Teaching Textbooks Giveaway

Teaching Textbooks giveaway

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks

We have used a lot of different curriculum for math over the years, and Teaching Textbooks is by far, our youngest daughter’s favorite. You can read about the top five reasons why we love Teaching Textbooks here. 

As a homeschool evaluator, consultant and coach, I have seen a lot of different choices of math curriculum over the years, and have tried out many of them. Sometimes I even tried to get my girls to love a certain curriculum, even though it clearly wasn’t a good fit. Since I do subscribe to a natural learning style, I allowed my daughter to choose her own. She chose Teaching Textbooks, and it works for her.

Stick to One Curriculum

It is a good idea not to switch up your math curriculum after the middle school years because you want to stick to one way of teaching. If your child is used to a spiral approach, a linear approach to math may not work. Teaching Textbooks has a spiral approach, which works for my youngest.

Giveaway

If you have always wanted to try Teaching Texbooks in your homeschool, enter to win the level of your choice below. If you’ve found a math curriculum that your kids love, please let us know in the comments below!

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Children’s Book Giveaway: Benji & The Giant Kite

When I was contacted about this children’s picture book, I wanted to take a look at it because I love children’s literature, especially if it teaches a lesson. I think you, dear readers, will like this one, too. And now one of my lucky readers can enter to win this giveaway and add this to your own library! Just enter to win below.

From the back cover:

Benji wants to buy a giant orange kite. But it’s very expensive, so he works hard to earn the money by helping his mom in the garden. Finally, the exciting day arrives when Benji can fly his beautiful kite . . .

A picture book about making your dreams come true. For kite lovers ages 4 and up.

Every child can relate to wanting a thing so badly that they’ll do anything to obtain it. This book’s main character is no different. Benji absolutely loves kites. Kites of all kinds, sizes, colors and shapes. But when he sees this orange kite, he knows he must have it.

I really like that Benji helps his mom with the gardening chores in order to earn what he wants. You already know that I think it’s very important for young children to pitch in with chores. I also like that Benji perseveres even though he thinks the day will never come.

Another Great Message

It may surprise you to know that after all of Benji’s hard work, and after the joy of obtaining (and flying) his beautiful orange kite, he chooses to let it go. This goes against much of what our culture teaches our kids: you want something, you work hard to get it, and once you, do it’s yours to keep. Why would Benji want to give up his beautiful kite after waiting so long to obtain it? This is the perfect opportunity to discuss with your child their thoughts about Benji’s decision. Who says young children can’t engage in literary analysis?

About the Author

Alan C. Fox is the bestselling author of three books for adults, PEOPLE TOOLS, PEOPLE TOOLS FOR BUSINESS, and PEOPLE TOOLS FOR LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS. His two children’s books are BENJI AND THE 24 POUND BANANA SQUASH (Clavis 2017) and BENJI AND THE GIANT KITE (Clavis 2018). An entrepreneur, philanthropist, and relationships expert, Alan is also the publisher of the poetry magazine, Rattle. He founded a charity that works to maximize the potentional of youth as well as an organization that encourages young people to become active in helping others. Alan lives in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit Alan’s website: alancfox.com

About the Illustrator

Eefje Juijl, a graduate of the School of the Arts Utrech, creates colorful illustrations for children’s books, magazines, postcards and more. She lives in The Netherlands with her partner Philip, her son Guus, daughter Fien, and their dog Jip.

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How to Love Math With Math Facts That Stick for Kids

Math seems to be a subject that kids will instantly understand, or continually struggle with all their schooling years. Because each child learns differently, a subject such as math can be tricky. As a homeschooling mom, I am always learning for new ways to help my kids learn and understand Math. That is why when I was given an opportunity to look at  Kate Snow’s book series, Math Facts that Stick for kids, I was instantly intrigued.

About Math Facts that Stick for Kids Author

Let’s start with the author Kate Snow. Kate Snow is a former teacher, curriculum writer, homeschool teacher, tutor, and now a published author through Well-Trained Mind Press. When Kate Started homeschooling, she could not help but notice that Math created stress and anxiety for both the parents and the teachers. Therefore, she set out to use her experience and write a series of books that will help parents and kids.

How will Math Facts that Stick for Kids, help my child

Kate Snow has spent decades in the Math world. She has seen, taught, and witnessed how children can learn. She also understands how different children’s learning styles can be. That is why she has put together a series of books that will make learning Math so much easier. Forget the days of spending hours memorizing flashcard facts. With Math Facts that Stick parents will be able to use games, strategies, and worksheets to help their kids understand Math, and retain the new lessons.

Time to start

What is the best time to start learning math? Well, it is never too early. That is why Kate Snow starts her series out at the Preschool level. The first book that parents can purchase is Preschool Math At Home. Here, parents can start with the basics, all while continuing to build up to the four-series book set.

Even if you do not start at the Preschool level, that is okay. Although I recommend starting these books early, families can quickly start on the Addition Facts that Stick book. If your child has mastered addition, the book series contains subtraction, multiplication, as well as division too.

