Wednesday, June 21, 2017

UnLock Math Review

It’s hard to believe that my son is at the point where he will be learning Algebra. Little Man is good at math.  I don’t remember Algebra myself nor do I consider myself very good at math! I was thrilled to get him started with UnLock Math and their UnLock Pre-Algebra. I received a full year subscription.

UnLock Math can be used as a full math curriculum or as a supplement math program for a Homeschool Math Curriculum.

This is an on-line program and you will need access to the internet. You don’t have to download anything. You will need a printer if you want to print out the reports or the Reference Notes.

The website is easy to navigate. Once you log in you are taken to the main dashboard. On the dashboard you will see your course outline, sequences, progress, and grade reports. There is a separate log in for the parent and for your student.

You click on the rocket on the unit you will be working on. From there it opens all the lessons, quizzes, and test.

There are 16 units, quizzes in the units, midterm exam, and final exams. 

Each lesson looks like this: 

*Warm Up:  This section will go over previous learned concepts to review or it may go over other mathematical concepts. 

*Video:  This is where the unit lesson is taught by Alesia Blackwood. The videos are fairly short and no more than 10 minutes with what we have done. 

*Practice Problems:  These are problems related to the lesson that was just learned in the video.

*Stay Sharp:  Problems from previous lessons.
*Challenge Yourself:  This is a challenging question for you to test your knowledge. 

 *Reference Notes:  A PDF of the video lecture.  You can print it out for future references.

The grading is figured out automatically when you finish the lesson! The gradebook does it all from keeping track of what lesson you have completed, how many attempts was made for that lesson, and the amount of time spent on each lesson. 
There is also a printable progress report for your records.

I was impressed with what I have seen so far. It also makes me feel confident with some higher math levels that I don't feel comfortable teaching myself. This is going to cover many math concepts that your child has already learned to help them when they do go into Algebra 1. I like the idea of being prepared and no surprises.

The math concepts that are reviewed are whole numbers, fractions, equations, decimals, precentages, polynomials, geometry, and so much more.

How Did I Use UnLock Pre-Algebra in my Homeschool?

Little Man will be entering 6 th grade next year and is 11. The last year and a half I have been having a problem finding a math curriculum that works for him. It’s either too easy and he gets bored and frustrated. He works above his grade level and honestly it took me a while to figure out that he wasn’t being challenged with math. Math is not a subject I like nor am I good with math. Add that into the mix I didn’t see the issues. After, I finally caught on to this dilemma I was able to get him close to where he needs to be. We are working on certain areas that need to be addressed.

I have found that I have gaps in some areas due to many math curriculums being shelved. I did see this with UnLock Pre-Algebra that there are a few areas he needs to learn. I have confidence that he will catch on quickly to those concepts.

We are in summer mode now and Little Man has been doing lessons 3 days in a week. He is typically spending 20-30 minutes on this. Even though my son likes math it doesn’t always mean he wants to do it. I can honestly say that he didn’t complain with the lessons. He liked that the lessons are short and informative.

I plan on continuing with this and I plan on investing in UnLock Algerbra 1 in the future. At this point I plan on using this as a supplement to my math curriculum. I like that I see the gaps and can address those areas that he needs before he does Algebra 1.
They have several levels available and geometry is the newest level. They are coming out with calculus in the future.

Other members are reviewing different programs from UnLock Math so stop by and see what they have to say.
Social Media:
Facebook: Tag: @UnLockMath   
Twitter:  Tag:   @UnLockMath   
Pinterest: Tag:@UnLockMath   

Monday, June 19, 2017

We Have a New Family Member!

We added another 4 legged family member. Little Man has been wanting a hamster for a long time.  

At the end of last week we came home with a Campbell Russian Dwarf Hamster. She is a girl and the kids named her Willow.
 We are in the process of taming her. This particular breed is the nipper of all the hamsters breeds.
After getting her use to her new cage and sticking our hands in the cage to hand feed her treats the first 3 days she is proving to be pretty gentle. So far she has not bitten and drawn blood with use-which is a good sign. She has just nipped our fingers a few times. Ouch it hurts. 

One of Little Man's friends did however stick his hand in the cage and chased her around trying to catch her. She drew blood on him as she felt threatened. We tried to stop him but, well some kids just don't listen very well.
The last few days we have been putting her in a plastic bin with some bedding and a few items from her cage and putting our hand out flat to give her treats. This is how you are suppose to train them. It's a slow process but, we are seeing her get more comfortable with us. 

Bug is a bit scared after Willow has nipped her once. I will probably have to hold Willow for her to pet her as I don't foresee her being able to hold or handle her. The last thing I need is a hamster loose in our house with a dog and cat.

