Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Funnies- Elmo, You Can Drive My Car

Oh my gosh, who would'a thunk it?  Seriously....we went to the library tonight and picked up some CDs, the kids and I.  Well, of course, an Elmo CD had to make it into the mix.  Elmo is Jaden's hero right now; well, in Jaden's words, Melmo.  Anyway, who would have thought that I'd be driving down the highway, actually rocking out with the kids to Elmo, You Can Drive My Car?  LOLOL  Seriously, it's such a fun song.  It's even cuter when you have a toddler in the back doing all the Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Yeah!  LOL  Oh, if you don't have a library with tons of kids' music, you are missing out on many good laughs, my friends!:)  Enjoy!  (Let's see if you can keep from rockin'out.)LOL

For more Friday Funnies, visit Kim at Homesteaders Heart.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just Can't Get Enough

I know my blog has been full of reviews this week....I've been desperately working to get completely caught up and ahead with the Crew, so that I can be ahead of the game and have more time for MamaBuzz and personal posts, as well....bear with me.:)  This week has seemed like it's in slow motion; I'm not feeling the greatest, haven't really been for the last couple weeks.  I don't know what's going on.   

Last night in choir, though, Pastor Jeff introduced us to a new song, and I just can't get enough of it.  I thought I'd share with you all.  It's called Mighty Wind, and it's written by Andrae Crouch.  Oh my, it is beautiful, and I can not wait to sing it in church in the future.  We're just starting to work on it.  Listen to it, and tell me if you can't feel a mighty wind just come rushing into the very room where you's amazing how the Holy Spirit can lift us up through music, isn't it?  Enjoy!:)

TOS Crew: Apologia- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

When I first started homeschooling, I did so much research into everything I could; I searched online intensively, I talked to other homeschoolers, and I went to local bookstores, just trying to find resources to help me figure things out. I still do much research and welcome any and all help that I can get.

When I received Apologia's The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, I was happy to add it to my resource shelf. Out of all the books I got in the beginning, I have a small resource shelf that I keep books on that I use for reference all the time. This book is so multi-faceted that it's going there, as well.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling starts out with a Foreword by Michael Farris, who is the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association.  There are also tips on how to use the book and an introduction to the book.  Throughout the book, there are suggestions for further reading and study on certain subjects, websites that will help you, examples and stories from the author's experience, other opinions from other experienced homeschool families, and information on recommended resources.  The end of the book also contains a Resource Guide, in which you will find pages and pages of Homeschooling Organizations and Publications, Recommended Supplier and Products, and Academic/Athletic Contests and Competitions.  There is also an accompanying website for the book at Apologia.  The book is formatted in an interesting, informative, enjoyable way.  The following is a listing of the major sections of the book:
  • Part 1: Homeschooling: Is It for You?
  • Part 2: Choosing a Curriculum (a daunting but very pleasant task for any homeschooler)
  • Part 3: Organization and Planning
  • Part 4: Preventing Burnout
  • Part 5: What to Teach-When and How
  • Part 6: Homeschooling Teens
  • Part 7: Computers in the Homeschool
  • Part 8: Creative Solutions
  • Part 9: Measuring Your Success
  • Pre-Game Pep Talk
  • Part 10: Resource Guide
The parts that were most helpful for me are hard to say, for sure, because the whole book is really helpful.  The section on burnout is one that I need to read over and over to remind myself of different strategies that could help when either I or Jacob are feeling that "can't take this anymore" feeling.  I want school to be an enjoyable time for my boys, so this chapter is quite helpful in offering advice and ideas on how to switch things up.  Too often it's easy to get sucked into the schedule and curriculum, when really, there are times when all of that needs to go to the side for more important learning opportunities, aka, life lessons.  Another part that I found helpful was the Creative Solutions section, in which there's a section on how to deal with different challenges, such as toddlers while homeschooling and even motivating a reluctant student.  With a second grader who demands my attention in school, it can be hard to give my toddler the attention he requires at the same time, and I've tried some of the ideas from this chapter; so a lot of this was stuff I already do, but it still is great information for a beginning homeschool mom.  The strategies to help motivate the reluctant student were very informative, creative, and helpful.  

All in all, this book is a great resource to have on your shelf.  With all of the resources it contains, there is something for every homeschooling family.  You can get this book from Apologia for $20.  Packed with information from one homeschool mom to another, this book is definitely one I'll be keeping around.  

