A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers

A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers
The Burts in 2013

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In What Special Ways Does God Speak to You?

Have you ever seen those little plastic loaves of bread with an opening on top, filled with colorful strips of cardboard that have a Bible verse on each side? My grandparents, George and Elsie, had one of those on their dining room table for many, many years. Before the ate a meal, 3 times daily, at every single meal, they read a verse (or two!) and prayed over their family. Particularly for those who did not know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

You may be thinking, "Aww, how sweet," and you're right, it is a sweet memory of grandparents (both of whom have gone to be with the Lord). But you'll find it more inspiring when I tell you the size of the family: George and Elsie had 14 children, 75 grandchildren, 88 great-grandchildren, and 12 great-great-grandchildren at the time of my grandfather's death. They prayed long and hard for their descendants, and many times their meal had grown cold well before the praying ceased. Oh yes, they were true intercessors.

Out of all the family members who could have gotten that little loaf of bread filled with Bible verses, I was blessed to end up with it. My mother is the oldest child, and she was able to get the little loaf and passed it on to me. It sits on a window sill above my kitchen sink, and I am very careful with it because it is a reminder of my dearly loved grandparents.

Last night the little loaf fell into the kitchen sink...and some of the verses on colored cardboard got wet. I carefully sorted out all the cards, putting the dry ones back into the center of the little loaf and setting aside the damp ones. One by one, I dried the five little cards (one yellow card, two green, and two red). Then I placed them on the window sill to dry completely overnight, right next to the little loaf.

This morning, my husband looked at the verses on the sill and said, "These verses you chose to lay out are great!" I told him I hadn't chosen the verses, in fact I hadn't even read them when I dried them off last night. He smiled and said that God had chosen some wonderful verses for us, seemingly picked out for today.

Would you like to know what the verses were? Well, here they are:

"Fear not: for I am with thee." ~ Isaiah 43:5a

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm." ~ Isaiah 40:11a,b

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go." ~ Psalm 32:8a

"With God all things are possible." ~ Mark 10:27b

"For with God nothing shall be impossible." ~ Luke 1:37


To have five encouraging, loving verses simply land "by chance" in my sink seems to me to be, well, ridiculous. These words from God's Word were not laid there "by chance" but by His will alone. What a blessing to serve a God who loves us enough to speak to us in a plethora of ways each day.

In what ways has God spoken to you lately? Keep your eyes open, and be watching for the Bread of Life to drop you some crumbs from a little loaf!

Day 170 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com

Monday, March 19, 2012

How Does A Homeschool Mom Make Time for Her Spouse?

Well, the easy answer is, of course, to MAKE time! At the same time, the almost impossible answer is to MAKE time...

With five kids, a busy youth ministry, and a house to maintain ~ in addition to homeschooling! ~ the idea of time for my husband can seem like a far-away dream vaguely visible through a heavy fog. But I work to find a way to keep my marriage in it's proper place. If I don't, I'll be sorry later. And I'll probably be sorry today, too.

By planning to make time for my husband each and every week, I find I've already defeated many of the "excuses" and "busy-ness" that crop up to keep me from spending quality time with him. Every Friday night is date night. My husband and I go out and do whatever we enjoy doing together. The kids look forward to Friday because they get to stay up late, watch some Netflix, have a fun dinner, and just hang out. Sometimes they play on the Wii or PS3, maybe they build a theme park on Roller Coaster Tycoon. Of course, this is easy for us to implement weekly since our kids are 12, 14, 15, and 17 (my 19-year-old is away at college). It was more difficult when we had to pay a sitter in order to have a date night. Back then, we would have our date in our room and the kids could watch a movie and have popcorn in the living room. It wasn't quite the same as going out for a date, but it helped us to have time together as a couple.

In addition to our weekly date night, my husband has a alarm set on his cell phone. When it goes off each evening, he says, "Time with Jan." That lets the kids know it's time to wrap up what they're doing, gather in the living room for family prayer, and then head to their bedrooms. The older teens may chat for a while, the youngest kiddo may read in her room before going to sleep. But they never complain about mom and dad having time together in the evening. In fact, I think it gives them security to know their parents are making their marriage a priority. Hopefully this will be something they carry into their own marriages someday.

Again, this can be tough to facilitate with infants and toddlers. My advice would be to do what you can to keep your marriage central within the family. That might mean you get up early to have a cup of coffee with your husband before he leaves for work. Or maybe you eat dinner in the dining room once a week, while the kids eat in the kitchen. The season of babies and toddlers really does pass quickly, so don't lament what you don't have. Enjoy the season you are currently in, and trust the Lord to bless your efforts at making time for your spouse.

