Curriculum, Education, Homeschool

My Teaching Library

(Gifted )

The Melanated Gold Review Squad was given a subscription to My Teaching Library. So let’s dig deep into this review.

The My Teaching Library membership offers unlimited downloads/resources for grades PreK-12th grade. You will find resources for all subjects and bonus resources for miscellaneous use. There are over 1,000 downloaded resources for you to choose from in the My Teaching Library.

I was hoping My Teaching Library membership would be a valuable resource for homeschool. The resources provided on My Teaching Library can provide extra support for families’ current curriculums, but you really have to dig deep into the library to find the quality materials. Over the weekend I downloaded 70+ plus files that I thought would be useful for our current spine curriculum. I know you are wondering why so many files? Well, the way the files are listed on the website several of the files that would fit into one unit are separated so you have to download each file for a complete unit and there are no sample pages. My son is doing 5th/6th hybrid homeschool year so I needed to download for both years. You can’t view a lot samples of the files which also makes it hard to judge if it will work for you so you just have to download and decide later.

After going through 70+ files I found about only about 20 files would work for us. I found several typos, grammar errors, poorly aligned printable, misinformation, and spelling errors. Many of the printable overall quality wasn’t very tidy and some of the text was extremely small. Many of the printable were either a hit or a miss. I did like some of the posters and a few of the organizers for history, science, and note taking.

The dashboard is nice because it stores all downloads. Depending on your membership you will need to download your items within 30 days or before your subscription expires. Without a membership you can pay per download but with no or little samples to view you need to be careful.

So I know what you are wondering would I invest in My Teaching Library ? My Teaching Library just isn’t a good fit for my family. I rarely review a product that I say this about, there were just too many issue for us.

If you are looking for educational resources to add to your homeschool, My Teaching Library I would proceed with caution. At the time of this review, membership is $60.00 a year or $276 for a lifetime membership. Be sure to check out the other Melanated Good Review Squad members reviews by clicking the banner below.

Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Math, Middle School Math

Unlock Math: Unlock Math Foundations Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

I have 2 words to say FRACTIONS AND DECIMALS!!! Talk about a major panic button hit for this mama. My son LOVES fractions, but we started moving into higher-level fraction lessons and I started to panic. Just as I am panicking I look over the coming lessons and BAM DECIMALS!! This mama was a nervous wreck until the Squad was offered the opportunity to review Unlock Math!

What is Unlock Math

Unlock Math is an online multi-sensory math curriculum for 6th-12 grade. Unlock Math was created by a fellow homeschool family, which is a major plus in my opinion. If you are like me I am also refreshing myself while my son is working through the lessons. We are working our way through Unlock Foundations. Unlock Math covers six math discipline areas and a foundational course. The five areas of courses offered are:

  • Foundations
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Geometry
  • Pre-Calculus

Students are engaged from the start Unlock Math provides interactive questions with a continuous review for long-term retention. All review questions, as well as tests and quizzes, also provide links for your student to review if needed. There are step by step guidance for each solution if they respond incorrectly. The parent dashboard is comprehensive there is auto-grading, pacing guides, reports, and parent resources. The student dashboard is detailed with guides and a printable math textbook. Unlock Math has fabulous online customer service and math tutoring at no additional cost.

My son is working his way through the Unlock Foundations curriculum. The Unlock Foundations is perfect for us at this time because it is preparing him for pre-algebra and finding gaps and making sure he has a solid foundation of fundamentals skills he needs in order to be successful in Pre-Algebra.

How Does It Work?

Unlock Foundations is divided into thirteen comprehensive units and within those units there are six to thirteen lessons depending on the unit. What I really liked about the Unlock Foundations is that the lessons include an introduction and printable reference notes. As the students begin the lesson they will work through 6 steps:

  • Warm-Up (Material from the day before)
  • Instructional Video (Introduction to new concept)
  • Practice Problems
  • Stay Sharp Exercises (Covers previous lesson concept practice)
  • Challenge Yourself (Stretches their math knowledge)
  • Quiz, Review Test ( Every 2-3 days 5 question quiz, then unit test and midterm)

Our Experience with Unlock Foundations

My son is working his way through the Unlock Foundations curriculum. The Unlock Foundations is perfect for us at this time because it is preparing him for pre-algebra and finding gaps and making sure he has a solid foundation of fundamentals skills he needs in order to be successful in Pre-Algebra. At the time of beginning Unlock Foundations my son was working on decimals in his math curriculum so we started with unit ten decimals. My son has some experience working with decimals but I wanted to see how Unlock Foundations Unit 10 Decimals would measure up with my son’s math curriculum so I had him work on the Unlock Foundations unit 10 decimals lesson first then the next day we worked in my son’s math curriculum. I was pleasantly surprised that my son instantly did really well and used several of Unlock Foundations terminology while doing the lesson. He had no issues with the concept and when comparing the two curriculums Unlock Foundations went deeper into the concept than my son’s curriculum when we got to a certain area in his math textbook he nailed the concept.

