Thursday, August 10, 2017

No-Nonsense Algebra *Review


No-Nonsense Algebra

Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra is a system of teaching algebra, rather than just an algebra text book. My 12 year old was a little floored when I told her she was going to learn Algebra. She had heard that term with her high school brothers and it brought up 'hard math' for her mind. This being a learning approach to algebra, I felt she would do well with learning this way rather than putting an Algebra text book in front of her, several years from now. Her older brother actually used this book when he was in High School and was one of his most helpful math programs.


There are five key parts to each lesson. The first is an introduction and explanation of any  new topics. Next is a Helpful Hints section that gives important tips and shortcuts. Examples follow, listed step by step. There are then written exercises for each lesson, with answers in the back of the text (shh, don't tell the kids). Finally there is a review section that keeps the topics fresh in their minds.

That in of itself sounds like a very solid study in Algebra. Add in though , video lessons for each section!


In the book you will get an access code to video lessons by author Richard W. Fisher. My kids need much more than just reading the math book and understanding, and have long used online video math because of that. These pre recorded videos provided information to the kids without my needing to do it. This helped me in the juggling of multiple kids as well.

The video gives examples that are different than the book, so this also gives additional examples. It is suggested to write out the examples, along with the steps so that the student isn't just reading it, but actually doing the steps along to help learn the process.

My 12 year old hadn't started any form of pre algebra, and this book was a perfect start for her. I recall when my older son used it, he was able to double up some on the early lessons because he had completed a pre algebra program. It starts off basic, which was very helpful to my 'fearful' of Algebra daughter.

This being her first exposure to Algebra, I chose to use this program exclusively for her. Between the video, the examples, and the worksheet problems, there was plenty to use. If your student just needed some reinforcement, Math Essentials works great for supplemental as well. Maybe with an older student struggling with Algebra concepts, this would be a great review program for them.

The first chapter and 22 lessons introduce the basic tools of Algebra from dealing with integers, exponents, square roots, coordinate plane, LCM, GCM, rations, proportions, percents and more.
After the basic tools are learned, the equation solving begins, or the actual Algebra component. Now I loved Algebra as a kid, and it was actually pretty fun for me to work with my daughter on this review. Additional Algebra principles were taught in the next 9 chapters such as;
Solving and Graphing Inequalities
Linear Equations
Polynomials
Algebraic Fractions
Radical Expressions
Quadratic Equations
Algebra Word Problems

This is one of the best Algebra programs we have worked with, both for a middle schooler, and as a supplement to a high schooler.
See what my crew mates thought of No-Nonsense Algebra by clicking on the banner below.




Math Essentials


Check out Math Essentials on Facebook



No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}

Don't miss a single post Subscribe to A Year of Jubilee Reviews and get our latest reviews and giveaways directly to your inbox!


Crew Disclaimer



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I Can Study 1 Samuel Alone With God *Review



Alone With GodBible Study
I SamuelKing James Version




Don't let the name confuse you like it did me, Greek 'n' Stuff has some excellent 'stuff' like the 

 I Can Study I Samuel Alone With God Bible Study (39 week study)! We are in the midst of studying Samuel in our homeschool and this study was an excellent addition. I chose to use it verbally with my kids to ask them questions as we read through Samuel. It is meant to be used as an independent Bible study, but it worked well in a group.

The study comes in both KJV and NIV. We use NKJV in our homeschool so chose to do the study in KJV. It is a spiral bound study book, with room to write out answers. As we went through it verbally, I could see the benefit of purchasing a book for each child so that they not only are getting the answers verbally, they are getting the writing component down as well. Because I was reviewing it I chose to just use this one copy verbally, and if we enjoyed it we would purchase a copy for each child to have their own. It is geared for late elementary through middle school. I used it for ages 9,12 and 15. The questions tend to be a little easy for my 15 year old, but if your student is new to Bible study, they would still get much out of it at the high school level. It points out some of the smaller details in the Bible, that sometimes we skip over when reading. This Bible Study helped us to slow down and consider more what we were reading.

Each of the 39 lessons take one week. The reading the week covers is mentioned at the front of the lesson. We read the entire segment on Monday and often would re read it throughout the week rather than just reading the particular verses that the questions correspond with. The lesson is broken down daily, Monday through Saturday. We chose to incorporate Saturday lesson into our Friday study because we don't do homeschool on Saturday. There is only a few questions per day so it wasn't hard to double up on Fridays.

Each lesson has a memory verse to focus on as well from the passage for the week. Each day it is suggested to first pray, and ask God to help you study the Word. We then would read the Memory Verse for the week, and other verses in 1 Samuel that would help us with the questions of the day.






