Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween 2018

As a Christian for our family Halloween is not about ghosts, goblins, witches, skeletons, and gore. Since my oldest child was old enough to question about Halloween my husband and I have gone back and forth as do we let our kiddos partake in anything Halloween or completely cut ourselves off from this particular holiday. Over the years we have done both. Some years we have chosen to turn the porch lights off and let our kiddos dress up in their play clothes (princess and superhero costumes) while watching movies as a family. A couple of years we have celebrated Reformation Day at our church dressing up as people from the Bible. A couple of years we have let our kiddos dress up in non scary costumes and let them go around the neighborhood with friends. The last couple of years we have been going to some scheduled fun events with a group we are involved with. One particular year some of my kiddos handed out Gospel tracts. As a Christian we are called to live in the world but not be of the world. I know some Christians would totally disagree and condemn me for my choices, particularly in letting my children partake in anything related to Halloween at all. To that I say, my children are quite aware of the evil of what so many people make Halloween out to be. They know what scripture says about evil and that evil isn't just present on Halloween but is present every single day. Satan and his demons are working to destroy the lives of individuals and families every single minute of every single day. When this came across my Facebook postings today I just knew I had to share it. The Bible also says that God can use the evilest of men and circumstances to bring about His glory. So as we celebrate October 31, 2018, I want to share with you this beautiful analogy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Math-Whizz ~ A Review

I received a 12-month online subscription to Math-Whizz which is an online math tutoring site for students ages 5-13 years old. Whizz Education believes that every child deserves to have a positive learning experience and through Math-Whizz students are able to work at their own pace as the program identifies deficits and weaknesses as well as strengths for each individual child. It is recommended that students use Math-Whizz at least twice a week for 15 minutes each session. I opted to let my daughter use the unlimited access option and she used it between 4-5 days a week for about 10-15 minutes a day. 

So how exactly does the program work to tutor your child without an actual teacher? Well, in three easy steps your child will be on their way to gaining confidence and academic growth. 

  1. Assessment - This phase is where the child will be evaluated to see where exactly they are grade wise in math. I was expecting the assessment to be fairly short but was quite surprised at how long the assessment part actually took. It took several days for my daughter to actually complete the assessment part. To say it was a simple assessment would be an understatement, lol. The assessment covered a wide range of mathematical topics. 
  2. Teach - Students actually have lessons just like they would if they were in school. After a concept is taught they will be given practice problems. If Math Whizz sees that your child is not grasping the concept it will continue to give your child more problems. Students can also choose to listen to the lesson again and then try to beat their previous score. Students can also connect with friends using the program or other students and challenge each other to see who can get the highest score. This was not something that would be a positive motivator or help for my daughter. On the other hand, some kiddos thrive on competition so this feature is pretty cool. 
  3. Report - Parents can easily log-in with their own separate ID and password to see how their child is doing.

Here are the Reporting tools utilized by Math-Whizz. The reports are very detailed
showing your child's up-to-date Math Age, Time Spent, Exercises Attempted, and grades for each lesson as well as time spent on each lesson. 

Math-Whizz will send parents e-mail's if their child is having a hard time with a particular 
section. The e-mail will detail exactly what the child is struggling with.

Topic Bank includes:
  1. Place Value
  2. Properties of Numbers
  3. Fractions
  4. Decimals
  5. Rapid Recall ( + and - )
  6. Mental Calculations  ( + and - )
  7. Pencil and Paper ~ addition
  8. Pencil and Paper ~ subtraction
  9. Rapid Recall ( x and / )
  10. Mental Calculations ( x and / )
  11. Pencil and Paper ~ multiplication 
  12. Pencil and Paper ~ division
  13. Solving Problems
  14. Handling Data
  15. Measuring
  16. Shape and Space
Within each of these topics there are multiple subtopics. For instance in Shape and Space some of the subtopics include:
  • Using the eight compass directions giving directions
  • Locate the position of a given coordinate
  • Recognize and describe edges of 3-D shapes
  • Identify simple nets of cubes
  • Visualize 3D shapes from 2D drawings from different orientation
  • Explain reflective/line symmetry
  • Classifying polygons by whether they contain right angles
  • Recognizing a straight line is equivalent to two right angles
  • Making and describing right angled turns

The blue shows the progression that has been made since the initial assessment. 

In "My Tools" your student can access a wide range of helps such as a 
calculator, ruler, pencil, currency, and a dictionary. 

If your student comes across a mathematical term that they are unfamiliar with they can
simply go to their study and click on their Dictionary and look up the word and get great 
definitions and picture examples of what the word means. 

This is part of the lesson. 

When a student gets a problem wrong a help box comes up to help them. In this case
the help is the contraption on the left side of the box where it has the student "halve this number."