Support

If you, as a parent are unsure of teaching have no fear. Kate Snow has a series of videos on YouTube. In these webinar videos, she will increase your confidence, which in turn will raise your kid’s confidence when you can answer their questions.  Also, all of the Well-Trained Mind Press purchases include free product support if you were to have issues.

What I love

I love that both homeschooling families, as well as brick and mortar students, can learn quickly with the techniques that are taught here. I also am impressed that we can purchase the books in paperback, or online in PDF style. You know how we love digital curriculum! Parents will start to notice an improvement in just a few weeks, after using the Math Facts that Stick series.

Purchase

If you are ready to purchase the Math Facts that Stick for kid’s series, remember a few things. You can buy them individually, or as a series. Keep in mind that you will receive a discount right now if you purchase the set.

You also have the options to purchase the books individually, in both paperback and PDF format, which can be more economical.

Be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win the series!
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Top Three Things to Help Avoid Homeschool Burnout

I don’t know about you, but by the beginning of May, you can stick me with a fork because I’m done. I’m tired. I’m worn out from all the curricular AND extracurricular activities. I’m barely hanging on, and the words you’ll hear most often from my mouth those days are, “just skip it!” My homeschooling mojo has left the building. My inspiration lies wet and soggy somewhere underneath a pile of once shiny-new ideas. I need a pick-me-up, and a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino with almond milk just won’t do. I’m experiencing homeschool burnout.

I’ve been through this before. Many times. Here are three things that have helped me avoid homeschool burnout (in order).

Stop Feeling Guilty

I know you feel it. You can’t deny it. We homeschool moms are the ones who begin each year with our polished new ideas and clean schedules and high hopes. When we get to May and are reminded of all the ways in which our ideas didn’t pan out, we feel awful. It’s to be expected. But guilt (or remorse or regret) just don’t serve us. Throw those feelings away and replace them with a mind open to learning why those ideas didn’t pan out. For me, it’s usually because of one of these three things: (more…)

What You Need to Know Before Your Homeschool Portfolio Evaluation & A GIVEAWAY

homeschool evaluation

I will not ask your child to jump through hoops for me. A few years ago, in my local area, it was common to hear from homeschooling families that their portfolio evaluator “tested” their kids during a portfolio evaluation. My initial reaction: WHY?! During a portfolio evaluation with me, I will not ask your child to read aloud to me, do math computations for me, or recite the dates of the major battles in the Civil War. There are, however, certain things that all homeschool evaluators must look for according to FL law, and a portfolio evaluation does not include any of those things listed above. Here’s what you need to know before booking your portfolio evaluation. 

 

We are so fortunate as homeschoolers across the country to have several options to choose from when it comes to providing evidence that our students have made progress each year. The benefits of using the portfolio evaluation option are many. Just take a look at this article to read more. I feel so strongly that the portfolio gives you and me a much more comprehensive picture of your child’s progress than any standardized or nationally normed test, that I do portfolio reviews exclusively.  Testing has its place. I have my girls test every year in addition to reviewing their portfolio and I often recommend that my clients do both as well. 

 

Authenticity

 

Portfolio assessments provide an authentic way of demonstrating progress, skills and accomplishments. If I ask your child to read aloud to me, in order to assess his/her fluency, what would I be basing that day’s progress on? I would not know how your child’s fluency was at the beginning of your homeschool year in order to compare. Similarly, if I ask your student to take a math test for me, or any other one-time summative assessment, I would need a standard or benchmark with which to compare.

 

Let’s Look at the Difference Between Formative and Summative Assessments

A portfolio should include any type of formative or summative assessments that you, (the teacher) have done throughout the year.  The difference between formative and summative assessments is that formative assessments are given by you (the teacher) and help you monitor progress and provide feedback as you go along. For example, you are reading a great work of literature with your student, and you pause at the end of every chapter in order to assess comprehension. You provide feedback and identify any areas of strength or weakness which will help your student improve their learning.

Summative assessments are assessments that come at the end of a unit or course, and will examine your student’s learning by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.  For example, you may make up your own grading rubric after doing a unit study on Shakespeare. You then ask your student to compare Romeo and Juliet to Julius Caesar by designing a multimedia project.  Your grading rubric shows your student details of what you expect out of their paper or project which you will later use to “grade” it.

What I like to See as an Evaluator

During a portfolio review, I like to see YOUR formative and summative assessments included in the child’s portfolio.  I am happy to listen to your child read so that I can assess fluency if you would like me to, however, I never include this as part of my portfolio evaluation process, nor does the law in my state ask me to.

I am concerned that if homeschool evaluators who conduct annual portfolio reviews continue to ask their students to do these types of activities as a general rule, that they will be setting a precedent for this, and eventually our homeschool-friendly state will be adding these requirements to the law so that all homeschool evaluators will then put your child to the test As a homeschooling parent myself, I rather enjoy my freedom to be able to decide whether or not I want another person to administer (any type of) test to my children.  I certainly wouldn’t want my children to have to be subjected to it during a portfolio review.

Go here to learn more about the benefits of distance evaluations. Read here for a list of FAQs about what I look for in a portfolio. 

Enter to win one free service of your choice: A 30-minute coaching session OR a portfolio evaluation for one child!

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