You can see where there is room to check off the prayer and reading for each day, as well as lines to write out the answers if you were having your students do so. There are also additional insights in boxes throughout the study. Some more 'food for thought', as you read the scriptures. A great place for kids to start without having to use a concordance.

Greek 'n' Stuff also has Alone with God studies on  Jonah & Ruth, Acts and Esther. These do work great as a group, but like the name suggests, they would make great individual Bible Study or devotional time as well. I do have my kids do their own Bible time before we start together as a group. If we weren't studying Samuel as a group, I would have my 12 year old consider this study on her own time. I love how it only takes maybe 20 minutes to complete, depending on the amount of reading and discussion time we take.

See what my crew mates thought of this and the other studies by clicking on the banner below, and be sure to find Greek 'n' Stuff on these social media sites.



Greek 'n' Stuff







Teach Me Some Greek {Greek 'n' Stuff Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer
Don't miss a single post Subscribe to A Year of Jubilee Reviews and get our latest reviews and giveaways directly to your inbox!



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

English Grammar Teaching Method *Review


English on a Roll

I have a struggling reader and English on a Roll   English Grammar Teaching Method was a unique way to work with him on his reading.

This set includes 40 color coded cubes in a sturdy plastic container. The instruction manual by Linda Hopkins Koran gives you a great introduction, cube guide and 37 grammar lessons to use the cubes on.

English on a Roll


As the teacher I worked on making myself familiar with the cube guide. Each colored word represented a different part of speech such as pronoun, noun, articles, verbs, adverbs, adjectives. It also included question words and punctuation.

My son is a hands on learner, and I think that is partially why he is struggling with reading. There isn't anything tactile about reading typically, just letters on a page. He does great with math when he can use unifex cubes, or even with science when he is mixing up supplies or holding on to what we are studying. English on a Roll is taking that same concept and bringing it into the grammar world.

The manual makes this very teacher friendly, without having to know English in depth. Each lesson lets you know what cubes you need as well as what pages you need to copy. (which the copyright allows for home use). It includes a section on tips and techniques which are helpful the further you get into the manual. The manual even explains to the teacher in detail on how to teach. This is great for new homeschool teachers who are unsure of how to even begin to teach grammar. There are also games to use to reinforce the new concepts.

There are written exercises to finish off each lesson. The student is using tactile means, but also listening, visual and written as they begin to learn basic grammar. Sounds much like grammar rather than reading right, for a child who is struggling to read? These basic grammar words are the ones he needs to learn to read to have a good start at reading. Because I believe he is a right brained learner, phonics isn't working for him, he needs something like a cube to memorize the words and which ones are on it. Just goes to show you how differently some kids learn. He is my second right brain learner so thankfully this time I had an idea what was going on.

Lesson one starts with just one cube of pronouns, which gave my son confidence since they were I, You, He/She, It, We, and They. Didn't take long to get through that lesson. Lesson to introduces the "Be" verb, which is helpful to learn right from the start to utilize the verb form of the sentence.

How can you have enough nouns to use? There are a few cubes that are blank, and  some removable labels to have words you need just for that lesson.


Using the suggestions in the manual I was able to utilize the various forms of learning, to help reinforce the words with my son. Writing them on paper, having him find the correct dice, having  him verbalize the words and sentences, and having him write on the handouts. I think the variety helps make it stick much better.

We would stay on a lesson until he had mastered it. I didn't move on until he knew the words on the dice. Though it did seem the next lesson he would  forget some of them but we would just review them again.

This is a tool I plan on working through to the end. Not only is it helping him learn to read some of the basic words, it is teaching grammar at the same time, something I didn't think I could teach him until he was a good reader. It is helping me feel like we are catching up some.



You can see a Video Demo HERE



English on a Roll {Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer
Don't miss a single post Subscribe to A Year of Jubilee Reviews and get our latest reviews and giveaways directly to your inbox!



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook *Review



ABC Bible Curriculum Notebook
From the time she could walk and talk my toddler has desired to do school with her older siblings. We have organized things here and there for her, but at age 2.5 she is ready for 'big girl school'.
The Crafty Classroom with their Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook gave us a perfect start to learning the alphabet through the Bible.
They also offer an ABC Curriculum Notebook that isn't focused on the Bible. I was excited to include the Bible in ours, as my little one knows several of the stories already and I knew she would enjoy it even more with the Biblical characters.

I received my copy as a pdf file, with 658 pages. I won't be printing them all out at once, though it does include permission to print for single family use. You will need a large binder to place them in as you go if you choose. I want to keep them together for her to have as a record for her work to look back on when she is older.