For the earlier units in Unlock Foundations, I had my son complete the quizzes first after I reviewed the concepts topics because I didn’t want him to have to work on concepts he had previously mastered. At the time of this review my son has worked on 16 lessons and will continue to work through Unlock Foundations.

In Conclusion

Unlock Math is a comprehensive math curriculum that can be done digitally, hard copy, or a combination of both. You can also use it alongside any math curriculum as well as a supplement. Unlock Math’s multi-sensory approach really appeals to my learning, it is not overly distracting for him and it is to the point and easy to follow. I have used it personally to refresh my math skills so I can better help my student. If my student finishes foundations earlier within our 1-year subscription we can move to another Unlock Math curriculum at no extra charge.

The cost of Unlock Math is $299 per student for the year and you need to select which curriculum works best for you. We will continue to use Unlock Math over the summer for our summer math enrichment as well over the Fall. I highly recommend Unlock Math for homeschoolers and if you have a student who is entering middle school Unlock Foundations is a great way to ensure they have full mastery of skills before moving on to higher-level math.

Be sure to check out the other Melanated Gold Review Squads reviews of Unlock Math by clicking the banner below.

Curriculum, Family, Homeschool, Spanish

Whistlefritz: Educator’s Spanish CollectionReview!

Disclaimer: Complimentary Product Received through the Homeschool Review Crew!

When my son was younger I had a bad habit of speaking Spanglish to him. While I do speak Spanish fluently my son still has a bad Spanglish habit. The Crew was given the opportunity to review Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection and Educator’s French Collection and we choose to review the digital Educator’s Spanish Collection.

My son already takes 1:1 Spanish classes with a wonderful Maestra who is located in Columbia. He meets with her 2 days a week for an hour. She is the real deal and we love her no English in her class is permitted. While he meets with her 2 days a week and she assigns homework. I wanted to also reinforce what he was learning in class and that’s where Educator’s Spanish Collection digital comes in.

Educator’s Spanish Collection is a fun at home Spanish program for kids preschool to early elementary they provide DVD or Digital language learning videos, music, and lessons plans. They also offer a free home educators guide for homeschoolers. The Educator’s Spanish Collection comes with:

  • Detailed Lesson Plans
  • Digitals Videos
  • Digital music
  • Matching cards

Whistlefritz is a language immersion program, your students are immediately introduced to the language. I personally prefer a total immersion approach I feel students pick up the language better. I also like that music is included in the program because when learning a new language it’s important that you not only immersed yourself into the language but also into the culture. It is was nice that the program has a native speaker doing the videos.

Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection is geared towards ages one to seven years old. I wish I had this program when my son was younger because I probably could have avoided his Spanglish habits. Now we used Educator’s Spanish Collection a little differently from how it was intended. Since we are Spanish speaking family I was more interested in my son working on his ability to and write Spanish. The 174 page educators guide was perfect for this practice. I decided to take the lessons and write them on our big board and he needed to fill in in the blanks in his notebooks, I also did dication practice and he had to write down what I was saying in his notebook and use the correct the vocabulary word.

Educator’s Spanish Collection videos are colorful and packed with tons of vocabulary. The use of puppets and children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds is a huge plus. The fun songs are easy to learn and enjoyable. I didn notice that the digital version only came with 4 sheets of the matching card game, but I am thinking this may be and error because there are suppose to be 50 cards. We used those cards we did have for vocabulary and I plan to reach out to the company to get the other cards.

I highly recommend Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection for younger students, the program provides a solid spanish beginning foundations. I love how the instructor speaks in Spanish naturally and at the correct pace. Some may find this difficult but this immersion stops the unnatural flow of the language. The progma is engaging and the 40 lessons provide parents with helpful ways to teach Spanish. Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection is geared to younger learners, but it works well for older students for learning a second language.

I did have my son watch a few of the videos that were in Spanish only. I did this because he is familiar with Spanish only and I am I trying to break those habits of Spanglish.

Be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews of Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection and Educator’s French Collection by clicking the banner below.

Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Writing

Memoria Press: Classical Composition I Fables!

Complimentary Product Received through Melananted Gold Review Squad!

We are on a journey to find a supplement for our 5th-grade writing curriculum, so I have been considering a few options. The Squad was given the opportunity to review Memoria Press Classical Composition I: Fable Set for grade 4+.

Memoria Press is considered to be one of the leading companies in classical Christian education curriculums. The creates a curriculum that follows the classical education philosophy of liberal arts, quality literature, and the great thinkers of the western tradition. A great deal of Memoria Press curriculums contains Christian values and biblical scriptures. I personally didn’t find the Christian additions overwhelming or indoctrinating and I have reviewed several of Memoria Press‘s curriculums.