Every week your student will start over with a new "Weekly Activity Summary" which 
keeps track of the time they have spent working on Math-Whizz, tokens earned, and progressions.

From the parent log-in side you can print out certificates for your kiddos to 
reward them for achievements along the way. Once my daughter hit the 200 minute
mark I printed her out a certificate congratulating her on a job well done!!

As an incentive and reward for their hard work, student's earn credits that they can then spend in the Shop. Students earn credits for each lesson completed, each 15 minutes they spend working on Math-Whizz, and then for each assessment taken. They can buy pets and they purchase stuff to feed and care for them. There is even a Halloween section. 

There is also a Games Console section where students can play games with their credits. 

Final Thoughts
Overall I was pretty impressed with Math-Whizz. My 10-year-old daughter gave this program five ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ !! Coming from a child who greatly dislikes math this says A LOT!! I would most definitely recommend Math-Whizz to others looking for an online math tutoring program. 

To read more reviews click here.

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Mazie in the Making

Tonight, we worked with Mazie on her scent training and she did amazing!!! We took clothing that we have stored in the freezer from when Karis had an Adrenal low this past week. We hid the paper bag containing Karis's tank top throughout the house in 8 separate locations. Within approximately 15 minutes she was able to sniff out all of the locations. It was incredible watching Mazie run through the house and her uncanny ability to find that Adrenal low scent so quickly. When she found it, Mazie pawed to alert that she had found it. We then treated Mazie and showered her with praise. We couldn't have accomplished this without the help of so many key individuals that have played a huge role in Mazie's life and training. We still have a way to go but we are getting there. So proud of you Mazie.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

St. Bartholomew's Eve ~ A Review

St. Bartholomew's Eve is the newest audio production from Heirloom Audio. These amazing audio dramatizations are designed specifically for children ages 6-16 but from personal experience are enjoyed by adults too. The two disc set has 2 1/2 hours of non-stop action adventure! G.A. Henty's stories are historically based and include Christian values and eternal truths. Children will be drawn into the stories by the engaging characters, the non-stop action, and the wonderfully told epic adventures of G.A. Henty.  

What is St. Bartholomew's Eve about? 

The story, St. Bartholomew's Eve, takes place during the Reformation of 1580. This is the period also know as the Huguenot Wars. Sir George finds Ned and Sebastian skipping church to do things more exciting for young boys. Sir George sits them down and shares with them the story of the Huguenot Wars and how they fiercely fought for their freedom to worship separate from the Catholic Church of England. 
It is 1567 and there is a war on religion. The French Protestants, Huguenot's, are fighting for their freedom to practice religion separate of the Roman Catholic Church. As a young boy Philip, the main character, dreams of growing up to fight for religious freedom. Philip remembers his father saying, "By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body when one is persecuted all are persecuted." When Philip is finally old enough to go to battle to help fight for religious freedom he has a realization that he knows nothing of battle. He spends months studying battle tactics. Like David before he goes up against Goliath, Philip must also prepare himself to battle against his enemies. In the end he becomes a great soldier. During his many dangerous adventures Philip rides with the armies of the Prince of Conde, Admiral Coligny and other Huguenot leaders of France. Philip meets Protestant Prince Henri of Navarre. Philip says, "Who should we obey, the King of Kings or the King of France." As they are in battle Philip suggests that they take Orleans instead of Paris. This would confuse and distract their enemies. Like David defeating Goliat - with faith and wisdom, Philip did the same. They talk about the armor of God and the importance of it for battle. Common citizens fought. Catholics retreated...........

Philip and his cousin, François are honored for their bravery in battle. They spend a year recovering from battle injuries......Catherine de'Medici, Queen of France spread a rumor that the Huguenot's wanted to take over the royal court. I don't want to ruin the rest of the audio drama by giving away the whole story. 

My Thoughts

Like always, this audio drama did not disappoint. Our whole family enjoyed St. Bartholomew's Eve. I along with my 15, 12, and 10 year old listened to it. G.A. Henty was an amazing writer and Heirloom Audio does an amazing job at bringing his books to life in their audio dramas. I would most definitely recommend this as well as their other adventures based on G.A. Henty's books. Over the past couple of years I have had the privilege to review many of Heirloom Audio Adventures such as; The Cat of BubastesThe Dragon And The RavenWith Lee In VirginiaIn Freedom's CauseIn The Reign of TerrorBeric The BritonCaptain Bayley's Heir and Wulf the Saxon. Check them all out. 

To read more reviews click here.

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Instagram: @HeirloomAudioOfficial

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Summit Climbing

Climbing Fun
Challenging Oneself
Conquering Fears
Community Comradery
Completely Wearing Oneself Out

Confetti Eggs