You can divide it into 26 sections if you want one for each letter of the alphabet. There are 4-5 worksheets for each day, with enough for 4 days. I do recommend not going more than 4 days with a preschooler. Even with mine we tend toward two days a week more often, just to not overwhelm her. She was good through the review period working on up to 4 days a week, though not wanting to get all 4 worksheets done each time.

The curriculum is very organized, and detailed in instruction. I had my 12 year old work with my toddler on it. We have as part of our school day, "Jurnee time" where each of the kids "teach" her for 1/2 hour of our morning. This gives me time to work with an individual child, while the toddler is being kept entertained, and it helps the teaching student more by being the teacher! Win all around.


Each letter has a Bible Theme, Bible Vocab Word, Bible Verse, Character of God, and Character Verse. These are the basic themes that run through the week.

For an idea of the variety of worksheets that are included, here is the suggested calendar.

Such a variety of worksheets, and fun things to do! In addition to the calendar, there is a step by step for each worksheet, and game to let you know how to complete them. Very detailed directions which are perfect for the new and seasoned homeschooler.

Jurnee had been learning about Adam and Eve just prior to starting this, so God's timing again was perfect!





This program offers lots of opportunity to display their work and concentrate on the letter for the week. Lots of great reinforcement for them. I am considering having a corner where Jurnee has her display for the week, so she will be seeing the work she did, the letter of the week, and her Bible verse every time she passes by it. We haven't organized our school room yet from the summer but this will be a priority when I do.


My 12 year old let the toddler do what she wanted with some of the worksheets, and she was in a cutting and pasting mood. I love that there is some flexibility with the pages, that you can let them do different things with them if it interests them, though they are still learning.





It has been so fun for me to explore this preschool program, for the opportunity to have a preschooler again after 7 years. This is the one we will be using this fall, and I think we will all love it.




Crafty Classroom
Check out the Crafty Classroom on these social media outlets.



Click on the banner below to see what other homeschoolers thought of this and other products from The Crafty Classroom.


Crafty Classroom {Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Don't miss a single post Subscribe to A Year of Jubilee Reviews and get our latest reviews and giveaways directly to your inbox!



Monday, July 24, 2017

Quik-Scultping Kit from Activa ~Review


Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit


If we could incorporate arts and crafts all day in our school we would be on cloud nine!
ACTÍVA Products sent us their Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit
along with access to ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS  a free ebook for ideas.
Many ideas are included in this book, as well as the papers that come with the kid. Of course my kids have a great imagination for anything craft related and jumped right into their ideas.



My daughter saw the idea for a mask, and rather than sculpt a mask, we bought one that she could use the Rigid Wrap on to form the perfect mask. I knew that my 2 year old would want to make one too, and it actually wasn't a complete disaster!




Rigid Wrap is very easy to use. It is in strips, and you cut off the length you want, then dip it in water and it is good to wrap on your mold or sculpture. It is way cleaner than paper mache . It is basically a plaster coated gauze that makes it easy to mold onto the shape you are using. We set out newspaper under our work area, and I was pleasantly surprised to have minimal clean up.




One main thing I need to mention is that when you use the water for dipping, though it just seems like cloudy water after use, DO NOT pour it down the sink!! I think this needs to be more of a bold, bright warning on the label, like a circle on the top of the package. I unfortunately didn't read that first, and actually had to search for the warning after the fact. My husband is awesome and was able to fix it, but plaster does not work well in the kitchen sink! So please throw your water outside, not in the sink.

After the girls made their masks we let them sit over night. The next day they painted it with acrylic paints.





The paint didn't take long to dry and they were able to attach feathers with tacky glue.
How cute is this pair! We need a masquerade ball to go to now!





We also received the CelluClay in a one pound package. I loved the lesson plans section on their site for additional ideas on how to use this clay. With it being air dried, and one color I knew we would need to sculpt, dry and then paint. It takes about a day to dry. Several of the lessons use both the Rigid Wrap and The CelluClay.

Because it is summer I let them choose their project to make with the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay. I have some great ideas to incorporate these products in making relief maps for geography class. The perfect type of material to build up the mountains, sculpt rivers, and utilize different terrains. Making a globe would be a great geography project as well. This would work great on covering a balloon and painting it like the earth, but still being able to put some relief on it for the continents.  It also would be an excellent product for science to make the solar system.
Lots of excellent ideas for using in your homeschool teaching.


ACTÍVA Products



Find Activa on these social media sites


See what my crew mates thought of this fun craft medium and see some of their fun projects by clicking on the banner below!

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer
Don't miss a single post Subscribe to A Year of Jubilee Reviews and get our latest reviews and giveaways directly to your inbox!