Classical Composition I: Fable Set

Classical Composition I: Fable Set comes with a teacher and student guide. The set we received came with the DVD but the company also has a streaming option. I will be reaching out to the company to inquire about receiving the streaming service because we don’t own a DVD player. I was able to find some helpful videos on the Memori Press Youtube channel.

There are 20 lessons to be completed each lesson is broken down into 4 pages. The Fable stage covers the first 14 steps to mastering writing. In the Fable stage, the students learn 3 plot components:

  • Recogintion – teaches to look parts of the story they can relate to.
  • Reversal – teaches to students identify the characters and see when their character roles reverse in the story.
  • Suffering – the conflict.

The students then move on to the variation section in which they have to come up with 3 synonyms for the words listed and then use the words they come up with in sentences. I highly recommend having a thesaurus or dictionary handy when doing this activity especially if you don’t have a student who has yet tapped into their creative writing. In the outline portion of the lesson, students will summarize the fable.

Paraphrase the students will rewrite the fable using anemographia, dendrographia, and ethopoeia . I know what you thinking WHAT, trust me when I say I was right there with you on this one. The teacher’s guide is a lifesaver with this curriculum you need this don’t skip it. Students need to use their online and variation part one to complete this part. Then students will need to rewrite the fable by reduction, meaning they need to pull out key details and leave out the extra details in their writing. Lastly, there are Variations part 2 which is a direct repeat of the Variations part 1, but with different words.

Our Review

Okay so I know I said a mouthful above and trust me if you have the opportunity to look over Classical Composition I: Fable Set you will get a better grasp of the flow of the lessons. You can also check out samples of lessons on the Classical Composition I: Fable Set product details page. At first a little unsure about this type of writing because it isn’t how I learned to write and I thought my son wouldn’t be really interested in the flow. After reading the teacher’s guide and looking over the lessons I started to really understand the flow a little better and how this really works for a student who is a creative or logical writer. My son doesn’t love to write but I think because this guided writing he isn’t left to just figure it out himself. While I know you may be thinking wouldn’t this just be the student copying another person’s work? In reality, they aren’t copying the work they are rather enhancing it and putting their own spin on it. I do like that it encourages the use of outlining because this is something I am very familiar with myself.

Classical Composition I: Fable there is parent involvement needed especially in those first few lessons. The DVD/Streaming is of great need for this curriculum, I wish I would have had access to the live streaming. If your student has not had any formal mechanics in writing lessons I highly recommend you review these skills before starting. I would recommend looking at Memoria Press Introduction to Composition. Classical Composition I: Fable will help your student learn how to organize writings and encourage some creative writings of other’s works which will hopefully translate into their own writings.

Classical Composition I: Fable is a contender for our upcoming 5th-grade writing curriculum. It would be used as a supplement to our spine for creative writing and switching things up.

Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool

Curiosity Chronicles: Volume 2 Early Modern History Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

We love history in our home and focus on gentle truth history. We have several history curriculums we pull from and I always check actual true history that is secular. The gracious creators of the Curiosity Chronicles sent us their latest release Early Modern History Volume 2 to review.

We are no strangers to Curiosity Chronicles history curriculum; we actually own the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Vol 1 curriculums. My son has really enjoyed the lessons we have done and I haven’t found any questionable text. Ted and Mona have been long-time friends of ours as we have journeyed our way through history over the years. Curiosity Chronicles is a multi-sensory history curriculum that works for students with different learning styles.

We believe everyone has a place at the table when it comes to telling history.

Curiosity Chronicles

Curiosity Chronicles is not your typical history of the curriculum. Students learn history through snapshots of historical time periods and global events. The curriculum follows Mona Ted through history through dialogues. The students are introduced to the characters then they begin to engage in historical conversations and take your students on adventures learning about artistic, cultural, scientific, and political perspectives in history.

Students learn history from a global perspective. History is never dull when using Curiosity Chronicles kids will engage in meaningful conversation with you and want to learn more. What I like about Curiosity Chronicles is that the lesson is actual snapshots of history topics. I have found that a vast majority of the snapshots in the text are never mentioned in other elementary history curriculums. I am also pleased the company includes so much diversity in the characters, illustration, and subject matter.

Early Modern History Volume 2 picks up right where Early Modern Vol 1 leaves off and starts the conversations between Ted and Mona discussing Catherine the Great of Russia. Early Modern History Volume 2 has 36 chapters Ithat are divided into 18 sections. Students will study history snapshots from 1550- 1850, with topics such as the Haitian Revolutionary War, Empires in Africa, Bolivarian Revolution, American Revolution, and much more. We received hard and digital copies of Early Modern History Volume 2 curriculum package.

