Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ready for Spring!



I don't know about you, but I am most definitely ready for spring to make an appearance.  The cold, icy snow is just so miserable.  It's not even fun to play in anymore.   My poor kids are so stir crazy, they are also ready for sunny and warmer weather.  But I must say, it is still very beautiful as it laces through the trees.  God's beauty is amazing! It is something to enjoy from the indoors, that is for sure.  Thanks mom, for sharing this photo.  It was taken from their property! Gorgeous!

What is our most favorite thing about spring?  Well, we have a few:
  • Spring Jackets
  • The Sun
  • Flowers blooming
  • Grass turning green
  • Birds chirping
  • Fresh spring air
I'm sure there are more like "Park Days."  I guess our family is getting Spring Fever!  I dream of spring, how about you?  What is your favorite thing about the upcoming season? 

I was thinking of doing something really fun yet educational when we experience our first spring-like day.  I have a few ideas up my sleeve, but want to pick your (homeschoolers) brains.  What have you done to celebrate spring with your family?  It can be anything as long as it has an educational edge of course.  Post away!  I can't wait to read your ideas.

Snow, snow go away!  Come again...Next Winter!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gearing Up For a New Look!

 


It's been a few months now that our homeschool blog went through an unexpected name change: Jewels in My Crown to Brandon M. Homeschool.  Why the change in name?  Well, Jewels in My Crown started out as reflecting all my sweet babies...3 girls and 1 boy.  I wanted something fresh, but I also wanted to include our precious son Brandon Michael into our homeschool even though he is now living in heaven with our Lord and Savior.  He passed away shortly after a full term birth in 2005.  Going on 8 years this summer, we still miss him greatly and wonder what kind of little boy he would be today.  I was inspired by a friend to name our homeschool in memory of him. 

Over the past few months, I have been playing around with fun seasonal and holiday templates by Lee Lou Blogs.  They have been awesome and adorable.  Since purchasing my own domain name and email, I am ready to give our homeschool a fresh and consistent look.  When our homeschool adventures come to an end in the year 2026, (yikes) or whenever the Lord has us end, (my goal is to graduate our sweet girls), I would like to turn our blog into a book full of wonderful memories.  Blurb.com will do just that and I am so excited.  I don't have time to do scrapbooking so this will be perfect, providing this awesome service is still available.

My original plan for our homeschool blog was to keep it simple and use it for accountability purposes.  Since being introduced to so many opportunities through homeschooling, the Lord is leading me in another direction.  What a surprise! God is so awesome that way.  One of the things he has led me to do is reconnect with a wonderful blog designer.  Jenn, creator and designer for Munchkin Land Designs is so talented in what she does.  She originally designed my Michigan blog: Michigan Home Mommy Works.  I have been nothing but thrilled and have had amazing results since launching the blog.  I am now ready to take another step forward and work with her to design an awesome homeschool blog perfect for our family.   I just got done selecting my color schemes and font, I cannot wait to see what she creates.  This feels like Christmas to me, love it!

I am not sure how long this process will take for our homeschool blog, but I am eager and ready for a change.  Stay tuned.......

Have a wonderful and blessed weekend everyone!

Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Get 30% Off Bright Ideas Press Curriculum Books

 
 
Bright Ideas Press Sale! Save 30% on Mystery of History & More!
 
 
As an affiliate for Hearts at Home, I am happy to share with you an awesome deal going on over at Bright Ideas Press!  Get up to 30% off of any curriculum books.
 
Bright Ideas Press offers curriculum books for:
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography Studies
Believe it or not, these curriculums were written by fellow homeschooling parents.  Awesome, right?  Because they are Christian based, there are no worries of any secular or bias materials in any of the books.  This is very important in our homeschool, how about yours?

 
"Publishers of the popular Mystery of History and All American History, Bright Ideas Press provides Practical, Fun, and Affordable History, Geography, and Science Resources and curriculum, History timelines, maps, and other homeschool resources."
 
Just click HERE to view products available through Bright Ideas Press over at Hearts at Home.  I most definitely would like to utilize the maps in the near future for my school aged daughters. 
 
Have you ever purchased or borrowed products by Bright Ideas Press?  If so, what are your thoughts?  I would love to hear about your learning adventures using these particular curriculum books or products.
 