To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

(Disclosure: I was provided this book, free of charge, by Apologia, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)

TOS Crew: Presidential Penmanship (BJ Style)

Zeezok Publishing is a company that has a variety of different materials, including music studies, literature, character building, and penmanship.

We received Presidential Penmanship (BJ Style) to review in our homeschool endeavors.  I just want to be up front and honest in this review; since this style is a different style than what Jacob is used to doing, rather than confuse him, I chose to not use the style with him.  He began cursive writing early on, and he has really begun to grasp it, and I didn't want to set a different style in front of him and confuse him by that.  We can, however, use the quotes that are included in our own style.  The BJ Style has a more modern feel to it than more traditional styles.

Presidential Penmanship is a handwriting program for grades 1-12.  The lessons in first and second grades focus on manuscript writing.  Lessons are broken down by weeks and days of the week.  The lessons are shorter in the younger grades, and the student begins the lesson by reading and tracing the quote or passage.  All of the quotes and passages included in the Presidential Penmanship program are taken from past U.S. Presidents and other historical figures.  These people include George Washington, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, etc.  Not only is your student learning how to have good handwriting and gaining practice, but he's learning these historical quotes, which he is also encouraged to memorize in the younger years, at least.  These quotes not only promote the founding principles of our nation but also good character qualities.  Scripture is even included at certain points.  Cursive writing begins in third grade, and the passages and quotes start to get longer. In the junior high/senior high years, he will copy passages from famous Presidential speeches/addresses.  

You can purchase Presidential Penmanship (BJ Style) from Zeezok Publishing for $39.99; with this price, you get the complete program on CD or the ebook.  You can also purchase each level separately for $9.99.  Later on, after Jacob has fully grasped cursive writing, we may use this as a handwriting program because it will provide the practice he needs in learning how to write neatly, plus it is beneficial to the mind and heart.

To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.    

(Disclosure: I was provided this product, free of charge, by Zeezok Publishing, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shine Your Light Wed: Convoy of Hope

(Throughout this post will be pictures of Haiti that Convoy of Hope has given me permission to use.  Some of these pictures are graphic, so I give warning before you read, in case you have a child in the room.)  

Convoy of Hope is an organization that I've been learning more about since the earthquake struck in Haiti.  They are down there right now, and at last update, they had distributed at least 229,496 meals from 9 different locations and installed 30 water filters. 

Started in 1994, their mission is simply this: The mission of Convoy of Hope is simple - we exist to feed millions of people in need in the United States and around the world through children’s nutrition initiatives, citywide outreaches and disaster response.  

I think the thing that struck me the most was that their founder, Hal Donaldson, had lost his father in an accident when he was just a little boy, and his mother had such extensive injuries that they were struggling.  With the help of local churches and neighbors, though, they were provided with food and shelter, and this instilled, in Hal, a sense of determination and drive to help those in need.  As a result, Convoy of Hope came to being.  It goes to show that the influence you have on people in your life can have far-reaching effects.

Headquarters located in Springfield, MO place Convoy of Hope in a prime location for their trucks to be able to pick up/deliver supplies.  Their distribution center/warehouse is about 300,000 square foot, in which to store food and relief supplies.  They also have a fleet of trucks to deliver these supplies (which was exciting to me because half of my family are truck drivers, and I really want to tell them about this).  

Convoy of Hope not only responds to disasters and helps prepare communities for disasters through their H.O.P.E. Begins Here program (they responded to Hurricane Katrina and are now in Haiti), but they work in different communities each year, bringing hope and compassion through their many volunteers.  

They help to provide food/hot meals, clean water, medical/dental screenings, haircuts, groceries, etc.  They also help connect the people they help with local churches and organizations in their own community, as well as help them with job placement.  Each person is treated with much respect and compassion. 

They also work with communities to become sustainable, not only through drilling wells and installing water filters, but through providing vegetable seeds and agricultural info.  They have a global nutrition program that feeds 21,000 children every day.  Convoy of Hope has helped more than 30 million people and provided more than 160 million pounds of food.

Convoy of Hope partners together with faith-based institutions, like local churches and schools, in order to do what they do.  They also have worked with organizations like FEMA, FedEx, NVOAD, Assemblies of God, Mercy Medical Airlift, North American Mission Board, etc.  When local churches, organizations, corporations, and government come together, the impact of an outreach or disaster response is significant.  

