Updates & Curriculum Choices for 21/22 School Year

Next month we start the back to Homeschool routine with my youngest, who is a junior in high-school now (where has the time gone?). Then my middle daughter and I, will be returning to college. Our oldest is taking some time off to pray and seek God about the next steps she should take in her life. I’m really excited because I will get to have one of my classes on campus. If the government doesn’t mess us up. I’m looking forward to school starting.

I have also rejoined the Homeschool Review Crew for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I was on it years ago when my kids were much younger and we tried out a lot of elementary and middle school stuff that are all posted here on the blog. Now I get to try out a lot of high school items. The reviews will be posted on the Facebook page so make sure you are following so you don’t miss a thing.

Hope and Ben Kenobi

We will also be returning to our local homeschool co-op after a year off. I am teaching World History to middle and high school students. My youngest is taking an Anatomy, Health and a P.E. class. My hubby is teaching an Astronomy class for 3rd-5th graders during the fall semester this year.

My middle daughter, Hope, is about to turn 20 next week and our Ben Kenobi (furry son) will be celebrating his “gotcha day” on the 8th of August. He has been with us for a year and we love him so much. We are considering adopting a little brother or sister for him to have someone to play with while mommy and daddy are busy working/doing school. The benefit is that my hubby and I both work from home now and he loves every second of it. We can be with Ben all the time and we have a beautiful fenced backyard for him to get out and run in. He also loves to go for walks and play with his toys. We are having a hard time with stuffies as he thinks they are for shredding. We’ve even purchased the “shred proof” ones designed for Rotweillers and Pit Bull’s and he still manages to figure out how to shred them.

Junior Year Curriculum Choices

This year for our curriculum we are going to use the SchoolhouseTeachers.com courses. As well as Kahn academy and allinonehighschool for math. Here are the courses:

Junior Year Student

Me, Angel (our youngest) and my hubby, Andy. @Cumberland Falls State Resort Park July 2021

A + Interactive Math Adaptive Placement Test with Lesson Plan review and giveaway

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Adaptive Math Placement Test w/ Lesson Plan

A+ Interactive Math is a company that I have come to like very much. Their math programs are awesome and if you have children that absolutely love to work on the computer this program is perfect for them. I’ve received the opportunity to try out their new Adaptive Placement Test with Lesson Plan for review.

I have to say that I think this is a great program. I went through this with my youngest daughter and we identified early on some holes in her math education.  After discussing this with my husband we believe we will be signing up our kids for the family plan this coming fall.

The placement test is set up for your child to go through a number of questions per category. After they go through it the program identifies where the holes are in their education and sets up lesson plans to follow in order to help your child to close those gaps. The lessons are set up very much like their normal math program.  So if you have ever used the A+ Interactive program before you will be able to easily navigate the system.

Adaptive Math Placement Test

When you sign into the program you will see the menu above. You can choose to take the placement test, view the reports, view the lesson plan and watch a video tutorial on how to get started. It’s simple and easy for your student to use. Adaptive Math Placement Test

At the end of the placement test you will see a screen that looks like the one above.  It will show the grade level, what the students status is, how many questions were answered correctly or incorrectly or even skipped.  At this point if you see a huge set of answers either skipped or incorrect then you will have the ability to go back to the menu and look at the lesson plan for your child.

We love the ease of use, the lesson plans that are developed and how easy the program is for closing these learning gaps. My daughter loves using the online program and I love that I don’t have to download anything. It is all accessible from the teacher dashboard on the A+ website.

Today because you are a valued reader, A+ Interactive Math is offering each one of you  the following items for FREE. Now who doesn’t like free stuff?

FREE Math Placement Test – Most comprehensive program with multi-grade level “adaptive” testing to identify student’s current skill level.  It then creates an “individualized” lesson plan to target problem areas with everything included. Individualized lesson plan available for small fee.

FREE 1-Month Family Math Package Online – Comprehensive math program with access to ALL grade levels (K1-Algebra 1). Option for 1-10 Students. A+ Family Packages are the most flexible, comprehensive program on the market – allowing you to change grade levels as needed. This is excellent for those needing to review previous grade levels or move ahead. A+ interactive Math online is accessible from anywhere with high speed internet access. A+ Math Teaches, Grades, Measures, Reviews and Tracks automatically.

Download FREE “Time” Software ($21.95) ValueUse Coupon Code: Time4Aplus. This Time Teaching Software (valued at $21.95) introduces your students to Time. It teaches them about days, weeks, months and year, seconds, minutes and hours, telling time using analog and digital clocks, duration of time, converting units of time, and about finding and adding elapsed time.

