Friday, August 29, 2014

Week in Review #2 2014-2015

 We have had a crazy week and we basically got the basic studies out of the way.

We are in study Biblical, Jewish, and Ancient Israel history

Scripture Memory Verse:

We are still reviewing some scriptures from last year.  


We are in the book of Matthew.

We also started:

A Child’s Bible Lessons from the Torah by Seymour Rossel

Artscroll a Childs Introduction to the Siddur.

The Word-Wise Adventures of Yisrael and Meir Going Global Book One: The Thirty-one Mitzvos

Read out Louds

We are reading, "
Christian Heroes: Then & Now Lillian Trasher They Greatest wonder in Egypt by Janet & Geoff Benge

For Poetry we are reading, “To
Be a Free People the Saga of Israel by Michael Bar-Zohar. This is a book of poems, songs, newspaper articles, and quotes from Israel.

Physical and Health Education

Little Man did karate this week. We jumped roped and did some exercises twice this week.

Therapy and Appointments

Bug had physical therapy this week. Horse therapy got cancelled as it is too hot for man or beast to be working so hard.

She had food therapy and the therapist had her try coleslaw. I couldn’t have gotten her to touch it.

 History and Geography

We had a crazy week and I had some minor outpatient surgery and Doctor’s appointment on my end. We didn’t get to history

Language Arts and Math

We got our math done. Little Man is learning how to carry with both subtraction and addition.

Bug is reviewing all her skills and working on fractions.


Science just didn’t happen this week. Hopefully next week we can get into a regular routine

Hebrew, Art, and Misc... Studies
Little Man is doing Hebrew at the synagogue and working on vocabulary with Daddy. I will start in a few weeks after I get settled into our new schedule.

Bug is working on her verses in Hebrew for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah. She is now starting to sing it. We only have 8 weeks left before her big day.

Art has not started at this time also.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our Week Through the Lenses of a Camera

We had a fun time with friends who came in town from Georgia. These pictures are actually from last week.
 Yes, its on my head.
Ring-tailed Lemurs. 
Our first sunflowers.
 They are attracting all kinds of insects.
 A bee was playing around the porch light and it fell on my finger when I opened the front door and its stinger jabbed me. She didn't die as it was just a poke. It still hurt and required some lavender oil to ease the pain.
 We are making our first honey soap.
We got our extractor finally! I'm ready to harvest some honey.
 So much stuff that I am not sure where to store all the jars and supplies at this point. None of this stuff can go in the shed.
What a mess. Bug is real excited.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Essential Skills Advantage TOS Crew Review

My family has been enjoying reviewing Essential Skills Advantage the last few weeks. We are reviewing Essential Skills Advantage complete online program and received a full year subscription to all the levels.
Essential Skills Advantage cost $9.99 a month, per student. This online language arts program is intended for K-6 or any older student who needs some remedial work. This program is entirely online and has a lot of options to choose from. They have over 20,000 activities to choose from.

Once you log on as a parent you will see several options to choose from on the main menu screen.  The main menu screen is broken down by grades and subjects. You will then proceed by choosing a topic. At this point is where the student logs in.

Your child will then select which activity they are going to do. After you complete an activity you earn stars. Three stars let you know that that activity is completed. 
You also get a brief dancing dog. Which for my daughter with special needs this was a highlight. For those kids who love seeing their successes you can see your stars activity and print out a certificate of achievement.
 You can see by the picture that there are many options to choose from.

You can track you child’s progress with grades, date and time spent on the activities, how many attempts it took them to achieve the task, and so much more.
How did I use Essential Skills Advantage in my homeschool?

I used this with my 8 year old son and my 11 year old daughter with special needs. They both did it several times a week. They averaged around 20 minutes each time.

My son jumped around and explored every area that he could. I decided to just let him and see how he did working at his own pace and choosing his own activities. He worked on reading comprehension, spelling, grammar, and some with spelling stumpers.
What did my son think of Essential Skills Advantage? He said that, “he thought it was a lot of fun and that it wasn’t as childish as some of the other programs we have done”. I have to agree with him that it isn’t too childish. I also thought that it’s enough to hold a child’s interest and is not boring for them.
My 11 year old with special needs became very OCD with this program and wouldn’t venture out of an area until it was completed. She stayed in the Complete Reading for Grade 2 section only. There was still plenty for her to do. She worked on phonemic awareness and working on the short vowels, sight words, and some other activities. She was learning and that is all that matters to me.

My daughter liked the program a lot. It wasn’t hard for her to navigate once she was in where she wanted to be. It wasn’t too much activity with Essential Skills Advantage going on for her. Sometimes programs are very distracting for her. It does have a constant chirping-bug noise in the background. I wasn’t sure if it would overwhelm her and if I would have to turn off the volume. She did fine with the background noise. She usually did more than I required her to do and that made me happy.

I had a hard time logging in my children the first time and I had to call customer service. They were very helpful and friendly.

The one thing that drove me crazy was that every time you wanted to switch to a different activity you would have to log back in again. I don’t get why that was necessary and it was a big pet peeve on my end. Other than that I don’t have any other issues as I was very pleased with Essential Skills Advantage as it is a well done online learning for kids that helps children learn to read.

Essential Skills Advantage is now offering a FREE version. It will not have all the elements that the Premium Plan has. 

They are offering a coupon code for the Premium Plan, use coupon code TOS50 to give subscribers 50% off if you sign up until October 1 st. The discount is applicable as long as you remain a member. That makes it $4.99 month, per student.  Check out what other TOS Crew members are saying about Essential Skills Advantage. 


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