Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: Supercharged Science

Over the last several weeks my science loving children have had an opportunity to use and review  e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum  from Supercharged Science.

Supercharged Science puts the fun back in to science.  Most traditional science programs have you learn science mainly by reading from a textbook and then doing an experiment or two if you have time.  e-Science recommends starting off with an experiment to ignite your child's interest and then when they are interested and want to know what's going on, you add in the academic readings and lesson videos.  The e-Science online learning program for children ages K-12 is designed as a complete hands on science curriculum for homeschoolers, taught by a rocket scientist that used to work at NASA.  There are over 1000 activities on the website including: videos of teaching real science, textbook reading to support the videos, hands on experiments with videos to guide you through step by step, homework exercises and quizzes, and a place to ask Aurora questions and get answers.  The e-Science program doesn't discuss Creation or evolution, they stick to the science of what is going on and how to build the projects.

You can use the website two different ways.  You can choose to do science by going through a particular grade level for Pre k-8th grade (high school science is found under advanced topics)

Or you can do a search by topics  Searching for a particular topic is great for families with multiple children or if you have a child who is interested in a particular science topic.  Topics include:

 Unit Zero- Overview of e-Science
The Scientific Method- tips and tricks
Unit One: Mechanics-force, gravity, friction
Unit Two: Motion-Velocity and Acceleration
Unit Three: Matter-Atoms, Density, Solids
Unit Four: Energy 1- Pulleys and Levers
Unit Five: Energy 2-Potential and Kinetic Energy
Unit Six: Sound- Vibrations and Resonance
Unit Seven: Astrophysics-Astronomy, Particle Physics, and Relativity
Unit Eight: Chemistry 1-Molecules, Atoms, and Chemical Kinetics
Unit Nine: Light-Light Waves, Photons, & Lasers
Unit Ten: Electricity-Circuits and Robotics
Unit Eleven: Magnetism-Permanent Magnets and Electromagnets
Unit Twelve: Alternative Energy-Solar Cells, Wind Power, Fuel Cells
Unit Thirteen: Thermodynamics- Temperature and Heat
Unit Fourteen: Electronics-Breadboards, PCBs, Analog and Digital Circuits
Unit Fifteen: Chemistry 2-Reactions, Bonds, Redox, Acids and Bases, Nuclear
Unit Sixteen: Life Science 1-Living Organisms, Cells, Genetics, Microscopes
Unit Seventeen: Life Science 2- Prokaryotes, Plants, Fungi and Protists
Unit Eighteen: Biology 1-Invertebrates, Fishes, Mammals, reptiles, and Birds
Unit Nineteen: Biology 2-Skin, Bones, Muscles, Cardiovascular
Unit Twenty Earth Science- Geology, Mineralogy, and Planetary
Award Winning Science Fair Projects-hovercraft, fruit batteries, light speed, and more
Mathemagic- Unique lessons in math
Parent Resources-tips and tricks for teaching science
Science e-Camp-summer camp you can do year round at home

You will need some supplies to do the experiments.  It is suggested that you start with experiments that use supplies that you have around the house and then add more as your child is interested.  There are shopping lists for each unit.  You do not have to do all of the experiments for each section.  You  can pick and choose what your child is most interested in or what works best for your family.  It is also recommended that you keep a science journal.  This can be a simple notebook that you record your work in.

The K-8th grade plan costs $37 per month and the 9-12 plan costs $57 per month. The 9-12 plan includes the K-8th curriculum.   This price includes all of the children in your household, you do not need to purchase a membership for each child.  You get unlimited access as long as you are a member and can work through the lessons you choose at your own pace.  You can access the lessons for 30 days with a full money back guarantee if you decide it doesn't work for your family.  You have the ability to cancel your membership at any time.

Every spring we try to do a little something on plants.  I have a range of ages and abilities with my younger 4 children (8-13) so we chose a topic, Unit 17 Life Science to work through.  After the Getting Started section for the unit there are three main topics: Prokaryotes, Fungi & Protists, and Plants with each section having many videos, readings, and activities.

This is the introduction page for this section.  You can see all of the different sections for this topic in the right sidebar.

There are several videos for each section.  Here are a few of the for the Prokaryotes section. 

There are readings for each of the different sections as well.

There are also exercises (questions to answer) to see how much you have learned and can remember.  The answers are given.

And experiments of course!

My children took some bacteria off of the inside of a mouth, a video game controller, and a toilet flusher.