 
Disclaimer: As an Affiliate for Hearts at Home, I may be compensated  a certain percentage for products purchased through affiliate links.  Any opinions expressed here are honest and my own.


Learning Math with A+ Tutorsoft, Inc: Review

 
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Happy Thursday!  I have another program that I would like to share with you.  This time it's in Math!  I can hear the moans and groans now, even from my 4th grade daughter, haha.  I can honestly say that with this program, the moans and groans ceased.  What math program is this?  A+ Tutorsoft, Inc.  We utilized the A+ Interactive Math. (Online Homeschool Edition)

Before I discuss what the Online Homeschool Edition entails, I would like to talk about the A+ Tutorsoft, Inc. site first.  When you enter the main site, you are greeted with a wide variety of resources and info.  At the top right of the website, you can choose:
  • Free 1 Month (Online Homeschool)
  • Free Download
It is right below that section you can sign up to use A+ Tutorsoft, Inc.  After signing up, a parent and  student will receive a login. When a child logs into their dashboard and uses the resources, it keeps track of their records. 

Below the dashboard are these tabs:
  • Homepage
  • Order Now (Online Homeschool Edition, CD Software, Books, Specials, Activate your order)
  • Software (CD Software, Online Homeschool Edition, etc.)
  • Books (Full Curriculum Books, Workbbooks, sheets, exams Pack, Table of Contents, Buy Now)
  • Free Stuff (Worksheets, Exams, Multimedia Lessons of the Day, etc.)
  • Testimonials
  • Brochure
  • Support
  • About Us
  • FAQ
  • Conferences
  • Contact
Below the A+ Tutorsoft, Inc. website tabs are flash advertisements of their products.  For example, deals for Math CD software, homeschool online edition, etc.  Below the flash advertisements are other deals.  "Right now you can save 50% through the end of March. Please use this code: SPOFFER50." You can also view a CD and Online Demo and register for a free MATH placement test.

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The Online Homeschool Edition is "Multi-Sensory Interactive Math Online."  We are currently using the 4th grade program. 

What are the student features?
  • Audio, Visual, and Text Lesson ("Highly animated, concise, and to the point.")
  • Interactive Reviews
  • Templates that allow you to generate worksheets for extra practice.  Includes feedback and step by step instruction.
  • Create exams under timed conditions
  • Student progress reports.  Allows them to track their own progress.
  • Printable worksheets and exams
  • Curriculum Book
  • Reference Sheets
What are the parent features?
  • Recommended Lesson Plans
  • Instant Online Grading
  • Parental Controls to unlock solution guides
  • Progress reports.  Identifies strengths and weaknesses.
  • Math Placement Test 
"Measure and track your child's performance and take
early corrective actions to improve performance"
 
The program is for grades 1st-6th including Pre-Alebra and Algebra 1. 
 
How much does the Online Homeschool Edition cost?  Original price is $149.99.  Your current price being $124.99.  This is for yearly. 
  • Monthly: $19.99
  • Quarterly: $49.99
My fourth grader has honestly been anxious to use the online program.  This is huge because she hates math.  I am so thankful for this program and look forward to using it in the days ahead and with my younger daughters as well. 
 
How did we use the program? Some days I would have her just sit and do the audio interactive.  The next day she would go over the worksheets she learned and then take an online exam.  Some days I would mix it up and have her to the printable worksheets and exams as well.  For her to ask if she can go online to use the program is such a joy.  I honestly wish I had something like this during my elementary years as I hated math. The fourth grade program covers:

1. Number Sense Review
2. Additions
3. Subtractions
4. Multiplications
5. Division
6. Decimals
7. Fractions and Fractions Operations
8. Number Conversions and Mixed Fractions Operations
9. The Number Line and Number Comparisons
10. Algebra
11. Geometry
12. Time and Money
13. Measurements and Conversions
14. Probability
15. Displaying Data Using Graphs
16. Word Problems and Problem Solving
 
Have you ever used A+ Tutorsoft, Inc. with your child?  How about the Online Homeschool Edition?  I would love to hear how it worked with your child.  If you have never used it, would you consider it for your homeschooler?
 
Feel free to check out A+ Tutorsoft's products here.  Click here to read more reviews by the Schoolhouse Review Crew or click the banner below.
 
Many Blessings!
 
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Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations


 





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