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trust Fund Know Who To Trust *Review



Trust Fund Movie


Trust Fund a new movie from Mapelle Films that is produced by an early homeschooler, Isaac Alongi. The film follows a prodigal child theme, though that isn't evident from the start. It also goes much beyond the prodigal story in the Bible, picking up more of what happens after the daughter returns home. What a fun opportunity to see a movie that was written and produced by someone who was homeschooled their entire schooling career. We find more and more, professionals having been homeschooled, and it is an encouragement to my kids.

Reese is a writer with a pretty blessed life. Her father owns a publishing company, and she spends her time writing a book. Her father suggests she starts to work with him at the company and she blows it off like she is doing enough just trying to finish her book. Privileged is how she acts. She of course has an older sister, Audrey who is the perfectionist, but works for the things she does. She isn't at all happy with her sisters privileged behavior.

Reese finds out she has a large trust fund from her mother who passed when she was younger, and rather than find something reasonable to do with it, she basically steals some of it and runs off to Italy. Sounds very prodigal like! Of course you can guess how that turns out, not going into details, but basically returns home and seeks forgiveness from Dad. He shows the forgiveness, much like our heavenly father does.

There is a downloadable study guide to use with a small group Bible study, or even as a mom and daughter team. You aren't surprised right? Isaac was homeschooled, everything needs a study guide :)

The movie is 107 minutes long. Dove approved for ages 12 and older. There wasn't anything in the movie that little guys couldn't see, it was probably just not as interesting to them given the theme of the movie.

It was a clean, biblical worldview, wholesome movie that is great for family movie night.

The Book Love was Near is written by Sandra Martin and is a companion book to the movie. It is meant to read after watching the movie, giving more insight into Reece in a diary type style. My 12 year old enjoyed the extra details and information that the book gave, and she especially enjoyed having it written in a diary form and including discussion questions for her personal study.

Love Was Near Book







Mapelle Films


See what my crew mates thought by clicking on the banner below.

Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer
Don't miss a single post Subscribe to A Year of Jubilee Reviews and get our latest reviews and giveaways directly to your inbox!



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fascinating Chemistry *Review


Fascinating Chemistry

We started our home school high school in Fascinating Education with Fascinating Chemistry
this summer with my fourth child. Sitting and reading science books has proved to be difficult for him, and we needed a visual learning tool.

"What makes Fascinating Education different?  Fascinating Education uses an audio-visual technique to teach science in a step-by-step manner using plain English and clear illustration. This “right-hemispheric” learning approach takes advantage of the brain’s ability to process images more efficiently and more effectively than just reading text."




Fascinating Education utilizes graphics for teaching rather than showing the teacher write on a black board, or even cartoon characters dancing around the screen. This approach allows Fascinating Chemistry to be used at the high school level and even some in the middle school. Basic teaching without watering it down.

Eighteen lessons, each with a video, script and a test at the end.  With 18 lessons, you would gear them toward finishing  one lesson per every 2 week period, with the test at the end of it. With our school we have a 36 week school year. The lessons are approximately 45 minutes in length, so you could finish one per week if you chose. I wanted to use this for high school Chemistry and desired to make it a year long study rather than a semester. There is not a lesson plan to go with this, you can just use your own discretion at your student's pace.

The first lesson is an introduction to atoms, and the following 5 lessons are on bonding. Heat, Air Pressure and Water follow with the next three lessons.

As you begin the lesson, the video will keep going through the next portion until you stop it. The left side bar shows where you are by graying out the subjects you have already watched. I appreciate the section Catching Our Breath to give just a quick recap of what has been learned so far. This has been a good stopping point for us on several occasions as well.


What you Know So Far is another helpful section to just give a refresher. I as the teacher needed it, as it has been a long time since I had chemistry. I don't know that my son would need as much reinforcement, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
There is a lot of information, especially in the early lessons we studied, learning about atoms. It is some of the building blocks or beginning steps of Chemistry that is needed. It did feel like we were learning about them for a long time.

Beginning in Lesson 2, there is a lab in several of the lessons. The first is making salt crystals. Others I looked at included making brass from pennies, heat of fusion and weight of air. There is a printable pdf for the lab, making it mobile to work with at the kitchen table and the computer isn't needed. The labs looked as if they required common household materials.
The labs are for sure the 'fun' part of chemistry and I would be fine with having one for every lesson if possible.


See everything that is covered in Fascinating Chemistry with this OUTLINE


Fascinating Education
See what my fellow crew mates thought of Fascinating Chemistry, Fascinating Biology and Fascinating Physics by clicking on the banner below..


Biology, Chemistry & Physics {Fascinating Education Reviews}
Don't miss a single post Subscribe to A Year of Jubilee Reviews and get our latest reviews and giveaways directly to your inbox!

Crew Disclaimer