Convoy of Hope also offers opportunities to those wishing to volunteer and give of their time, compassionate people who truly do want to make a difference.  
You can give a donation to Convoy of Hope (which is tax-deductible).  You can also volunteer with Convoy of Hope.  Here in Springfield, they have the Hands of Hope project every Tuesday night, in which volunteers can help to pack, sort, and work with the relief shipments that are getting ready to go out.  Children can even go, but if your child is under the age of 12, you need to accompany them.  You can contact Convoy of Hope to find out more about this if you live in the Springfield area.  Another thing I'm excited about is their Convoy Go Teams, teams of volunteers who go when disaster strikes.  

My husband and I were just talking about doing something like this the other night, especially since I'm a nurse, and he has experience in construction/technical aspects.  You can find the application for the Go Teams here. Convoy of Hope also puts together international teams to go for 8-10 days.

In fact, they are in Haiti right now, as mentioned above.  They are providing food to people and trying to keep it organized, so that things don't get out of hand.  

Each person who comes through the gate receives two packs of Feed My Starving Children fortified rice and soy protein meal package, which contains six meals per packet.  
They've also installed clean water filters, since the lack of clean water in Port-au-Prince has become a major problem, so much so that officials are worried that they are going to begin seeing disease spread.  You can read more news headlines from Haiti.  You can also follow Convoy of Hope on both Facebook and Twitter.  That way you can get the latest status updates of their work in Haiti right now.

I hope this has enlightened you as to one organization that is on the ground in Haiti right now and how this organization blesses so many people through its continual efforts.  Remember to shine your light!   

Valentine's Giveaway from JaneWear Jewelry

Valentine's Day is coming soon!  In the spirit of the holiday, Laura Jane from JaneWear has graciously offered to give away a piece of her handcrafted jewelry, made out of fine silver, to one of my wonderful readers.  Laura Jane is now a happily married newlywed after 8 years of being a single mommy.

She resides here in the Midwest, taking inspiration from the simple things, such as the calmness of morning walks and Sunday morning hymns.  She says that she feels so blessed by all that God has given her.  In her Etsy shop, Laura Jane says, "Thank you for taking the time to browse my work... I cannot wait to share my pieces with you... to me it's sharing a part of my heart."

All of Laura Jane's pieces are handcrafted and made out of fine silver.  You can see how much Laura loves creating jewelry by the fine detail and beauty in each and every piece.  Her pieces are truly one of a kind.  This business has given her the ability to be able to stay home with her family, which she enjoys very much.

Some of Laura Jane's most popular pieces right now are her Love Cushion Fine Silver Pendant Necklace and her Fingerprints Left on My Heart- Fine Silver Necklace.  The unique thing about the Fingerprints Necklace is that she will use your own fingerprint, or even those of your child/significant other to make it truly special.  

You can become a fan of JaneWear on Facebook, and you can even browse around both her Etsy shop and her JaneWear website.  She also has a blog which she has recently started. 

Now for the giveaway information you've been waiting for.  Laura Jane is donating her Love Cushion Fine Silver Pendant Necklace for this Valentine's Day giveaway.  
Hung on an 18" sterling silver rolo chain, this pendant is hand dipped for antique patina, which helps to bring out the details in the design.  Laura even makes slight changes to each of these pieces that she creates; that way, it's customized to fit you, personally.  With a beating swirl heart added to the pendant, it's truly a remarkable and beautiful piece of jewelry that you can wear for years to come....or even give as a wonderful gift.  It is valued at $62.  

To enter this giveaway, you can enter in one or more of the following ways, but be sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter.  I'll draw the winner on Wednesday, February 10, using
  1. Head over to JaneWear or the JaneWear Etsy shop, and leave me a comment letting me know one other piece of Laura's jewelry that you fell in love with.
  2. Subscribe to JaneWear.
  3. Comment on the Janewear blog.
  4. Follow my blog, or you can subscribe to my posts.
  5. Follow me on Twitter; tweet about this giveaway. 
  6. Blog about this giveaway on your own blog, being sure to link back to Real Heart Prints.
  7. Digg or Stumble this post.
  8. Place my blog button in your sidebar or on your blog somewhere.
  9. Vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs (just click the button in my sidebar).
Good luck, and Happy early Valentine's Day!:)

TOS Crew: Math Tutor

Math has sometimes been a tough subject to teach while homeschooling Jacob.  Anyone who reads my blog knows I've talked about this before....but God knows all our weaknesses, and He has certainly provided the supplements and helps that we have needed this year, through the Crew.  I am so thankful for that.  This review is a little different, as instead of reviewing a website or a textbook, we got to review a couple of DVDs from Math Tutor.