Remember, before there were a house filled with children to homeschool, there was just you and your husband. He was there first, so treat him like you remember that he was there first!

Lord bless your efforts to be a blessing to your husband while maintaining your family's homeschool!

Day 169 done :)

Jan L. Burt

author of  The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study ~ available as an eBook or in print @ www.AllThingsHomeschool.weebly.com (eBook specially priced @ $4.75 thru November 1st, 2013)

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Action Alert


Action Alert is a safe search engine that intends to help parents deal with the dangers of the Internet as it relates to their children. If you haven't encountered some of the real dangers lurking on the world wide web, consider yourself blessed. If you have come face to face with said dangers, then you understand the value of a product designed to provide optimum Internet safety!

The product works like this:
Simply visit their website at www.ActionAlert.com to download your choice of their FREE version (which is a quality safety program) or their Maximum Protection Version for $29.95 (which is fully customizable and offers social network protection and can be used for multiple users).

This safe search engine is easy to use, and the totally free version offers a TON of protection, creating a "kid safe" environment. The company really has a desire to see families protected from the dangers of the Internet, and they put their money where there mouth is by making this available to everyone free of charge. Of course, the $29.95 version is worth every penny - either way, you are getting a great deal!

With the Action Alert safe search, you can block content, control when and how long the computer is used, safely use the Internet with their web filter and be informed via email when dangers or suspicious activity takes place (i.e., your child giving out personal information online). Action Alert allows parents to review all the activity that has taken place on the computer as easily as watching a DVR.




Action Alert has been featured on NBC's Today Show, has received the DisneyFamily.com's iParenting award as one of the best safety products for kids, and is the only product recommended by the Child Safety Network (www.CSN.org). That's impressive.




To learn more about all that Action Alert offers,or to find out basic info regarding installation, visit their FAQ page HERE.

And to read what my fellow Crew members have to share about Action Alert, click THIS LINK.

I received this product free of charge for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

God bless you today as you seek to bring glory to Him in all areas of your life, including what you do online!

Day 168 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com

www.SavanasClayCreations.com

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Simple Secrets to a Happy Life by Luci Swindoll


(Book Description)Is it possible to stay full of life, laughter, love, and the Lord through eight decades in this crazy world? Is that even realistic? Yes! There is hope, and Luci Swindoll is living proof.

Simple Secrets to a Happy Life by Luci Swindoll (published by Thomas Nelson)is a book of wisdom and encouragement, broken into 50 easy-to-read chapters. Filled with personal references and handy tips, this book has a personal feel to it that makes reading it seem like chatting with an old friend.

This book is probably great for new believers and for those who love large doses of encouragement packed in short chapters, and it would be a good book to take along and read while in the waiting room at the doctor's office or during a lunch break. I wouldn't say that it's a book full of brand-new ideas or deep spiritual insight, but it's not meant to be. I think it serves it's purpose well and is a great reminder that followers of Christ should keep loving and serving Him all the days of their lives.

On my 'Page Turner Scale' of 1 to 5, I am giving this book a 4.

(Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze for review purposes.)

Day 167 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Have Decided that I Love Weeds...

Having neighbors whose yards are 99.999% weeds and Bermuda grass, while desiring a gorgeous carpet of Fescue myself, makes for lots of yard work. This evening was perfect week killing weather, and since I spent a lot of my "free time" last fall killing and reseeding our front and back yards, I was pretty motivated to do some weed removal.

And yes, the weeds were attempting to take over the few bare spots in the back yard. Sigh...let the internal grumbling and complaining begin.

But hold up a minute - the internal grumbling and complaining DIDN'T begin! Instead I found myself thanking God for those pesky weeds. For the time spent outside on a relatively mindless chore which allowed me some extra time to spend in prayer. For the wonderful weather that allowed me to be outside in the first place. And especially for the weeds themselves. Because I can use my time spent outside as the roughest-toughest-weed-killin'-mama-in-the-west as one more way to keep myself diabetes free.

Almost 2 years ago, I was diagnosed as a pre-diabetic. My doctor gave me the reality check I needed, and by the grace of God I have had terrific glucose numbers consistently, have lost and kept off 45 lbs, and am living a lifestyle that I had only dreamed was possible. So anything that adds to my non-diabetic way of life is a huge blessing handed to me straight from God.