Also one of my abundantly blessed readers will win the Math Placement Test with Lesson Plans for your choice of number of students. To enter to win this offer please enter the Gleam entry form below.

A+ Interactive Math Adaptive Placement Test With Lesson Plan Giveaway

Homeschool Minecraft Review & Giveaway

SKrafty Reviews and Giveaways


It’s back to school time, and for homeschool families – that means gathering curriculum, planning and finding new ways to inspire kids in their studies. SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft is the perfect way to add the fun and inspiration you need. This fall, the class line up is spectacular! If you need homeschool math, science, bible, history, language arts or more . . . you are in for a treat. Using some of your favorite homeschool curriculum companies (including Apologia Science, Mystery of History, and A+ Interactive Math) you’ll learn to incorporate Minecraft projects into your family homeschool.

SKrafty Classes

See all the new classes SKrafty has to offer HERE

Find out more about the fully monitored SKrafty Minecraft server where it is safe for your family and children – and get whitelisted for FREE right HERE. SKrafty is specially designed and the rules are constructed to encourage good sportsmanship – with no griefing allowed, no bad language or ugly talk, and no sharing of outside links to protect your children. See a full list of rules HERE. What other parents are saying about SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft:

“Since starting Skrafty my son has blossomed. His typing has gotten a lot better. School work is not a chore any more I just give him the list of what needs to be done and he does it. He finds the lessons entertaining and engaging and he loves the activities that go along with them. We are all very grateful for Skrafty.” ~ Cheryl J. “My son enjoys playing on Skrafty with other kids and I love that it is a safe, moderated Minecraft server! While playing on Skrafty he has learned creative building, developed critical thinking skills, made friends, and learned to be a team player. The classes have been fun and the reading program has encouraged him to read more than ever. Skrafty has been such a blessing to our family!” ~Julie B.

Special needs learning:

“Skrafty has been a huge blessing to our family! My son with dyslexia is not only learning but enjoying learning!!!! His reading and writing have developed more with Skrafty than any other program we have used. The classes are engaging because they are so hands on and truly turn learning into an adventure. I so highly recommend Skrafty!” ~ Caroline D.

What we learned:

We did the Animal Habitat’s class and although there were quite a few activities to do, Geek Girl felt as if some of the video’s that pertained to the classes were geared toward younger kids and not necessarily her age range. However, with that said, she did enjoy the classes and is excited to be on a Minecraft server that is geared towards education and a safe place to be. I don’t have to worry about what is going on due to it being a family friendly atmosphere. We are definitely looking at some of the other classes for this fall. The price is really affordable. If you are on a tight budget you shouldn’t have any issues finding one you can afford to be a part of. I will be recommending these classes to our friends.

Affordable: Extremely affordable classes (between $6.99 – $32.00) make it easy to add creativity and excitement into your education at home. Sign up HERE for live classes or self-paced classes and begin your journey into the world of homeschool Minecraft with SKrafty.

Giveaway Companies – Multiple Winners!

SKrafty Giveaways   Check out all the wonderful companies and prizes you can win for your family homeschool: 3 SKrafty Fall Classes – Value up to $32 each Mystery of History Volume 1,2, or 3 & Super Supplemental – Value $150 A+ Interactive Math – Family Package for 3 Students – Value $450 Adventures In ChildRearing – Wildlife Adventures bundle- Value $27.99 We Choose Virtues – Homeschool Kit – Value $98.99 Sidetracked Sarah – Crockpot Freezer Meals 3 pack – Value $8.97 Moore Family Films – ABC Say it With Me – Value $15.99 Not Consumed – Back to School 4 Pack – Value $12.50 Teach Them Diligently – Family Pass to 1 Convention – Value $65 Homeschool Adventure Co. – Philippians in 28 Weeks – Value $18.95 Media Angels – Homeschool Moms Rescue Set – Value $9.99 A Journey Through Learning Math Lapbook Value$15.00Dave Ramsey – Financial Peace Jr. – Value $24.95

Enter with 1 entry or enter with them all:

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K5 Learning Review

I was asked to try out this website with my daughter. We tried it for six weeks thanks to the people over at K5 Learning for allowing us to try this out for review.


K5 Learning is an online after school study program for kids in grades K-5. The program has 4 main areas Reading, Math, Spelling and Math facts. The program is set up to help build reading, math and study skills that will follow the child throughout their lifetime.

The program is customized to your child. The child will take an assessment and the program will set the program to start with what the child already knows and then develops from there as the child learns. This is an independent program and the parent/teacher receives progress reports weekly to inform them where the child is in their lessons and how they are doing.