The Basic Math Word Problem Tutor, an 8 hour video course, comes with 2 DVDs and covers basic word problems in several areas, including the following:
  • Adding Whole Numbers
  • Subtracting Whole Numbers
  • Multiplying Whole Numbers
  • Dividing Whole Numbers
  • Adding Decimals
  • Subtracting Decimals
  • Multiplying Decimals
  • Dividing Decimals
  • Adding Fractions
  • Subtracting Fractions
  • Multiplying Fractions
  • Dividing Fractions
  • Percents, Part 1
  • Percents, Part 2
  • Ratio and Proportion

Since Jacob is only in 2nd grade, we concentrated on the Adding and Subtracting Whole Numbers sections of the video.  He has struggled with word problems a little bit, so this was a great review for him.  The instructor in the videos is Jason Gibson, a former NASA flight controller.  In the videos, Mr. Gibson emphasizes to the student to try to "Understand what the problem is really asking you."  He also emphasizes that practice is key, and he only talks to the student for a very short time before actually delving into practice problems.  Most of the video is filled with problems to solve, which are written down at the bottom of the screen, so that the student can both hear the problem and read the problem.  Then, Mr. Gibson works the problems on the board, providing many illustrations and pictures to help the student in solving.  He does every problem step by step, breaking it down into parts.  He even emphasizes labeling the problem, which helps the student to associate the numbers with the parts.  At the beginning of each section, such as addition or subtraction, he gives certain key words that go along with those types of problems, such as total, how many in all, how much more, how much less, what is left over, etc.  Throughout the practice, he also reviews certain math skills that go along with each specific problem, such as carrying, lining up place value, counting forward or backward to add or subtract, borrowing, etc.  He also includes money problems, which I thought was good, seeing as dollar and cent signs seem to trip Jacob up at times.  The thing I would recommend is having your child sit and watch the DVD with notebook and pencil in hand, so he can work right along with the instructor.

This video has no frills to it, as it is a math DVD, helping students to understand word problems, but it's definitely a huge help.  I did notice that the addition section seemed to be very basic problems, but the subtraction section dove into more complex problems.  You can hear testimonials and see sample videos of this DVD here.  You can purchase this 8 hour DVD for $26.99 from Math Tutor DVD.  Right now, they have a special going, in which Each new Math Tutor DVD customer receives 60 minutes of FREE live online tutoring available 24/7 through! A $35.00 Value!  I definitely recommend this DVD if your child struggles with word problems. 

The next DVD we received is one that I loved, loved, loved.  It was the Young Minds- Numbers and Counting DVD. This DVD kept Jaden mesmerized for more than half of it, and Jacob loved the games and pictures on it.  With classical music by some of the greatest composers who ever lived, such as Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Pachelbel, Chopin, etc., and bright, vivid, colorful images to go along with the music, I recommend this DVD for any parent with young toddlers/children.  As the movie progresses, it shows beautiful images of animals/wildlife, fruits, flowers, modes of transportation, inanimate objects, nature, etc., and it includes numbers with these.  There is a set number of objects in each picture, and it starts at 1, eventually showing pictures with up to 10 objects for the child to count.  The numbers are shown as the child's voice on the video counts.  Your child can count right along with the movie.  With each picture, certain facts or sounds or colors are given that the child can associate with that picture.  For example, Jaden especially enjoyed and giggled with the "moo" cow.  He also enjoyed the sounds of the backhoes.  With each new number that is introduced, there is a new musical piece to go along with it.  I could honestly feel the learning taking place and the brain cells growing while watching this video....:) 

There are also bonus features to go along with the video, and these include puzzles, counting the dots, and a game called Guess the Animal.  My boys especially loved guessing which animal was in the picture, as the screen started with a close-up of the animal and gave certain riddles for the child to guess at; as the riddle went on, the screen panned out to show which animal it was talking about.  You can watch a sample video to give you an idea of how this DVD works.