Now, I can honestly say that I don't want weeds to overrun my Fescue, and Nuthatch is in no way my new best friend ~ but it feels good to be able to say that I have decided that I love weeds.

Lord bless you as you walk out your daily life hand in hand with Him!

Day 166 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Progeny Press Study Guides for "The Cay" and "Pride and Prejudice"


For this blog post, I will be reviewing two Study Guides from Progeny Press; one for The Cay (by Theodore Taylor) and the other for Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen).

Of the 100 Study Guides available from Progeny Press, I was thrilled to get these two! The Cay is one of my favorite books, and I still remember reading for the first time when I was in grade school. And Pride and Prejudice is a classic piece of literature that my eldest daughter was more than happy to read (for the umpteenth time!)




The Progeny Press Study Guide for The Cay very thorough. Some of the questions posed were challenging, while others were relatively easy. Most of them made my daughters really think before they answered. But probably the most impressive part of this Study Guide is the way it causes the reader to see the story from different points of view.

Here is an example of a question from The Cay Study Guide:
"Read 1 Samuel 16:7. What does the Bible say about people's outward appearance? Read Galatians #:26-28. How are these verses similar to the 1 Samuel verse?"

The Progeny Press Study Guide for Pride and Prejudice was filled with vocabulary work. Even though my daughter has read this book multiple times, she felt that taking the time to define words from the book made it come alive to her in new ways. The questions provided a new perspective, and the Bible verses mark this curriculum as distinctively Christian.

And here is a sample question from the Pride and Prejudice Study Guide:
"In this section of the book, although Mr. Collins appears to be a somewhat foolish man, he also seems to have good intentions. His father had been at odds with Mr. Bennet, and now that his father has died, he wished to heal this breach and so is offering the metaphorical olive branch to Mr. Bennet. Read the following verses and summarize what they teach us. Matthew 5:23-24, Romans 12:16-18, 1 Peter 3:8, and Colossians 3:15. In what way is Mr. Collins following the teaching in the above verses? In what ways can you follow this teaching in your own life? (Try to be specific.)"

Pretty impressive stuff, isn't it?





All of the Study Guides are based on well-chosen literature and the selection is broad. Many of the titles correspond with books we already have in our family library, and others are readily available at the public library or at Amazon.com. My only disclaimer would be for parents to choose books carefully, as some contain content or subject matter that might not be acceptable for your family. Parents are encouraged to choose reading material wisely and use discretion.

Vocabulary, comprehension questions, synopses, information about the novel, background information, use of vocabulary words in a sentence, regional dialect (for the Jane Austen novel), thinking about the story, facts vs. opinion, and more were covered in the two Study Guides I received (free of charge for review purposes; opinions expressed here are my own).

I would consider the Pride and Prejudice Study Guide an excellent high school British Literature course (or American Lit, as I have seen Austen's works used as coursework for both). The Cay Study Guide could be used as middle school literature as a supplement to a study of World War II history. I would count the Austen book and guide as one half credit hour for high school, as it could be completed comfortably over the course of one semester.

The FAQ tab at the Progeny Press website explains how best to use the Study Guides, and their full product line can be found under the Products tab. To visit the website, click www.ProgenyPress.com

And as the wife of a US Army Captain (retired after more than 22 years of service) I was very pleased to find that Progeny Press offers a 15% discount to members of the military. How awesome is that?! A direct link to that offer can be found HERE.

Prices on their product line range from $10.99 to $27.99. Products are available for Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, Creative Classics Scripts, and Additional Resources. The books that correspond with the Study Guides are available for purchase at the website, too. Again, the site address is www.ProgenyPress.com

To see what the other TOS Crew members had to say about Progeny Press, click HERE.

Thanks for reading my review of these two Progeny Press Study Guides!

Day 165 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.SavanasClayCreations.com

What's In A Name?

Have you ever considered the depth of the meanings behind the names Joseph gave his sons? In Genesis 41:51-52 we find that Joseph had two sons; the first he names Manasseh, and the second he named Ephraim.

Manasseh literally means "God made me forget all my trouble and my father's household."

Ephraim literally means "God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."

Wow! Talk about carefully choosing the names for your children!

The entire story of Joesph is fascinating to me. It continually inspires me to emulate Joseph by persevering, working hard, and trusting God completely through thick and thin. Each part of his life story contains a wealth of wisdom and guidance for those who would read it and understand it with the help of the Holy Spirit. And in modeling the life of Joseph, I find myself to actually be following after Jesus. I suppose the real reason I love the Genesis account of Joseph's life is because it points to Jesus from start to finish.