The complete Early Modern History Volume 2 includes:

  • Snapshots of Early Modern History Vol. 2 text
  • Softcover Insrutctor and Student Guide
  • Audiobook Snapshots of Early Modern Vol. 2
  • Digital Ted’s Timeline Kit: Early Modern Vol. 2

In both Vol 1 and Vol 2 we see Ted and Mona’s friends Arthur and Lily in the cultural corners at the end of select chapters as they highlight important artists, writers, scientists, and musicians.

Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 is truly a fun-filled comprehensive curriculum. Students will complete written lessons, mapwork, coloring pages, puzzles, STEM activities, and my son’s favorite Minecraft challenges. Lessons can be done family-style and the company is adding extension activities soon for older students. There are sections in the snapshot that invite students to research more on the historical topic they are studying. Early Modern History Volume 2 breaks important historical events down the curriculum is designed to with the children and not at them. My son enjoys curriculums that he feels are a part of the discussion.

Students will learn to discuss complex ideas, develop critical thinking skills, engage in hands-on learning, and find tangential learning!

Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 comes with a Teds Timeline kit. The Timeline kit comes with templates and pictures for your student to construct a wall timeline (color or black and white) or notebook timeline. We have a history timeline notebook so we will be using this instead of the templates provided. For this review I let my son decide on what area of time he wanted to learn about and he choose Section 31 Empires of Africa Chapter 61 Shaka forges the Zulu. He listened to the audiobook snapshot during breakfast and later during the day we went through the Snapshots of Early Modern History Volume 2 text. We talked about the Zulu, Swazis, Basotho, Xhosa, Boers, and Southern Africa. Through our study, we discussed the different biomes of Africa and the migration of the great people of Africa across the continent. We were introduced to the great Zulu warrior Shaka and his military. My son was intrigued by this chapter he started researching EVERYTHING about the Zulu people. He went to work on his assignments and his Minecraft challenges. He really enjoyed this sneak peek into our history lesson for the Fall, not sure I am going to be able to keep this one on the shelf until September.

I highly recommend Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 as well as all of the other history curriculums published by Curiosity Chronicles. The history is easy to follow and interactive. Be sure to check out the other Melananated Gold Review Squad reviews of Curiosity Chronicles by clicking the banner below.

Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Language Arts, Vocabulary, Writing

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

This homeschool year has been difficult choosing a language curriculum. I decided to go with the curriculum we had last year, but that was an epic fail. After 3 months of trying to find a new language arts program before our 2nd semester started, I ran across Royal Fireworks Press language arts curricula Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. The Melanated Gold Squad was offered the opportunity to review MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package and I was selected to review.

My son is newly turned 9 and he loves grammar, we noticed early on he was gifted in this area of his homeschool studies. Finding a grammar curriculum that was both rigorous and amusing has become arduous. This year alone we have set aside 3 curriculums and decided on multiple review books. Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town has been the curriculum we needed to feed his ferocious grammar inclinations.

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is for students ages 9-11 in grades 4-5. Grammar Town picks up where Grammar Island leaves off with the continued practice of the “4 grammar analysis of (1) parts of speech, (2) parts of the sentence, (3) phrases, and (4) clauses.” No worries if you haven’t done the previous level as long as your student has a strong understanding of grammar they will be alright with starting level 2, but I wouldn’t recommend jumping into level 3 without previously doing level 3. Even though the curriculum is presented for children who are gifted/dyslexic I have found that children who are able to read fluently and have strong reading comprehension will find this curriculum gratifying.

Level 2 : Grammar Town Layout

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is beautifully designed with simple distinctive vibrant illustrations. The curriculum covers 5 strands Grammar (Grammar Practice), Vocabulary, Writing, Poetics, and Literature. The complete homeschool package comes with a lesson guide, student books, and teacher’s manuals (this includes the readers) for each of the MCT sections. The program in my opinion is designed to be conversational. MCT is not like your typical language arts curriculums you will not find the typical question and answer busy work. The lessons are intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking. I found myself relearning and grasping a better understanding of grammar. My son instantly took to the Grammar Town book, he repeatedly would point out how he better-understood grammar concepts.

There are 30 weekly lessons of MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town the lessons are designed to gradually include the other textbooks included in the MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package. Students should work at their own pace and make sure they have a complete mastery of the Grammar Town book before moving on to the next book. There are assessment pages in the books, but you can also download the assessment pages from a link provided by Royal Fireworks Press inside the book. The assessment pages are there to make sure your student is mastering the materials before moving on to the next section in the book. These assessment pages are not the same as Practice Town.

The very first-week students are to read the Grammar Town book on their own. I was amazed to see how intrigued my son was by the illustrations and the story. Several times he came to me and asked questions and wanted to discuss the stories. On the days we didn’t do lessons he requested MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his other language arts books.