Willow seems to be more comfortable with me for now and is getting use to Little Man slowly. I think he's not so sure of the nipping yet. He is giving her treats by hand and moving his hand out of her way quickly. She crawls up on my flat hand now to sit.

My next step is to try and pick her up some which we will probably do today.

She loves running around in her ball and it's fun to watch. 

Mercy is not so sure of Willow being in her boy's bedroom. Mercy has made it known that she doesn't like a hamster in her house. She has been knocking things off Little Man's shelves and dresser for no reason since we got Willow. It's funny watching Mercy act out. 

Have a blessed week.

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series a Homeschool Crew Review

I have a son who is a fan of Rush Limbaugh and he enjoys listening to his talk show on the radio. Then add on the fact that he loves history. I knew when we had an opportunity to review Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series from Adventures of Rush Revere#1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh that my son would be excited to get started reading. 

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series come with 5 books in this series. 

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims
Rush Revere and the First Patriots
Rush Revere and the American Revolution
Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner
Rush Revere and the Presidency
All the books are a hardback book with colorful dust jackets. The paper in each of the books looks like parchment paper. The paper is a high quality. Inside are multiple illustrations and photographs of historical content. Some fun illustrations of the characters in the story. There is also maps, modern day pictures, historical documents, and some photos of famous art.

Rush Limbaugh is well-known for his talk radio show has written these books with his wife Kathryn Adams Limbaugh to share his passion for the history United States of American with young people. The age range would be around 9-teens. 

There is a section on the website for Study Guides along with Answer Keys for each book. Looking at them they look like a great resource to add while reading the books.

The main character is Rush Revere, who is an energetic history loving teacher who likes to dress in colonial period clothes. He teaches at Manchester Middle School. Cam, Tommy, Liberty, and Freedom, travel back in time with Rush Revere to learn history first hand.

The horse Liberty is able to time travel and is a talking horse. You are going to learn a lot about history straight from the horse’s mouth.

I would recommend reading the first book in the series, “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims”.  That way you can know who all the characters are in the following books. The books are in historical order to read.

Be prepared for your kids to meet men of character, what true courageous patriots look like, men and women who risk their lives in the name of freedom. The freedom that we enjoy in our county because of these men and woman who  stood up for freedom.

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims:

 Rush Revere and his companion’s transports back in time to Holland were he joins the Separatists and they journey to America. They experience the dangerous ocean voyage on the Mayflower. They set up the settlement at Plymouth. The story also shows the first Thanksgiving. Some historical figures they meet are William Bradford, Myles Standish, William Brewster, Squanto, Samoset and other historical characters.

Rush Revere and the First Patriots

Rush Revere is suspected of being a Royalist while at a demonstration. His faithful horse Liberty comes to his rescue once again. They talk to Benjamin Franklin as he tries to convince the English Parliament to remove the Stamp Act. Some historical figures they meet are Sam Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Patrick Henry.

Rush Revere and the American Revolution

This book is during the time of the American Revolution.  Liberty transport back to the road leading to the Old North Church and the two lanterns are being lit to signal the direction the British soldiers were traveling. From there they journey to the battles at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill.  They meet George Washington. They witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner:

They travel back to the early 1800s with the building and development of Washington D.C. The students are given an assignment as a scavenger hunt/quiz as they see many national moments. The see Union Station, Washington Monument, National Archives, U.S. Capital Building, Supreme Court, and the White House. They witness Fort McHenry and the event that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Rush Revere and the Presidency:

Cam is running for student body president. The gang heads back in history to ask questions about being the president.  They learn more about how to run for office and much more. They meet George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. 

How did I use these in my homeschool?

I handed the books over to my 11 year old son to read. He started with the first book in the series, “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims”. He was able to finish a few of the books quickly.  I think he has devoured the books in a short time.

Now what did my son think of the books he read? He informed me, “I liked the books as it covers history which is always interesting” but, I found Liberty the horse annoying at times and a bit rude sometimes.” Then he added, “Other times mom I thought Liberty was funny.” My son would have preferred a mechanical time machine rather than a talking horse.

He felt the books where easy to read and informative as far as history goes. He learned some interesting things about history. He also told me a lot about the Stamp Act and other interesting things about the Unites States History.

Overall, this has been a great book series and my son will continue to read Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner and the last book in the series. I love that he is learning while reading.

Other members of the Homeschool Crew Review are reading Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series so don’t forget to stop by their blogs.

Social Media:
Facebook:    Tag:   @rushrevere   
Twitter:    Tag: @rushrevere


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