Many of the experiments in this section needed a microscope which we do not have but we still enjoyed watching the videos and learning the science of all of these little microscopic organisms.  And we did find several experiments we could do.  In addition to growing bacteria a few others we did were:

Fun With Yeast

Einstein's Garden

The Science of Broccoli

They really want to do a Carnivorous Greenhouse next.

There are so many topics and videos in  e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum  you will definitely find something for everyone.  Supercharged Science really wants children to be excited about science and they set up their program so that children will learn and have fun doing it.  This program will suit many different learning styles and abilities.  Parents that do not have much science background do not need to be intimidated by teaching science with this program.  Older children can work their way through it fairly independently.  Younger children will need help navigating the website and preparing the experiments but all of the teaching and explanation is done for you.  The program is very flexible and can be scheduled in a way that suits your family best.  We chose to do short lessons daily but you could use the course a couple of times a week or even once a week.  It can be used as a stand alone science curriculum or you can use it alongside your favorite curriculum.  I love that you can search by grade level as well as topics!

A big component of the course is the online videos which is something to keep in mind.  We do not have great internet, it is very slow and buffers quite a bit.  There were a few videos that we really struggled with watching but most of them we were able to view with only a little bit of buffering. 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 37

This is the last week I am counting for our 2018/be 2019 school year.  We will be doing math and reading over the summer along with our homeschool review items (we have quite a few of those right now!)  but our official school year is over and won't start back up again until August when the local public schools go back.

Week 37 in our Homeschool

Bible: We finished reading through the book of Mark.

History: We read three lessons in The Mystery of History Vol 1. 

Science: We finished Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and watched several Super Charged Science videos on plants.

Economics/Business: We completed lesson 3 in The Kingdom Code.

Individual School

Emmie completed 3 lessons in Singapore Math.  I am working on a review of a learn to read  reading curriculum called Learning Dynamics and with that she read through the first 15 simple readers this week.  She completed lesson 4 in Simply Classical Spelling and in Lightning Lit her lessons were based on The Bee Tree.

Lily completed 4 lessons in Math and worked daily on Typing Tournament.  Little House in the Big Woods is finished.

Christian and Anthony completed 4 lessons in Math and completed steps 22 and 23 in AAS Level 6.  They are working on the Opinions lessons in Jump In for language arts (upcoming review) and Christian started an online math review called Matific Galaxy.

Other Activities this Week

Monday The girls had music lessons in the morning.  At lunchtime Christian and Nick went and spoke at to members of the Howard County Quorum Court during a presentation by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.  Christian did a Stopmotion Presentation and Nick spoke about SeaPerch (they leave in 3 days!!!!)

Later we worked on a special collar for the robot to carry a magnet to complete one of the tasks at the contest.

Tuesday we were getting things ready to go to a goat sale when I headed out to check on our very pregnant goat one more time before we left and saw she was in labor.  I ran back in to change my shoes and tell the children to gather some supplies.  A little while later we noticed that something was different from when our last goat delivered, when she pushed there was no bag of water.  It had been about 30 minutes since I noticed she was in labor and we had not checked on her for about an hour before I found her so I was a bit worried and called our ag agent who then double checked with a goat person and said yes this was a problem and we needed to help the goat.  She also told me to prepare the children for the fact that the baby could have suffocated and might be born dead.  She was heading to our house but its a 20 minute drive so she was talking us through what we needed to do.  Basically we could see two hooves so  when the goat pushed Alex pulled.  Yes we were more then a little panicky about the whole thing.  It was so scary!  I thought we were going to kill the mama and that the baby was going to be dead too.  But when the baby came out it was all limp for a second and Alex started shaking it and it tossed its head and sneezed!  A minute or two later the mama stood up so we put the baby near her so she could start cleaning it off.  It was pouring down rain and thundering and it was cold so we got the heat lamp plugged in.  By then our reinforcements arrived and talked me through checking out the mama goat to make sure there were not any more babies.

Bessie is such a good mama.  She would not even step off the platform to eat or drink the first two days after the baby was born we had to put her food and drink close enough so she could get it.  She takes very good care of her baby.  It is a little girl. I was so thankful that they both were ok!

After cleaning up and making sure everything was still ok with the goats we did go on to the sale to buy two goats for Christian and Alex to show this year.  Our babies will be too little and last years goats are too old.  There were not may goats there and the first goats sold for $1800!  We didn't buy anything but talked to a lady who we have bought goats from before and she had 4 left.