Today lesson was intellectually restorative….Learning about the complexity of sentence structure and how all the the words we use in sentences are reflective of the 8 parts of speech that make a sentence cohesive. Thinking about it from that point of view makes sense into why a sentence must a have a subject and verb.

J

Caesar’s English is the vocabulary section students will embark on a historical language journey. Students will learn Latin roots, history, and word origins. Again students are exposed to wonderful visual and practice pages. Students will also see a brief intro to Latin roots in Grammar Town on the first pages. Practice Town includes 100 sentences of practice for students the skills learned in Grammar Town and writing. Paragraph Town is another fun-filled narrative of learning paragraph fundamentals and punctuation. The poetry book Building Poems is metaphoric it is written to teach students poetry terms as if they are constructing a building. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town includes the literature books:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • The Wind in the Willows

Each book is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael’s “language illustrations”—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies

Royal Fireworks Press

How We Used MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town

For the first 3 weeks, we used the curriculum as the implementation guide suggests. I made little tweaks here in there. My son was introduced to some Latin roots and I wrote these roots on index cards for him. I also wrote out grammar cards for him of all of the parts of speech components. We also put together a vocabulary journal for words we were instructed to define. My son enjoyed the assignments on select pages, some of these we did in his notebook and some we did on a dry erase board. The lessons are short we spent time in meaningful discussions.

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town was used daily for the first 3 weeks and I added in some supplemental resources just to ensure mastery. After week 3 we went to a 3 day a week schedule and 2 days a week supplemental materials. I was sure to use supplemental material that would complement MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. Overall my son prefers MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his previous language arts curriculum and I have shelved what we were using prior. We are in week 6 of the suggested implementation lesson guide and have begun using Caesar’s English I, Classical Education Color Edition.

Wrap up

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is a rigorous and complete language arts program. If you are looking for a new way to introduced grammar to your student I highly recommend this curriculum. The curriculum does require parent involvement in my opinion wasn’t intense and I welcomed it. I enjoyed having conversations with him and seeing his face light up. The curriculum is designed for mastery and it is suggested you don’t move on until your student has mastered each section.

While the literature part I thought was going to be monotonous. I understand why the books were selected and remastered to complement the curriculum. I do hope in the future the company would consider adding some optional remastered diverse readers.

Would I buy Level 3 in the Fall absolutely! I again caution against not jumping into level 3 without going through level 2. You can get away with not doing Level 1, but making that jump into level 3 is not advisable. The levels don’t coordinate with the grade levels so please take note of this. If you are the type of homeschooler that needs tons of worksheets after each lesson this is not the curriculum for you. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is in a class by itself rigor without the complexity of busywork, this was more of relaxed conversational language arts. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town takes its time to ensure students really understand language and how they work together. I learned so much the last 6 weeks reviewing MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town .

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town works on this sequence per their website:

  1. Do grammar first.
  2. Begin the vocabulary text after you finish the parts of speech in the grammar book.
  3. Begin the practice book after the entire text of the grammar book is complete.
  4. Begin the writing text once four-level analysis is strong, as seen in the practice sentences.
  5. Begin the poetics text after the writing book is complete to develop expertise in controlling the sounds of sentences.
  6. Extend the curriculum with literature.

Royal Fireworks Press provides Overview Chart, Elementary Guide, and Secondary Guide on their website. There are seven levels to the MCT Language Arts program and there are also implementation videos.

The cost of MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package is $290 the company is also converting their books into Kindle format which may help you cut costs. This program is comprehensive and worth the cost. I highly recommend MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town if you are looking for a different way to teach language arts. Be sure to check out the other squad’s reviews of Royal Fireworks Press curriculums.

Until the Next,

Mom and J

4th Grade, 5th Grade, Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Language Arts, Math

The Critical Thinking Co: Mathematical Reasoning E and Language Smarts Level E!

Complimentary Product Received!

We have been long-term users and reviewers of The Critical Thinking Co. My son’s first math book was Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 1 and his first logic book was Building Thinking Skills Beginning 1 we developed a love for this companies products over the years. I was really excited when granted an opportunity to review the Mathematical Reasoning Level E and Language Smarts Level E.

About Critical Thinking Co.

Just to give you a little background on The Critical Thinking Co. it was established in 1958 and their mission has been to supply learning resources that are fun and have students work their highest abilities. All of their resources integrate logic and critical thinking skills.

“If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless.”

– Michael Baker, President

Mathematical Reasoning Level E

Mathematical Reasoning Level E arrived just in time when we were doing a complete overhaul on our math curriculum choices. My son was not struggling with math concepts he was disliking his current math curriculums layout and busywork approach. I looked over the Mathematical Reasoning Level E with him and the first thing he said was “It has color!”. Then he noticed how the book didn’t look like your typical math text. Mathematical Reasoning Level E uses vibrant colors, festive illustrations to teach math. There isn’t a lot of wording it’s straight to the point then kids practice the skills. The text is 384 pages of slowly spiraled concepts that include easy-to-follow explanations, charts, and examples.