Dysfunctional families are not new. And God is not surprised by dysfunction. In fact, He loves to work in mighty ways in spite of our dysfunction! Whether you grew up in a happy home or in a very dysfunctional family does not hinder God's ability to use you in amazing ways for His purposes. Joseph's life is a testimony to God's faithfulness. And the names Joseph gave his sons is evidence of that faithfulness.

In the name Manasseh, we see Joseph declaring that God's goodness toward him was more than enough to cover the painful memories from his childhood home and all his hardships there. Now, if you think of Joseph as only a spoiled brat who lorded his favored position over his older brothers, you are missing the point. Joseph is often referred to as a "type of Christ" - his life story is meant to point us to Jesus. I don't think that the spoiled brat depiction fits God's purpose in sharing Joseph with us in the book of Genesis. Don't believe me? Read it again in context, looking for signs of Jesus as you read. Was Joseph misunderstood, scorned by those who knew him, rejected and sold for a handful of coins? Did those around him readily accept his soon-to-be position in a place of authority over them? And yet Joseph was the one who rescued his family from starvation, saving them from certain death...and Jesus was the One who rescued all who receive Him from certain death. When you look for Jesus in the life of Joseph, you suddenly see that God was painting a beautiful picture foretelling His Son - and the spoiled brat image of Joseph begins to fade away.

In the name Ephraim, we see Joseph acknowledging that God had made him fruitful and prosperous in the land of his suffering. Joseph didn't try and pretend that his 13 years of suffering were without effect. He grasped the depth of his suffering, and yet was able to move past those hardships as soon as God released him from prison and placed him in a position of authority second only to Pharaoh in Egypt. We don't see him hanging on to his past, pining about his tragic life and the "wasted" 13 years. Instead we see him stepping into God's new role for him, and moving forward without bitterness. He did what God called him to do, when He called him to do it, without living in the past or leaning into the future. That's a good example to me for living my daily life.

Yes, Joseph had to face his brothers. And yes, he did test them before telling them who he was. But through those events, I don't see Joseph as unwilling or unable to forgive. I see him as a man yielded to his God, willing to forgive at any moment but also willing to let God deal with his brothers as He saw fit. I think Joseph knew that vengeance is the Lords, and it is His to repay.

Be encouraged today that God knows your name, and He knows your situation. Follow Him today, and He will take care of your tomorrows.

Day 164 done :)

Jan L.Burt

www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com

Friday, March 9, 2012

TOS Crew Product Review ~ The Art of Argument (An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies)



The Art of Argument ~ An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies (from Classical Academic Press, written by Aaron Larsen, and Joelle Hodge with Christ Perrin) is the first in a three-part series of logic curriculum that began in 2003. The Art of Argument teaches 28 common logical fallacies, which are simply examples of reasoning gone wrong.

The Art of Argument set I received (free of charge for review purposes, opinions expressed are solely my own) included the Student Book (230 pages), the Teacher's Edition (286 pages), and a DVD with an introduction and 6 lessons.

The curriculum itself is great, but the DVD lessons are the icing on the cake. They bring the topics to life and clarify the purpose of a logic curriculum. The student isn't "alone" as they work to understand the different types of arguments. We used the book first and then viewed the DVD lessons - but that's my personal preference. You could potentially gain more by watching the DVD prior to doing the book work. (Maybe I'm one of those mean homeschool moms who makes her kids dig out the hard truths from the reading before they get any "clues" from the DVD!)

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The subject matter broached in the lessons are filled with real-world applications that touch on today's issues, lest you think logic is only to be studied alongside Latin and Greek. Having the ability to argue logically, rather than emotionally, is not an art everyone has learned. Our children are growing up in a media-laden society, and the odds are that constant bombardment of thoughts, ideas, influence, and marketing will only increase in the coming years. The value I see in The Art of Argument lies in it's ability to open my children's eyes to fallacies that abound in our media-driven society. Training them to logically resist the "push" from the world will benefit them over the long term.

My daughters dove into The Art of Argument feet first and began learning how to (properly) argue from day one. In their discussions around the dinner table, they have been analyzing arguments and discussing what they've each learned. And having four daughters who know the correct way to argue makes for some entertaining meal time discussion!

