Monday, July 19, 2010

A Blogger of Substance Award~

Thank you, Kris from At Home Science for A Blog With Substance Award!
I am finally happy with my new design and am hopeful my efforts help other homeschoolers along their home learning journey~

Here's how this award works:

  • Thank the blogger that awarded it to you.
  • Sum up you blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using exactly 10 words;
  • Pass it on to 10 other blogs with substance.
My summary sentence:

I enjoy sharing our homeschooling journey to help others~

Here are my  10 blogs that I find to have all kinds of thought-provoking and helpful material on them:

1.   Blog She Wrote
2.  Special Needs Homeschooling
3.  Lesson Pathways Blog
4. Natural Homeschool Mama
5.  Guilt Free Homeschooling
6.  Science Notebooking
7.Spigot's Tap into Learning
8.World of Discovery
9.Amongst Lovely Things
10.Harmony Art Mom

I could probably keep on going and going~ but thanks again Kris! :)

Teaching Textbooks: Our First Day~

We are switching around our yearly studies this year and trying a very different schedule that I will be posting about soon~ but for now I wanted to share about our new math program Teaching Textbooks.
We just started with this program today with my youngest learner and we had a great morning.
He enjoyed the program very much and loved the animated robot he chose to be his helper/mascot as he moved through the lessons.

I decided to keep things very basic for this great, independent program. I pulled out a folder and copied the workbook pages from the TT workbook so that my son could enter in the answers while he adds them on the computer as he goes along ( this is helpful for his portfolio since by law we have to show samples of his work) after words we printed out his grade book for the day, since he is not used to grades he was wondering what 95% meant as a score and was thrilled to learn what that meant as well, lol

Within the pocket folder I also add the CD's needed for the program and also on the other pocket added his grade book copy so he can visually see his work and progress for each lesson.

Today was easy because it was mostly review and that is helpful since we are just at the beginnings of our formal studies again and a great way to review concepts learned.
I found this first day to be very productive.  As you can imagine the first lesson was all about addition, which is a very basic math skill, however, one thing I did enjoy watching was how they immediately included commutative property into the lesson and also the lesson was very thorough in teaching math vocabulary as well (addends and sums and practice using those).
He enjoyed the program very much and while I explained things will be much more difficult as time passes he felt confident that he will enjoy the program.

Some further information on Teaching Textbooks: 

I have found Teaching Textbooks to run approximately one year behind grade level standards, which for us is quite fine~ having a child with dyscalcula this program really helps with slow processing learners and children who may struggle with certain concepts.

I should mention my older son uses this as well and he is actually gifted in the area of math, for these learners you can skip ( yes skip) practice problems or lessons if they become too redundant for your learner and the grade book will not take off points, it only grades what your child has done for work. So it can be a fit for both kinds of math learners.

The program basically runs off of CD's you use throughout the lessons. Your given a lecture for the lesson that is interactive and then a few practice problems and then the lesson problems.  While working through the grades 4-7 each problem is graded automatically as your learner enters in the answer. If the answer is wrong there is a solution to that problem your learner can click onto for further explanation.

While working the lessons there is an animation that makes doing the lessons fun. Click on the animation in the upper left ( you can see this animation in the samples you can use online from their site) and you can pick and choose whichever character you would like.  The animation cheers you on as you move along and makes for such fun~

Teaching Textbooks has their own yahoo email group you can find here.  It's a fairly low volume list that others post to now and then and many times will also post used books/CD's from the program which is a wonderful way to save money. The members are very helpful and often when I have posted will even take the time to write back to me personally, since they mentioned that replies may take a day or two to get on the list postings of the group.
Some reviews of Teaching Textbooks:
Homeschool Reviews
Old Schoolhouse Review
There are probably many, many more but this will give you a start.

On a personal note: We are long time users of the Math On The Level Program and due to the great success we have found we are now able to use a more independent math program for our youngest which we are all thrilled about. He now has much more confidence in his abilities in the area of math and explained to us over this past year that he would like to become more independent in his learning which we were thrilled about.  So, we still will be using MOTL when new concepts are introduced or if I feel we need a bit more hands on understanding when it comes to specific, more involved math concepts. I think the two will work quite nicely together in our home. 

Happy Math Learning~ !

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