“This book emphasizes problem-solving and computation to build for success in higher-level math and math assessments.”

The Critical Thinking Co.

Each page is an adventure to learning 4th-grade math. Mathematical Reasoning Level E is a comprehensive full math curriculum that can be used as a supplement or a full curriculum. Mathematical Reasoning Level E teaches all the concepts for 4th-grade math and also includes concepts that aren’t presented until 5th-grade math. What I like about Mathematical Reasoning Level E is that it provides my son with just the right amount of rigor while promoting mathematical reasoning.

Mathematical Reasoning Level E is available on hardcover or ebook. The Mathematical Reasoning series has books for Toddler- 6th grade. Keep in mind from my experience with the grade-level books they will cover those grade-level concepts as well introducing the next grade. Mathematical Reasoning Level E is a full curriculum this isn’t a workbook. We are using the book as a full curriculum alongside our RightStart Level E this is a perfect pairing. We love Mathematical Reasoning Level E so much I went ahead and picked up Mathematical Reasoning Level F.

Mathematical Reasoning Level E (4th grade) and Mathematical Level F (5th grade)

Language Smarts Level E

I was pleasantly surprised by the Language Smarts Level E, I had no idea this textbook was so comprehensive. We have been using the Word Roots Beginning and the Reading Detective Grades 3- 4 this year we love these 2 texts and now we are enjoying Language Smarts Level E. The Language Smarts Level E is a fantastic language arts textbook it provides 400 pages of rigorous, vibrant, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills. Students will also learn skills meant for 5th grade which means you can stretch this book into your student’s 5th-grade year. Language Smarts Level E can be used as a supplement or a full curriculum.

The textbook also has easy explanations and provides students a fair amount of practice. What I really enjoy is the simplicity of the lessons, my son didn’t feel overwhelmed and he could do lessons independently.

I highly recommend The Critical Thinking Co. Mathematical Reasoning Level E and Language Smarts Level E comprehensive full curriculum textbooks. They are both available as physical and ebook. I also highly recommend any resources from The Critical Thinking Co. This is one company that will be a permanent fixture in our homeschool. The website provides excellent sample pages and details of all of their books. You will find your student loving these vibrant funny pages that engage them to think critically and logically.

The Critical Thinking Co. Social Media

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook

1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Art, Charlotte Mason, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool, Math, Reviews, Science

The Schoolnest History Notebook and Timeline Review!

Last year when my son and I were studying voting rights I remember the frustration I had writing down the timeline of the sequence of events on our board. I wanted him to have a visual keepsake of this important historical time period. So on our little whiteboard, I squeezed as much as I could and left it up there for a week as we studied. When it came time to erase it I took a picture of it and went on a hunt to find a way to record things for our history. What I was finding I wasn’t happy with so our timeline would have to live on my phone in the meantime. Then it happened The Schoolnest published a History Timeline notebook.

About The Schoolnest

Megan is a Michigan homeschool mom of 2 littles who is bringing love for learning through art, nature, creativity, and reading. Her approach to education is respecting the beauty of childhood and play. You can’t help but notice how she embraces Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, and Montessori philosophies in her homeschool. Her website is full of beautifully crafted simple journals, notebooks, and homeschool resources. She also writes a wonderful blog that is full of helpful ideas for parenting, homeschooling, art, and mindfulness. All are welcome on The Schoolnest website and blog, I found several diverse blog posts and literature recommendations.

I was so happy when Megan the founder of The Schoolnest launched her rainbow notebooks, from the first glance on her Instagram I knew I had to have them all. I purchased several of the notebooks for our school year then she published her History Timeline and it blew me away because it was exactly what I needed.

History Notebook and History Timeline

The History Timeline notebook is one the most unique books I have seen. The notebook gives you the ability to track history from:

  • Prehistory
  • Ancient
  • Middle Ages
  • Early Modern
  • Modern Times

What I feel like is a great family heirloom in History Timeline, is the beginning pages called “My History” I love these pages because we can record our family history and document things we felt were important to us during a year. The paper quality is excellent there are 115 pages and there are blank pages at the end. The entire is book is grid paper except for the dates, there is also B.C.E-C.E also included. There is plenty of space to write and post pictures, drawings, and clippings for creativity. The grid paper is excellent for writing and helping students contain their writings neatly. What I like about this timeline notebook is that it is just that a notebook. I can keep everything contained neatly in one spot and it is easy to flip through and we can use this 1 notebook over a long period of time.