The Art of Argument book sells for $21.95, and The Art of Argument Teacher's Guide sells for $24.95.

Other books in the series include The Argument Builder and The Discovery of Deduction.

Classical Academic Press also offers Latin, Bible, and Poetry and has French, Debate, Classical Writing, History, Spanish and Latin 2 in production.

They also have a free website available to practice Latin, Spanish, Greek, Logic, and more - visit www.HeadventureLand.com

To see what the other TOS Crew members have to share about The Art of Argument, click HERE.

To learn more about Classical Academic Press, or to purchase The Art of Argument, go to www.ClassicalAcademicPress.com

Day 164 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.SavanasClayCreations.com
www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Homeschool Mom's Devotional (# 2)

2 Corinthians 9:8 - "...able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

The common denominator in this verse from 2 Corinthians is "all". God leaves nothing out here; He gives us no room to think there are aspects of our lives that are to be lived outside of His grace. Beyond that, He promises we will abound in every good work. That includes homeschooling.

What do you struggle with as a homeschooling mother? Keeping up with the laundry? Staying one step ahead of your middle schooler in her science book? Squeezing in a phone call to your aging parents once in a while?

No matter what aspect of the homeschool life you are struggling to juggle, God is able to make all the grace you need abound to you. You will have all that you need, no matter what you're facing, at every moment of every day. No matter what. It's right there in His Word, promised to us in 2 Corinthians 9:8.

So rest in His grace, believe Him for it daily, and fully expect to abound in every good work. Don't grow weary in well-doing, for you will reap a harvest in due time if you do not give up.

He is able, more than able, to provide ample grace for today. And don't fret about tomorrow - He'll have your back then too!

Praise the Lord for His faithfulness, and thank Him that all His promises prove true. Be blessed today as you carry out His will for your family. And enjoy the ample measure of grace He has just for you today.

Day 163 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.SavanasClayCreations.com

www.AllThingsHomeschool.weebly.com

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Called To Controversy - The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus by Ruth Rosen


Called to Controversy by Ruth Rosen is the story of Moishe Rosen, his conversion from Judaism to Christianity, and the ministry of Jews for Jesus. Written by his daughter Ruth, this book is a well-done biography of a man whose life is a fascinating and inspiring reminder of God's faithfulness.

I am familiar with the ministry of Jews for Jesus, and have kept up with the ministry for many years. But I learned a tremendous amount by reading this book. Moishe Rosen lived a life that evidenced God's great love for His chosen people, the Jews, and the way his life events unfolded speaks loudly about the Messiah.

A highly recommended read, Called to Controversy is a book I plan to keep on my bookshelf and read again and again.

On my 'Page Turner Scale' of 1 to 5, I am giving this book a 5.

(Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze for review purposes.)

Day 162 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Creek Edge Press Early Modern History

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I am a big fan of independent learning. Any curriculum that spurs a child to find answers to their own questions and guides them to see that they can (and should!) learn things for themselves is going to be high up on my list of favorites. Creek Edge Press is just this kind of educational resource.

The history product I received from Creek Edge Press (free of charge for review purposes; opinions shared are my own) is titled "Early Modern World Task Cards" by Amy K. Hilsman. This set covers Elizabethan England through the Civil War, and is recommended for ages K-8. Included are a softcover book and a set of cards. The book contains a course introduction that explains how the task cards are meant to work. And the book itself is the teacher's manual - although there isn't a lot of lesson planning or formal teaching going on with this terrific history tool, since the aim is for students to become independent learners.

The task cards are printed on heavy duty stock card and each card has a series of topics related to the particular subject chosen from Creek Edge Press's selection. The cards are designed to be used at a rate of one per week, and each car is numbered so they are easy to put back in order.The child simply works their way through the topics listed on the task card, using resources such as the Internet, library books, encyclopedias, etc. While Creek Edge Press is a relatively new company, they already offer a nice variety of topics, all of which are used in a similar fashion. Combining the Montessori, Classical and Charlotte Mason philosophies, Creek Edge Press has created a product unique within the homeshcool world.

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Basically, you as the homeschool parent should plan to facilitate the student's work for the first couple of weeks and thereafter the student can use the task cards to learn about the topics listed on their own. Assessment is done by looking for ever-increasing detail and neatness in the child's work. Specific answers are not the end goal of this teaching tool. Rather, it is to engage the student with the material. The learning accomplished with this method will "stick" with the child, and I believe they value what they mined on their own as compared to being spoon fed from a dry history textbook.