I highly recommend this DVD.  I plan to use it with Jaden to help him learn his numbers.  I am so excited to have gotten the opportunity to review this DVD, and I can't say enough good things about it.  You can purchase the Young Minds DVD from Math Tutor for $19.99.  This DVD has received several awards, including the Creative Child Magazine 2009 Top Choice Award.  

To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

(Disclosure: I received these DVDs, free of charge, from Math Tutor, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.) 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time Out Tuesdays: Link Up Your Giveaways

Time to prop up your feet for a few seconds before you are needed again.:)  You never know when you might have to jump in your closet and don your "Supermom" outfit.:)  Enjoy, and link up your giveaways below!

My friend, Jenn, over at Classless and Lovin' It has some great Audio Finds; you can listen to old records you might have had when you were a child.

4 Crazy Kings has a great Valentine's Day craft for you and your kids, Sailor Valentines.

Stop and Smell the Chocolates has a great post on How To Make Your Own Lattes.  Yum!  (If you like Lattes....some of us prefer hot cocoa, but I know several people who can't deny a good Latte.)

At the Well...In Pursuit of Titus 2 has an inspiring post, Less of Me...More of You.

Finally, Raising Arrows will encourage you, as a mother, with her post, Motherhood Isn't for Dummies.

A new website I've found and am using for layout ideas: Creative Memories Project Page.  I've started learning how to scrapbook, and I look for ideas and layouts online that I can kinda follow.  This page has tons of layout designs you can browse through and even search by topic. 

Ok, link up your giveaways!  Have a wonderful week!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Organizing Your Homeschool

With the new year upon us, it's usually the time of year that we take a step back, reevaluate how things are going, and then tweak what we're doing, making changes if needed. If you homeschool, then you know how important it is to do this,  especially in your kids' schedules and study times. We ended up doing a slight overhaul to our schedule when January wasn't that our old schedule was bad, but it just wasn't quite working, and we were a bit overwhelmed. So, it was time for a change.

To read more, visit my post over at MamaBuzz....

Daybook for Monday, January 25, 2010

FOR TODAY... from Mel's Daybook....

Outside my window... it's really windy and dark, and it just sounds cold.  Perfect morning for staying in a warm home.

I am thinking... that this week is going to be so busy with all of Jacob's extra Tae Kwon Do classes, but he gets to learn how to use his nunchakkes (yikes), and he has Fight Night this week, so he's really excited.

I am thankful for... my church family.

I am wearing... what else?  Jammies and robe; it's too early for clothes yet.:)

I am remembering... how much fun I had scrapbooking this weekend.

I am going... to the library and Tae Kwon Do later on.

I am currently reading... Beguiled for a review.

I am hoping... to maybe use a coupon at Michaels this week; we'll see.  I'm really eyeing a couple little things.

On my mind... is all the lesson plans I have to start on this morning, for the next four weeks of school.  Planning out four weeks at a time just saves so much time.

Noticing that... the weather's calling for possible snow/ice later on this week; please no ice....but let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Pondering these words... "Intercessory prayer must precede hell razing.  Take your place between the dead and the living"- Pastor Hosea yesterday.
From the kitchen... tonight will be vegetable soup and grilled cheese.

Around the house... definitely have to clean today; I think it's time to check out the surprises that await in the couches and underneath; it's amazing what you find when you vacuum out the furniture.

One of my favorite things~ relaxing with my family on a rainy day.

From my picture journal...(My Dan)

To read more Daybook, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman.

TOS Crew: Dollar Homeschool/Ray's Arithmetic

When I got an email for the Crew from Dollar Homeschool/Ray's Arithmetic, I really didn't know what to expect.  I thought it was going to be just another math course for Jacob and I to review.  Little did I know the background behind it or what all it entailed.  Dollar HomeschoolEES, or Eclectic Education Series, which was the set of textbooks used back in the one-room schoolhouses from 1865-1915.  I was immediately intrigued by this. is actually a company that has brought back into existence, for homeschoolers everywhere, the

We actually had the privilege of reviewing the entire math collection, Ray's Arithmetic.

