}

CTC Math Review
CTC Math Review

CTC Math is a complete online math tutor available for every age and grade K-12. I reviewed the 12 month family plan ($118.80 current sale price), and was able to use this on some level with my all of my children. I even signed myself up to try some of the upper level math. My goal is to prepare myself for when I may have to teach it when we get to the higher grades in our homeschool! 


My children love the fact that this is an Australian company. It must be the accent of the instructor that they enjoy so much! Even though this company is based out of Australia, we were able to sign up for the United States version. 


This program is simple with ease of use. When you sign up for the family plan, the parent simply signs in with their login information and sets up an account for each student. I signed my children up by grade level, my second grader in the appropriate grade and my preschooler and kindergartner both in the kindergarten level. 


When you first sign in, you'll see a screen with different options of skills that your child can work on; addition, subtraction, multiplication, measurement, etc. Below, is the addition screen for second grade with ten completed lessons. I had him work on one lesson a day which, in total, took between 10-15 minutes. Once he completed the addition lessons, they were averaged together. In this particular case, he received an average of 97% which equals a gold certificate! 

You have the option of viewing your certificates at anytime on the bottom of the screen or printing them out to display for all to see. If the student struggles with a particular lesson, they have the option of repeating it and completing it a total of three times. This helps them not only to master the subject at hand but to increase their overall topic average. And believe it or not, gold is not what the student is striving for, but rather, platinum, which is a perfect 100%! 

Diagnostic tests, both standard and comprehensive, are available at the top of each skill, shown in silver below. These can be used anytime to check on previous knowledge or progress in the subject matter. 

The lesson begins with a short "Lesson Summary" found on the right hand side of the screen below. Each lesson is roughly 3-5 minutes in length. You never actually "see" the teacher but the teacher screen is shared, as seen below. As the screen is shared, the instructor speaks and teaches the lesson. Below, he is teaching the basics of multiplication using stars. The lessons are presented quickly and simply and make sense for young minds. Once the teaching portion is completed, the student then clicks on the "Questions" portion of the lesson and completes their work from there. 

Below is the kindergarten screen. This is a shot of my kindergartner's work. So far, in this level, most of what he has worked on has been review. But in all honesty, that is what he needs. Unlike his older brother, he is not very fond of math. His brother actually finds enjoyment in learning new math skills. My kindergartner does not share the same passion! Having him review simple skills such as counting past twenty or backwards has been good for him! 

What I enjoy about this program is that sometimes they work on skills that I never would have thought of, or are not covered in our current math curriculum. An example is, "counting in action." He struggled with this at first, but after trying a couple of times he really started getting it. The lesson focused on counting moving objects, which requires patience, sitting still and focusing!

Below is a platinum level certificate that he received which was his pride and joy for sure!

As for my preschooler, even though she was too young in my opinion, she still enjoyed the lessons. The first couple she was able to do on her own. But once it began counting higher than 12 then I would basically do the work for her while teaching her where the correct numbers were on the keyboard to type in! She enjoyed it for a little bit but I don't plan on continuing with her since this really is meant for Kindergarten and up, (and now I know why). 


We will continue using this in our homeschool. It has been a good fit for us since for my second grader, it challenges him and teaches him new skills. And, as mentioned, it is great review for my kindergartner! 

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Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Have a Reservation!

I love cooking, but when it comes to Easter, we go out! There is this certain restaurant out by Smith Mountain Lake that has become an annual tradition for us, every Easter. The lunch buffet is like no other. Chinese food, American food, make your own omelets, waffles, and a plethora of dessert items, if you have room that is. We have learned over the years that making a reservation is the way to go. 
So we arrive.
 Pass through the crowd.
 Hear the murmuring of the customers, "I've been waiting here over 40 minutes!" 

We give our name and within minutes, are seated. 
Of course this caused an uproar by the ones that have been waiting for so long. 

This scenario made me think.

Making a reservation isn't that hard, it doesn't cost anything, it just takes planning. 

How about our salvation?
 The way has been made, Jesus was the sacrifice, an offering, the atonement for our sins. 

When we die will we stand before the Lord to hear, "I never knew you." Only to reply, "but, I've done this good deed, or that good deed. I attended church faithfully every week and gave my money to the poor!" Only to find out that we never really knew the Lord or had an intimate relationship with him. That everything we thought or knew about God was a facade. Like the person walking into a restaurant, hoping and expecting to enjoy the benefits of the endless buffet as soon as they arrive simply because they want it? 

Or have you made your reservation in heaven? Is your name written in the Lamb's book of life? Have you planned ahead and surrendered to the Creator of it all so when you arrive you are ushered into his presence hearing the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved!"
Romans 10:13

JESUS is the NAME!
Acts 4:10-12

Friday, April 18, 2014

Alone Yet Not Alone {Review & Giveaway}

Alone Yet Not Alone by Tracy Leininger Craven is a true story about two young girls and their experience as captives during the French and Indian War. Halfway throughout the book, I noticed that the last name of the girls in the story was same as the maiden name of the author! I quickly leafed through to the "about the author" section only to find out that this historical event indeed happened to relatives of hers. I already was engrossed and thoroughly enjoying the book, but at this point, the events started coming to life knowing that this story was shared by someone personally connected. 
This book is recommended for children ages eight and is full of adventure and faith in God. I have a passion for historical fiction anyways so finding one that kids can appreciate, and from the perspective of a God fearing family is simply golden. My kids are younger than eight so I haven't shared this book with them yet but hope to use this in our homeschool when they are older. This will be a gem to use while studying the French and Indian war in depth. 

 I grew up on the East coast and our family is familiar with the setting that this story occurred. Reading about an area so close to us and picturing life,in detail, during the time of the French and Indian War really brings history for me. As a homeschool mom, it was a wonderful quick read to help put things in perspective as I teach my children about this time period. The setting is in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, deep within America's new frontier. The Leininger family believe and trust in the Lord and are celebrating the harvest in the beginning of this story. Suddenly, the tragedy of the Penn's Creek Massacre occurs.

The lives of this simple, family who trusted in God are changed forever when Barbara and Regina, two young sisters, are carried away by a band of Allegheny warriors. This story focuses on the determination and faith of these girls. They believe that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again.

This is a powerful read and puts the Christian life in perspective. Anyone reading this is forced to ask themselves, "what would I do in this situation?" Would I have the strength to move on? Could I trust God and to believe that He is there in the midst of complete darkness? After reading this book I felt inspired and challenged. I did leave the story questioning a few things, wondering why some details were left out, but I don't want to spoil the story for you, you'll have to read (or see it!!) for yourself. 

That's right, Alone Yet Not Alone has been made into a movie and will be released in theaters June 13th 2014Reserve your seats to see the movie when it hits the big screen!

One THRIFT SCHOOLING reader has the opportunity to receive an additional copy! 
Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.

Alone Yet Not Alone
Written by: Tracy Leininger Craven
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Paperback: 148 pages

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.