Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Homeschooling in the Northern Territory of Australia

Angie Tester homeschools her four children Isabella, Olivia, Lucas and Kaleb
This is my friend, Angie, and her 4 children.  She was recently interviewed by the NT Times on homeschooling.  Angie is one of the first homeschoolers I met here.  Her and I ran the homeschool co-op in Darwin.  Here is the article that was published.  It was good to see homeschooling in a positive light and also to see that it is growing!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Clued In Kids {TOS Review}

Clued In KidsReview
Here is a fun review we recently did for Clued in Kids!
We reviewed the Winter Treasure Hunt (PDF) and the Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt (PDF).
They are $5.99 each.
These treasure hunts are great for kids 4 and up.
Clued In KidsReview
The Winter Printable Treasure Hunt has 12 clues that you search for throughout your house.  Since we have had temps hitting over 100F, this was a welcome relief to pretend it was winter...we had to try hard to pretend it was cold outside (it helped us prepare for our trip to America coming up!). 
My kids enjoyed this treasure hunt.  My six year old couldn't answer many of the questions to find the next clue (some you have to read, unscramble words, or answer a few easy multiplication problems), but my 11 year old helped involve him as much as possible.
They enjoyed running around the house to find the next clue.  And they especially enjoyed their treasure...
A trip to McDonalds and the pool!
Pretty fun reward for a Winter Treasure Hunt!
Clued In KidsReview
The Thanksgiving Printable Treasure Hunt also has 12 fun clues to follow throughout the house.  The clues had questions all relating to Thanksgiving.
This treasure hunt my 11 year old wanted to do on her own as she is very big into Nancy Drew at the moment.  She took it as her own mystery to solve.  She enjoyed answering the questions, solving the quizzes, and so on to learn where the next clue was.  The entire treasure hunt took about 10-20 minutes.
Each Treasure Hunt comes with the 12 clues, there is instruction on each one where to hide it, and a cheat sheet in case you forget!  The clues we had were hidden in places like our pantry, with the shoes, in the washing machine, with our bikes, on a bookcase, etc.  It didn't take me long to hide the clues, and the treasure hunt took my kids 10-20 minutes, depending on how hard I hid the clues.  :)
These treasure hunts would be great for slumber parties, birthday parties, playdates, or just alone with your kids like we did.  There are lots of different treasure hunts to chose from, from seasonal to nutritional-based to education-related.  You can order just the printable treasure hunts and supply your own treasure, or you can buy treasure hunts that come with the treasure! 
Sign up for their newsletter and receive a free treasure hunt!
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate {TOS Review}

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
Hello!  I have another TOS Homeschool Review for you.  We've had such a great year reviewing some great homeschool products, and this is no exception.  We enjoyed reviewing Standard Deviants Homeschool Courses for  Standard Deviants Accelerate.  This is ideal for ages 8 through adult.
Standard Deviants Homeschool Courses have many courses to chose from.  Here are just a few:
  • Earth Science (grades 6+)
  • Nutrition (grades 6+)
  • Biology (grades 7+)
  • Chemistry (grades 9+
  • Arithmetic (grades 3+)
  • Fundamental Math (grades 4+)
  • US History (grades 9+)
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
This course is entirely online.  Each child will need their own email.  For those of you who have children without emails, you can quickly set up one through gmail for free. 

My daughter didn't have any issues using the website.  It fairly easy to manoeuvre around.  We mainly did the Fundamental Mathematics course, but we did check out some of the others.
When my daughter would log in all she needed to do was click that box, it would then take her to the list of lessons.  The lessons are divided into chapters. 
The lessons have short videos to watch, and you can print out the transcript if you wish.  The videos were under 10 minutes each, a few were a bit longer.  Autumn did this course a few days each week and would watch at least two videos each time.

The quizzes are automatically graded for you, and they keep a record of all the scores.  Another great bonus for homeschool moms!
The lessons/videos were engaging.  This was a very good refresher on math for her, and she learned some new things.  There were activities to do, which required several children.  Some of those we skipped if we couldn't do it with just one. 
With each lesson, there were several tabs to click on.  The first one was the video lesson, the next was vocab, then diagram, a quiz with multiple choices, and a written answer quiz.