This CD is comprised of 38 books, including textbooks, teacher's editions, answer keys, and some extracurricular math books.  Here's a listing of just the math textbooks included:
  • Ray's Primary Arithmetic
  • Ray's Intellectual Arithmetic
  • Ray's New Elementary Arithmetic/Rudimentary Arithmetic
  • Ray's New Practical Arithmetic
  • Ray's New Higher Arithmetic
  • Ray's New Elementary Algebra
  • Ray's New Higher Algebra
  • A Complete Algebra
  • Ray's Treatise on Geometry and Trigonometry
  • Ray's Analytic Geometry
  • Ray's Differential and Integral Calculus
  • Ray's Elements of Astronomy
  • Dubbs Problems for Practical Arithmetic
  • Complete Book Keeping
  • Schuylers Logic
  • Schuylers Surveying and Navigation
  • Norton's Elements of Physics
  • A Complete Algebra
  • White's First Book of Arithmetic
  • White's Intermediate Arithmetic
  • White's New Complete Math
  • White's Practical Problems in Arithmetic
This is such a comprehensive list that I picked just a few to give a more thorough review on; also seeing as Jacob is only in 2nd grade, there were only a few that we can use right now.  I can say, though, that I'm very grateful to have this as a resource later on in future years.

Ray's Primary Arithmetic begins by teaching your student to count.  It has oral exercises, as well as written exercises, which is good for Jacob.  I try to use both types of exercises with him in math because it seems to help him learn it even more quickly and in different ways by using both auditory and visual/kinesthetic learning styles.  Next the book progresses into addition, and I noticed that there are a lot of word problems, which is also something that Jacob and I can use over and over, as he struggles somewhat with word problems.  Just to give you an example of how the book presents addition problems, here is one: 5 and 1 are 6.  That's the format of the combinations.  Likewise, as you get into subtraction, the combinations are set up like the following: 4 from 9 leaves 5.  After subtraction comes multiplication and then division.  All of these basic math concepts are taught in a very mental/intellectual way.  Towards the end of the book come concepts like money, weight and measures, etc.  I can definitely see us using this as a supplement over the next couple of years, although it could most certainly be used as a main text.  With a few black and white illustrations throughout, it's not the most eye-catching text, but the amount of learning to be had with the use of this book far outweighs any cosmetic disadvantages.

As you progress each year to the next level and the next book, you begin with some rudimentary review, just so your child can be sure he understands previous concepts.  

Ray's Intellectual Arithmetic begins with a review of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and then proceeds right into fractions.  I know with Jacob that I have to illustrate a lot of concepts, so that he can visually see it before he understands it, so I'd have to make use of the dry erase board, since there are not a lot of illustrations that accompany the text.  This could be a good thing, though, as it promotes more of a mental form of math, which is needed out in the real world.  Ratios and percentages are taught after fractions are mastered.  The amount of word problems is just amazing....I was thinking I needed to buy a supplement for Jacob in his math for this very purpose, but I can see now that I have all I need right here to help me teach him basic concepts.

Rudimentary Arithmetic begins with Roman numerals and place value.  It then proceeds into more advanced mental exercises with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Money, weight, and measures are incorporated, and everything is just much more advanced.

Elementary Arithmetic again begins with a review and then proceeds into more advanced problems, even leading into decimals and the metric system.

White's First Book of Arithmetic is much like Ray's Primary Arithmetic in the beginning, but you quickly notice that it covers more than just primary math.  It's actually meant to cover 3 years worth of work in arithmetic, leading from addition all the way through fractions, decimals, and measurements.  

Again, there may not be a whole lot of cosmetic advantages to the series, although the pictures in the books are wonderful, in my opinion; they just are not as colorful as a lot of today's books.  Pictures don't make the book, though; that's just common sense.  What I mean is that there aren't illustrations to go along with the concepts....they could easily be illustrated by a teacher or parent, though.  One specific advantage you have with this whole program is that you have all of the K-12 school years covered in math, once you purchase this series.  Granted, it is a PDF file, so you have to print it, but it's everything!  The best part is that it's only $59 for this CD.  If you have multiple children, this is a truly huge savings when it comes to purchasing math programs for all of them.  Not only that, but you don't have to pay extra for all of the teacher's editions and answer keys.  They are right there. Another great thing about this series is that it was designed to keep in mind the children who were living on the frontier, who were being taught by their parents.  It is designed to be self-teachable and progress in a logical manner for the child.  You can find out more about Ray's Arithmetic on the Dollar Homeschool site.  Just to let you know also that you can buy, for a limited time, the whole EES for $159 with a 30 day money back guarantee.

To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

(Disclosure: I was provided this CD, free of charge, by Dollar Homeschool/Ray's Arithmetic, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)

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