The History Notebook is great for notebooking. We have used ours to notebook our unit study of Mesoamerica and currently, we are working on Ancient China. We study so much history in our home and notebooking has allowed him to have fun with notebooking. In the history notebook, there are 100 pages on the left page is 1/3 blank and the rest of the page is a grid. On the right side, the bottom is lined and the top is blank. There is a blank table of contents page and a study reference page. Kids can draw, color, cut and paste, make notes, and be creative. We have added pictures and written notes in our history notebook and added notebook printables. The paper quality is excellent, writes, glues, and colors smoothly.

Rainbow Notebooks

If you are looking to explore the other notebooks in The Schoolnest collection you will not be disappointed. So far we have collected:

  • Science
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling
  • Mathematics
  • Commonplace
  • Project Planner
  • Reading Journal
  • 4th Grade

All of the notebooks come in 12 vibrant rainbow colors, 8.5 x 11, matte softcover, and superior binding. The Schoolnest notebooks are inexpensive ($8) and can be purchased from Amazon. If you are in the market for a planner The Schoolnest has you covered she has a Homeschool Lesson Planning Notebook, you can check out a review of this great planner on Brittany Olga Youtube and Home Life with Quin 5 Instagram (Planner and Reading Journal) and check out Mama Sweet Baby (Spelling Notebook).

The Schoolnest notebooks are a must-have for your homeschool if you haven’t checked them out I highly recommend you do. We love our notebooks and I am looking forward to seeing any new books The Schoolnest publishes.

Blessings,

Mom and J

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The Learn & Live: Mesoamerica Review

Complimentary product received from The Learn & Live Letter!

This post contains affiliate links at no extra charge to you the reader.

As a homeschool mom, I have always been stuck on what part of history to teach in our home and how. There are so many wonderful curricula you can choose from, but if you are looking for true gentle history the choices tend to narrow down immensely. We enjoy unit study learning in our home and at times we just want to step away from traditional textbook history and have fun. I was really happy when The Learn & Live Letter ladies reached out to me to check out their November Mesoamerica unit.

About The Learn & Live Letter

The Learn & Live Letter was created by two homeschool moms who wanted to bring the joy of play-based learning to their children. They created their own homeschools around the philosophy of interested-led and hands-on learning. Cynthia and Justine enlisted the help of several well-known highly qualified contributors in the education and homeschool community to help create monthly themed 4-week play-based learning units. Each unit covers science, history, geography, art, music, math, reading, and writing. The Learn & Live Letter also embraces the Charlotte Mason approach, you won’t find worksheets or busy work in these monthly themed units. If you are wondering about the diversity of The Learn & Live Letter team you will not be disappointed.

Because learning comes naturally to your child’s development. They learn with and by the world around them—and, as parents and caretakers, all we have to do is open that door.

The Learn & Live Letter

The Learn & Live Letter units are designed for the homeschool parent, while non-homeschool families can benefit from this wonderful program, the design is for that homeschool parent. There are 3 levels to choose from level 1 (3 to 5 ), Level 2 (5 to 7), and level 3 (7 to 12). Families can choose to do a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription. The yearly subscription would guarantee you 36 weeks of lessons. Each level is different and provides age-appropriate activities. The units come to you via email and you click the link that will take you to your levels monthly instruction pages. The company also provides you a schedule of when you will receive the next unit’s email which is always a week before the upcoming month. There is also scope and sequence you can look at which is great for pacing and lining up your lessons. The company is still growing so the 2022 lineup is still building.

November Mesoamerica Unit

Mesoamerica Unit !

Our unit to review for you is the Level 3 November Mesoamerica unit. The Mesoamerica unit took us on a journey to Mexico and South America. Each week comes with its own supply list, resources, and embedded links. Everything you need is in your weekly guide you can add to it if you like, but you are fine with just the items they list. We studied about the Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmecs. The Mesoamerica unit captured my son’s interest he was intrigued to learn about these wonderful ancient Indigenous tribes’ culture, history, and contributions to civilization. For 2 weeks he was stuck on learning about the Olmecs and I let him stay in this history as long as he liked. We created terra cotta pottery, tried to play the Mayan game Ulama which gave us all quite a workout, and we built the Temple of Kukulkan out of legos.

November Mesoamerica Unit

Each monthly 4-week unit has 5 lessons each lesson has 2 – 4 activities. What I did notice is that Lesson 1 of each week usually had 2 activities that focused on geography or history for that week. You do not have to do each activity in each lesson. We average 2-3 activities each lesson, but because we plan to do this unit again I left wiggle room for next year. While we worked on the Mesoamerica unit we discovered there were many other ancient indigenous tribes so we will look into these next year. I highly recommend you bookmark the monthly units link on your iPad or tablet. I also printed out each week. The company also provides you with a skills/activity tracker.