The site offers free worksheets as well to help reinforce what they are learning after school. The program is priced at $25 for the first child ($15 each additional) a month or $199 for first child ($129 each additional) a year. It’s also 100% web based so you won’t have to worry about downloading any software onto your home computer.

Our review:

My daughter absolutely loved the math side of the lessons. She felt that they were more like games than lessons. The lessons are short for younger attention spans and reinforce the subject from previous lessons as well. They are colorful and seems to hold her attention.

That said she did not enjoy the reading lessons. She felt that they were “for little kids”. They were set up the same as the math lessons, very colorful and continues to reinforce the previous lessons while teaching new concepts but for her it was not fun.

However, as a mom, I can definitely see the benefit for kids and the flexibility this program offers. But as for my family its just not a good fit.

Thank you again to K5 Learning for allowing us the time to try this out and assess it.

K5 Learning offers a 14 day free trial for you to use and try out the program before you purchase. I highly recommend doing that before making your final judgment on this program.

Learning Success Review

I had the opportunity to try out Liz Weaver’s Learning Success program. This program is specially designed to help kids who have learning issues. The program is geared for kids who struggle with ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia and more.

The program is designed as an email that is sent to you daily with an activity or video to help your child physically and mentally that will develop their learning skills. The program can go as long as you need it to. It’s not a software which is nice.

Liz’s program is three strategy’s: 1) Build up the fundamental skills of Learning, 2) Build Confidence and 3) Integrate the body and mind. LSemail

The emails are sometimes fun craft activities, a learning activity and sometimes a physical or motor skill activity. Along with each email is a link with a video or directions of what to do for that days lesson. The lessons are really not long but they can make a world of difference.

She has three program options:

  1. 3 Month Starter Program $147 (or 3 easy payments of $49)
  2. 6 Month Program $249 (or 6 payments of $42)
  3. 12 Month Program $398 ( or 12 payments of $35)

My review:

This is a really great program and I like that it is delivered via email with very easy to follow instructions.  I no longer need to use the program with my daughter as her reading has greatly improved and she is almost up to grade level.  She is practicing reading every day and I know it will she will continue to improve.

I like how this program is laid out and that there is no software downloads involved. I highly recommend this program.


K5 Learning Review Coming Soon

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I’ve been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an online learning review of their program. – See more at: http://www.k5learning.com/review-k5?sid=23426#sthash.3KQ4bxyw.dpuf

My 10 Favorite Homeschool Reviews from 2013

10 Favorite Homeschool Reviews of 2013 @DiannaAuton.com

Below is a list of my 10 Favorite Homeschool products that I reviewed in 2013. If you haven’t checked them out please do so. They are great products.

  1. A+ Tutorsoft
  2. Supercharged Science
  3. Notgrass Company
  4. Mayan Mysteries
  5. Doorposts Beauty in the Heart
  6. Reading Kingdom
  7. The Presidential Game
  8. VocabularySpellingCity
  9. YWAM Publishing
  10. Apologia Exploring Creation Through Chemistry and Physics

I really enjoyed trying out the products above and as I have stepped down from The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew I may not do as many Homeschool reviews this year. I do have one coming up. I hope the vendors will continue to seek me out to do reviews but I will not be able to do quite as many as I am focused on other things.

Some of them are my affiliates and if you would like you can purchase from them by clicking on the links in my sidebar by doing that you are helping to pay for this site.

Apologia’s Exploring Creation Through Chemistry and Physics Review

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We got the awesome and exciting opportunity to try Jeannie Fulbright’s newest science book through Apologia. Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics. In fact not only did we get to try the book out for review but they sent us the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Notebooking Journal and the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal to try out as well. This curriculum is used for grades K-6th. The notebooking journal is for older children that have mastered handwriting and can take notes. The junior notebooking journal is for the younger students with coloring pages. Both journals are good supplements to the book and both contain many of the the same things. The book is hardback and full color and it is priced at $39 and the notebooking journals are spiral bound and priced at $24 each.

Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics is a homeschool science curriculum that uses a Charlotte Mason approach to science. It’s very hands on and wants to immerse your child into the topic at hand. The book contains a supply list for all the experiments contained in the book as well as tons of fun experiments to teach your child the building blocks of creation and science. The Notebooking journals have suggested lesson plans along with additional activities to compliment the main book.

 photo juniornotebookingjournal_zpsa179a078.pngWe love Apologia. Especially the Exploring Creation books. I know the Chemistry and Physics is technically for K-6th grade but I believe older students can use this as well. My 7th and 8th graders are enjoying this right along with their 3rd grade sister. So I really think you can use this even up through middle school if supplemented. As mom I absolutely love the Notebooking journals. I wish they had these several years ago when we were doing photo notebookingjournal_zpsaa83790f.png Astronomy and Botany. I would definitely have purchased them. They add a little more fun to the child that likes worksheets and those that like to get creative in their lessons. These books have scored big in our homeschool. Doing the experiments together and making actual observations has made it come alive.