Here is a good video to show how Standard Deviants Accelerate works for homeschoolers:

For homeschoolers the cost is $99/year or $24.95/month.  There is a six month free trial.  Check out the box below.
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
Social Media for Standard Deviants Accelerate:
I know there are many online sources to chose from, but why go searching when this one is here?!  Don't just take my word for it, check out the link below to read more reviews from other homeschoolers.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Gold Coast & Brisbane

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a conference in the Gold Coast for my job.  The conference was wonderful, and was very informative.  Plus I got to do a little sight-seeing as well.
My view  from the plane.
The beautiful view from my hotel in the Gold Coast.
My hotel room.  Two big beds all to myself!
After the conference we took the train back to Brisbane,
my co-worker had family there so I stayed at a hotel.
The view from my hotel in Brisbane.
I had all day Saturday free, so I was looking through the brochures at the motel
and came across a whale watching one.  Not to hard to decide!
This has been on my bucket list for ages.
Best part of my trip! #Brisbanewhalewatching
I was thrilled to be able to see dolphins in their natural habitat.
I can cross this off my bucket list!
I had such a wonderful week.
I am so blessed with a wonderful job, and I only work 8 hours a week!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A View From the Top

Hello, this was my view yesterday. 
 I'm in the Gold Coast for a conference.  It's beautiful here!  Photos to come!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gleanings from the Field ~ A 365 day devotional book

The Baptist Missionary Women have wrote their hearts onto paper and it will soon be published as a devotional book.  Around 70 missionary women from all over the world have contributed to this book, myself included.  The book will cost approximately $10.  If you are interested in a copy, please leave a comment.  We will contact you in the near future for payment and your mailing address.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fortuigence {TOS Review}

Fortuigence Review
As many of you know I am part of the TOS Review Crew.  This means I am given homeschool related products to try and review.  Recently we had the privilege to review Essay Rock Star Textual Analysis Writing Course for FortuigenceFortuigence is a homeschool writing curriculum that is completely online.
Teaching writing can be a difficult task.  For some it comes easy, for others it can be a struggle.  My daughter enjoys writing, but she struggles with keeping everything flowing. 
One of my favourite things Fortuigence has to offer is that there is nothing for me to do, no grading, proofreading, lesson plans, etc.  Everything is online, assignments are sent via the website and the teacher will respond via emails.  This makes my job so much easier!
Besides Essay Rock Star Textual Analysis Writing Course, Fortuigence offers three other Rock Star courses as well:

Essay Rock Star Personal Statement Writing Course
The personal statement, also known as a personal narrative is helpful to learn as many college applications require a “tell us about yourself” or personal statement essay.

Essay Rock Star Persuasive Essay Writing Course
This type of essay is important because the writing sections of most college entrance exams like the SAT require persuasive essay writing.

Essay Rock Star Expository Essay Writing Course
The expository essay is a common essay is often assigned in high school or college. The purpose of an expository essay is to explain a specific subject.

Each course costs $57.  If your child is doing the program 3 times a week, it can be finished in 4-5 weeks, but this program is designed for the child to go at their own pace.  So no need to rush.  These courses are ideal for ages 12-18.  My daughter is 11, and did struggle a bit with some of the terms and it's taking her a bit longer to finish.  I would definitely recommend it for teenagers.

Fortuigence Review
Like I said, we reviewed the Essay Rock Star Textual Analysis Writing Course.  A review on someone's work is a Textual Analysis.  I guess that's what I'm doing here.  :)  The course has 7 lessons.  You cannot skip lessons, they must be done in order.  Your child is given assignments.  These assignments are submitted on the website (you can easily upload your document).  Autumn submitted her assignments and received an email the next day. 
SP - ERS-TA Course Screen Shot
This is your child's online classroom.  On the left you see the lessons.  Check marks appear when the lesson is complete.  Each lesson has a video and the script below.  You can also submit your work here.  If you have any questions, just click "Ask a question of the instructor" there on the bottom left.  We never needed to use this, but I'm sure they respond quickly.
The website is very easy to manoeuvre around.  There is a great deal of information.  I encourage you to take some time to look around.
There are many writing courses onlines, so why chose Fortuigence?  Here are a few reasons:
  • Writing instruction from a teacher with 10+ years of experience
  • No scheduled classes, when you start and finish is up to you, you work at your own pace
  • A real teacher reviews and grades your child's work
  • Feedback from your teacher within 24 (business) hours
  • They work with special need learners

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