The Learn & Live Letter units provide gentle history if you follow me you know I teach gentle truth history in our home. The Learn & Live Letter provides the conversation starter for you and you are free to take it from there. They do use Honest History magazines in their units which are great history resource. So if you don’t have these you will need to invest in them. I found the supply list to be inexpensive and the majority of the items we already had at home. The book resources I found all of them at our local library and were inexpensive on Amazon. The Usborne Encyclopedia World History book is one of the core books but you can use this book or find a World History book that covers your unit’s topics.

November Mesoamerica Unit

The Learn & Live Letter provides so many hands-on and play-based learning opportunities in their units we had so much fun exploring. My son was super excited about learning history and doing the activities he ask for these lessons first during our homeschool day. We finished our Mesoamerica unit feeling confident and happy about our progress. When I asked him what he thought he said this was one of the best units we have done in a long time. With him being happy and I know that everything is planned for me and he loves it we are now working on Ancient China and Medival Level 3 from The Learn & Live Letter. We purchased a year’s subscription and we are both loving it.

Ancient + Medieval China

The Learn & Live Letter is hassle-free learning we were over all the traditional history lessons. We are doing what we love following our interest and back to enjoying our homeschool day.

Ancient + Medieval China

I highly recommend The Learn & Live Letter you will not be disappointed. It was such a sigh of relief to plan something he will both truly enjoy. Each unit is packed with much you can do and not feel overwhelmed. The Learn & Live Letter has excellent customer service and a wondering FAQ on their website. It is always great when homeschool moms create something that really puts the kids first, Bravo Ladies! For my followers, The Learn & Live Letter has provided my readers 10% off any year subscription, be sure to use my promo code DESHAUN10 at checkout.

Until the Next Time,

Mom!

Ancient + Medieval China

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Mrs.Wordsmith Word Tag Review!

Complimentary review through Mrs. Wordsmith!

Are you looking to add some excitement to vocabulary building? Have you ever heard of Mrs. Wordsmith? Well if you haven’t heard about Mrs. Wordsmith what better way to introduce you to this company than telling you about their new app Word Tag.

Mrs. Wordsmith is an award-winning company based originally in the UK. The company was founded in 2015 by Sofia Fenuchell who wanted to create educational materials that actually worked and kids would love it. Using quality animations and game design to improve how kids learned vocabulary, Mrs. Worthsmith was born. Mrs. Wordsmith since their early beginning the company has grown and developed a full line of products for kids ages 4-13. The company has created books, games, curriculums, tons of free resources. We own several of the curriculums, books, and vocabulary sets. Mrs. Wordsmith’s newest addition to their line of literacy and vocabulary materials is the Word Tag app.

We were invited in July to join the team as a tester and my son has loved playing the Word Tag app. The company has taken video games to an entirely new level with fun vocabulary-building adventures. My son loves Hip-Hop culture so the game won him over instantly with the graffiti. The game takes place in Los Angeles, kids will go on a quest of collecting spray cans and spraying words while trying to avoid the street cleaners. Kids will complete daily activities at their paces, challenges, and pop quizzes.

With a methodology designed to teach challenging vocabulary, Word Tag boosts reading comprehension, advances creative and academic writing, and improves exam performance.

Mrs. Wordsmith

Word Tag 3D adventure is visually appealing to players and it encourages them to keep playing and learning new words. The kids are constantly reviewing the words they have learned. Kids will learn up to 1,000 words. Words a present in context to help reinforce their learning. The more words your student’s master more levels open for them to play. Players can earn more coins and unlock materials from the pop quizzes. I love how the words show the kids the definitions, parts of speech, and synonyms. The vocabulary the kids learn is Tier 2 academic words that are frequently used on SSSA. ISEE, SAT, STAR, and MAP exams. Word Tag also will increase your students reading levels.

Word Tag also allows students to connect with other players and their friends if they are using Word Tag to share the gameplay and compete with each other. Word Tag takes your student’s safety seriously and incorporated a safe social player. The program is adaptive and you will have access to player reports. The company also provides a parent guide that includes a sample word list and learning objectives.

So why does Word Tag work :

  • Active engagement
  • Word repetition
  • Learning progressin
  • Self-directed learning
  • Character-based learning

Our Review

I love Word Tag for all the reasons above I mentioned. I am familiar with the company and its products, so their brand is one I trust with my child. Now my son is crazy about Word Tag he was super excited when the Mall level opened for him and he has been playing non-stop. He said the graphics are cool and it is fun to learn the new words. The other great thing is he sees characters from Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary, How to Write a Story, and Reading Comprehension Vocabulary.

I highly recommend you try out Mrs. Wordsmith’s Word Tag it is available on Apple Store and Google Play and is currently a free download.

Until the Next Time,

Mom & J

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