So Wednesday we went to Arkadelphia and picked up their new show goats.  These will be being sold as soon as show season is over.

Wednesday afternoon we went grocery shopping because we were out of everything!!

And my washing machine started leaking.  After Art located the problem (the drum had a crack) and determined it would cost a lot of money to fix a 10 year old machine we decided it would be better to buy a new one even though I really, really did not want to spend the money.

Thursday we had Liam.  Emmie had dance.

Friday Nick,Christian, and Alex went to a 4 H Dutch Oven Cooking workshop.  Emmie was too young (it was for 9 and up) and Anthony wasn't interested in going.

When Art got out of work he and I drove to Texarkana to get the new washer and dryer.  It was an experience but we finally found one that they had in stock.  We were home really late that night.

Saturday we had Liam again.  The washer and dryer got hooked up and after 3 days of not being able to do laundry I was so thankful.  This new washer can wash twice as many clothes at one time as my last one.  I hope they last a long time.

Saturday afternoon was Alex and Christian's trap party.  It was VERY warm.

While we were at the party Nick was at a pig sale.  He decided he would like to show a pig this year so even though I know nothing about pigs, we now have a female pig.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: EdAlive

EdAlive is an Australian company who has created educational software for children that motivates them to learn through fun.  Their programs allow children to learn at their own pace and makes them  want to continue to learn.  Over the last several weeks we have had an opportunity to use and review two of their programs, Maths Invaders Online and Typing Tournament Online.

 Maths Invaders Online is for children in grades K-10.  It is an online program that covers mental math calculations in a game like format.  Topics include: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, numeration, decimals, fractions, powers, and square roots.  Playing Maths Invaders Online students will build math fact fluency.

How does it work? Each student needs their own log in and password.  Once the student logs in, they are taken to this screen

If you choose Galactic Campaign you are taken to this page

There are ten different zones in the game that are given names such as Tentacle System, Wolf System, Quartz Belt, and in each zone there are different steps you go to.  For each step you complete 3 waves of problems.  After the 3rd wave you get a star.  There are 3 levels at each step: Basic, Expert, and Master.  Once you complete those you move on to the next step.  You do have the ability to skip ahead to different zones.  They increase in difficulty as you move through the game.  To move ahead you skip to the zone you want to go to and it asks you questions from the previous step.  If you pass them you can begin the first step in that zone.

To answer the questions you use your space bar, number keys, and arrows on your computer.   The arrows help you navigate from side to side.  You move under the question you want to answer, type it in with your number keys, and hit your space bar.  You shoot the question and if you get it right it disappears.  If you get it wrong the shot bounces off and you can try again.

You also have the option to print worksheets

And view reports on topics

My 12 year old son Christian has been using Maths Invaders Online.  Math is his least favorite subject and he really struggles with mental math so I though this would be a great program for him to use that he would think was fun.  When we started the review, I logged him in and let him use it on his own.  It started him at the beginning in Zone 1. I didn't notice what kinds of questions he was answering.  After a few days I looked as he was playing and saw it was very basic math like in the chart above.   So I looked around the website to try and figure out how to progress him a bit further and skipped him ahead a few zones and moved him up to Zone 3 and then after a few days of that to build his confidence moved him up a little further to Zone 5.  He played 3 days a week for around 15 minutes a day. He enjoys playing the game and it has helped him recall his facts faster.  I played a few rounds of it myself and did find that it made me want to keep going too. 

Typing Tournament Online is a complete typing course for ages 6 to adult with a medieval theme.  Students journey through 16 medieval environments from the Dragon's Cave through the Throne room to defeat the dark typist. Each level has a lesson that teaches 4 new keys, a practice demonstration, 3 drills, and a progress test.  There are also 3 games that students can play.  The lessons move at the students pace and once they master that lesson they move on to the next.

When the student logs in they are taken to this page. 

The map shows the lessons they have completed and where they are currently working.

When they click on the lesson that is in progress they are taken to the lesson. It keeps track of where the student left off in the lesson with the Next Step icon. 

Once they click where they are supposed to be in the lesson, the lesson starts.

As they go through each lesson they earn badges and short movies that play.

They can easily check their progress.