All three of my kids learn best hands on. So having a science curriculum that encourages that type of learning is best for them and for me as a mom. What I like the most about this is that you don’t have to do every single experiment in the book but if you want to you can. The lessons can be catered to you and you can learn one lesson per week or make it last longer. It’s solely up to you. It’s completely flexible and that is something that even my kids like.

This is definitely going to be on my lists of favorites for the year.

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VocabularySpellingCity Review


I got the opportunity to try VocabularySpellingCity ‘s  VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership in order to review it. At first I wasn’t so sure this was something that I would use but the more we tried it the more I realized that this is exactly the spelling/vocabulary program that might work the best for my kids. This site features: spelling games, vocabulary games, language arts games and printable sheets for writing practice as well as flash cards for learning the words that you are using. You can input your own word list or access lists that are already there.  It’s premium membership is $29.99 per year and that includes up to 5

students. This program is for kids in grades: K-12th grade. With the premium membership you get access to not only the free membership benefits but there is so much more that is offered as well such as: record keeping, customizable lists in order to meet each students needs, differentiated learning, accountability and vocabulary activities.

Some of the activities you can print out as well and you know which ones they are because they have the little printer icon next to the activity. Like these flash cards that you can print out for your students or you can use them online as well. There are fun matching games and typing games which not only helps the child to learn spelling skills but typing skills as well. And in today’s technological world it is a must to learn how to type properly.
The games and activities are very colorful so they will attract the attention of younger students as well as still be useful for the older ones as well. If you have a competitive child they may like the fact that the high scorers initials are shown as the high scores on the site and that may give them a goal to strive for and in turn make them much better spellers.
For the younger kids and/or struggling readers, I like that there is audio on all the games. The narrator reads the words/sentences and instructions aloud so that the student understands what they need to do. You can also mute this option if you would rather read it for yourselves.
As the teacher I also like that I can track my kids tests and scores and view them in my teacher homepage. I have not utilized this as of yet but I am planning on working on this in the next few weeks. I can also leave notes to my students via my page in case there is something I need to let my student know and they can access it on their homepage. I don’t know that I will use this feature since I am a homeschool mom but I may if I get busy. I know that is a feature that will work great for schools and homeschool moms or even co-ops that might use this system. I really like the thought and ease of use they put into this and my girls enjoy spelling when its fun. They make it fun.
I do like that there are lists already set up I just wish the lists could be accessed more by grade or spelling level than going through the local school lists. But it’s really not that big of a deal that I can’t use it. Just a preference on my part really. Overall I think it’s a great program and look forward to using it throughout the rest of our school year.



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God’s World News: News Flash Review

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I received a subscription for God’s World News magazine for grades 3rd-4th, News Flash, in exchange for an honest review. The magazine is specifically for grades 3-4 and priced at $28 per year. There are also group and school rates available as well. You get 10 magazines per year along with a full color map for your kids to use to map the news. In each issue you will find 32 full color pages about the news going on today from a biblical perspective and geared toward the grade level you choose. Also inside are activities that go along with the stories. Also included in the subscription is access to the God’s World News Kids site. There is a magazine for ever grade level.
We received a map and two back issues from the summer to read the articles and see how we can utilize it in our school. Boo, my 3rd grader, found some of the articles very interesting and enjoyed reading it with me. Many articles opened up a bunch of questions about things and we could discuss it. Her favorite was the September issue where a lot of information about robots were discussed. They showed articles about how robots are being used all over the world for very different reasons. We were able to see some very interesting things that are being tested in this field and we shared our own opinions of why we think these are good or bad.
I think News Flash will be a welcome addition to our homeschool and it will be a nice break from the norm when it comes each month. My only thing with it is that we will devour it within the first week and then have to wait 3 more weeks before we get the next one. I guess that’s not the bad thing. However during the time you are waiting for your next magazine to arrive you can fill it up with stuff from the website. There are articles, fun stuff and so much more.
Plus the publishers of God’s World News also has World which is the adult publication and shares world news from a Biblical perspective. They also sent us a free preview of World magazine as well and its really cool. I haven’t had the chance to sit down and really look through it yet since I just got it but I’ve already marked some articles that really interested me. With your subscription to World you also gain access to their site and all it has to offer.
World Magazine is a bi-weekly magazine and its priced at $59.76 per year and that includes digital access as well. Or you can go strictly digital for $35.88 per year. If you want to view the world’s news from a much different perspective then I recommend this product.

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