Some students may need to be tutored as to self-directed learning while others will immediately thrive under these assignments. Be sure to take time working through this process with your child, at least to be sure they know where and how to find answers to the topics found on the task cards. And realize that some learners do not feel comfortable without a set of questions to answer when studying history. If this is the case, tweak the program to meet your family's needs. For example, you could have the child make a list of questions as they read about a specific person or era, and they could answer the questions later on. If two of your children were to work through this curriculum together, one could write the questions and the other could answer ~ then they could switch roles with the next task card. Over time, most children grow to enjoy open-ended and self-directed learning.

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Using the encyclodpedia for research, additional reading, defining terms, copywork, sketching, labeling artwork, creating summaries, posters, collages, display boards, time lines, and much more, your children will grow in their confidence as they research and discover all sorts of things for themselves. Taking ownership of their learning is a tool they will use daily in their adult life.

To visit the Creek Edge Press website, go to www.CreekEdgePress.com


Some of their other products include Geography Task Card sets, Science Task Card sets, Fine Arts Task Card sets, and Grammar Task Card sets. History and Geography prices range from $18-$20 per set (with the option to purchase the entire line for $90). Science prices are $18 per set (or $65 for all Science sets). Fine Arts include Music & Composers or Art & Artists for $32 each. They also have Grammar Task Card sets available for $18. As non-consumable items, you can use these sets over and over again, which makes them an excellent value.

The set I received (Early Modern History) sells for $20 (item # EW).

To read what other Crew members have to say about Creek Edge Press, click HERE.

Overall, I would say this product has been a welcome addition to our homeschool. The product line is so simple and so ingenious, I cannot emphasize how much I really like it. This is a new, long-term favorite for me. My kids like it ~ they're learning and honing their research skills, and it's a breeze to implement for multi-age teaching. Great product, great price, great end result.

Lord bless you and your family today!

Day 161 done :)

Jan L. Burt

www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com

www.SavanasClayCreations.com

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TOS Crew Product Review ~ K5 Learning

K5 Learning is an online educational website for kindergarten through 5th grade students with a focus on reading, math, and spelling. As a relatively new site(online for about 6 months as of this post), you may not have heard of K5 Learning; hopefully this review will help you learn more about it!
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Located at the web address www.K5Learning.com, this program offers a free 14-day trial (no credit card needed), a free assessment to ensure proper placement for each child, a video tour, sample lessons, information for special needs learners and ESL students, and lesson categorized as follows: K5 Reading, K5 Math, K5 Spelling, & K5 Math Facts.

Pricing ranges from $25/month for the first child and $15 per month for each additional child to $99 annually for the first child or $129 annually for additional children.

K5 Learning is a challenging online program and I appreciate that it stretches the student, particularly with the spelling lessons. Many of the lessons are well beyond the typical 5th grade students normal range of study, and I think this is a good thing in light of the fact that we have a generation of "text me!" kids who think for can be spelled "4" and great is spelled "gr8". If you tire of seeing messages that read something like this: "r u coming 2nite?" then you will be appreciative of the challenging spelling lessons offered by K5 Learning!

The website has a clean fell to it. Basic white pages with no extra frills make for few distractions. The point of the website is learning, and K5Learning keeps the student focused on their work. A part of me (the Type A, firstborn part!) likes this a whole lot! And the mom in me wonders if a little more color would be more fun. But overall, when the focus is spelling accuracy or mastery of math facts, less is more in terms of "busy, loud" web pages.

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I would also like to add that I have been very impressed with their customer service and their desire to continually improve product quality. With the kind of commitment to customer service they have displayed, I'm sure the people behind the scenes at K5 Learning will make an impact within the homeschool community.

This online program is straight-forward and no-nonsense. It promotes learning, with some fun in the form of games and riddles - but it's really all about learning. If you use the program, your child will learn. That much is for certain!

Other side notes about the program are that games are "earned" as rewards for work well done; each student can create their own avatar; the math facts are intended to be mastered in both speed and accuracy; and the reading programs are very well-done and thorough. For example, the lessons on inferencing were probably the most thorough I've seen via an online learning program.

The website is www.K5Learning.com and the FAQ page has answers to almost any question you might have.

Click HERE to see what my Crew Mates thought of K5 Learning.

As always, I received this product free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Lord bless you as you homeschool for His glory!

Day 160 done

Jan L. Burt

www.HomeschoolingMothersBibleStudy.com
www.SavanasClayCreations.com