My daughter Lily is 10 and she has been working on Typing Tournament an average of 3 days per week for around 30 minutes per day.  She wanted to learn how to type and was excited to have an opportunity to review this.  She asked every day if she could do her typing lesson.  She loves the theme and earning the different badges.  She could use the program completely independently even getting to the webpage and signing herself in. One of her favorite things to do was play the games: Siege, Powder Keg, and Dragon Chase.  Each lesson teaches only 4 keys and gives plenty of drill practice so the student will learn and remember before moving on to the next lesson. Typing Tournament Online is a great learn to type program for all ages and skills of learners.

Through a parent account I could log in and see progress for each of the children in their subscriptions. In the Math Invaders section I could see Galactic Campaign reports, Child reports, child history, as well as manage things like editing child details and passwords.  In the typing section I could view speed tests, weekly reports, progress reports, and child history.  It is convenient to be able to view each children's work in the same place even when they have separate subscriptions.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 36

 We are winding down the 2018/2019 school year!

Week 36 in our Homeschool

Bible: We read 4 chapters out of the book of Mark.

History: We completed 3 lessons in MOH Vol. 1

Science: We began chapter 14 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy.  We also watched several Super Charged Science lessons on plants.

Economics/Business- Last week we started a Biblically based elective course called The Kingdom Code (upcoming review) that teaches children about economics and about starting and running their own business.  We completed lesson one last week and lesson two this week. They have been very interested in this course so far.

Individual School

Emmie completed 4 lessons in Singapore Math.  She read the story Cricket's Picnic in All About Reading Level 2.  In Simply Classical Spelling she completed lesson 3.  For literature this week her story in Lightning Lit was The Old Woman Who Named Things.

Lily completed 4 lessons in MLFLE.  She also is still working daily on Typing Tournament.  She finished reading Little House in the Big Woods and has just a few things to finish up for her binder.

Christian and Anthony completed step 21 in AAS Level 6 and 4 days of math.  Anthony is working daily on Spelling Tutor and Christian on Math Invaders.  They started Jump In by Sharon Watson (upcoming language arts review) they completed the first section Getting Your Feet Wet.

Other Activities this Week

Monday we had Liam.

the white one is no where near as big as the brown one

Tuesday  there was a Sophmore/Junior awards lunch at the local high school Nick attends for one class that he and a parent was invited to.  I went with him.  He won an award for the highest average in the Marketing class he is taking.

Wednesday was our 20th wedding anniversary!

Thursday We had Liam again.  Emmie had dance and we left to go on our first camping trip of the year.

Camping was a little more complicated then usual because of the stubborn goat that will only feed one of her babies.  Someone had to drive back a few times a day to make sure the baby got to eat but it was fine.  Our campsite was a little less then 30 minutes from the house and I got up each morning at 6 to come home and feed.  Then the boys came later in the day.  Saturday there were some bad storms moving in and we were under a tornado watch.  Instead of sending the boys I came back with Alex a little early Saturday (around 3)  trying to beat the storm that wasnt supposed to start until 4:45. He was taking care of the baby while I did feed for the other animals and about 15 minutes after we got home huge black clouds starting rolling in and a few minutes later a big bolt of lightning struck the ground in the field across the street from us.  It was so loud! The whole ground shook.  We apologized to the goat for cutting his feed short and put them back in their stall and headed back to camp.  It wasn't storming as bad there but there was lots of rain and some thunder and lightning that kept us in the whole night.

Anthony and Christian always wear a shirt when they swim but this time didn't.  And they both got sunburned.  The spray on sunscreen we used was not very good just as I was afraid of.  Chelsea and Liam came up and visited most of the day on Friday.  Liam had a good time playing with the children.  Alex rescued a toddler from under the water.  His mother was sitting in the water with another baby and the toddler wandered a little too far, lost his balance and went under the water and could not stand up.  Alex pulled him out.  We had a campfire two nights and got to eat delicious hot smoes and peach and apple pies.  Alex caught a good size fish late Thursday evening and cooked him over the fire and ate him too.

One of my biggest pet peeves about camping is people who do not leash or chain up their dogs.  Our dog is obedient but she is a dog.  If a squirrel comes by shes going to chase it.  If strangers walk by she will bark. When we are at home she runs free but when we camp she is always on a leash or cabled.  Emmie was playing down by the lake shore at our campsite looking for shells and rocks when this dog came running at her and started to chase her.  Luckily it didn't bite her but she was terrified!!  Then the next day we were at the playground when some people walked a different dog on a leash to the playground then set it free inside the playground fence.  It chased her up the slide.  Even though it didn't hurt her it really scared her...again....Really people, put your dogs on a leash.  It protects them and other people/dogs around them.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!