Sunday, April 8, 2018

Divine Mercy Sunday

We decided to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in style this year. At least in OUR style. And that means crafts and food.
 I had other plans. Grand plans. They feel by the wayside and I am completely ok with that.
This year the younger crew made these Divine Mercy crafts from CatholicIcing. You can see each kid has their own take on things.
We made brownie sundaes this year as well.  I had intended to read one of our favorite books on the subject with the kids but, alas, I cannot find it. I know it is one the shelves and I know I just saw it and had it in my hands a week or so ago. But today, today I could not find it. So so frustrating. I'm hoping to find it later this week and share it with the kids.
Tomorrow we will break out the HolyHeroes CD during quiet time. And perhaps send up a few prayers to find that missing book.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Divine Mercy Sunday!

CTC Math

One popular math program in homeschooling circles right now is CTC Math. CTC Math is an online program covering grades K-12, from beginning counting all the way through to calculus. We tested it out in our home over the past month.

The positive aspects of this program are many. This program is online so you can access it anywhere with an internet connection. You pay one fee and have access to all the grades for all of your students. This is beneficial both for students who excell at math and for students who struggle. With access to all grade levels, a student can just keep moving along when they finish a level and there is no need to purchase new materials. A student who is struggling can easily repeat lessons and get extra practice until they understand a concept.

If you have a student who is easily overwhelmed by seeing a whole page full of problems at once, this program can help alleviate those feelings because problems are presented one at a time. This was a tremendous benefit to my 3rd grader who just gets anxious when he sees a page full of problems stretching out before him.

This program provides skill assessments so you can place your student at exactly the right place in the program. No need to review material already mastered. You can assign tasks for your student to complete by a certain date and give quizzes and quarterly tests all through the program.

One of my favorite features is the weekly update that is emailed to the parent which details exactly what each student accomplished that week. You get a list of log in times, lessons covered, grades, and more. This is incredibly helpful to me with one particular student who likes to fib about what they have done that day.  I can log in on the parent side and immediately check on what the student has accomplished that day and immediately verify if progress was made or not. This simply lowers stress levels and avoids confrontations and frankly removes the temptation to fib about what you've done that day because you know Mom can check immediately from her computer. Maybe you don't have a student who likes to stretch the truth but then again, maybe you do.

There are a few negatives.  This program is online. I know I listed that as a positive but bear with me here. Online only means you can't pack it along in the car. Online means it is all on the computer. Personally, I'm not a fan of lots of computer time for elementary and middle school aged kids. I've even seen a negative side in lots of online classes for high schoolers at times. For younger kids, I really prefer to keep them off the computer as much as possible and working in other ways.  So I really would not attempt to use this program with anyone under 3rd grade. 

The yearly subscription fee does mean that you have to plan to pay every year. Although the cost is fairly minimal if you have several children using the program, it will add up over time compared to some other computer based programs that are a one time purchase.

The program was not as user friendly as others we have used. It did take me a few days to figure everything out and there are still a few features that I am still getting used to.

After using the program with an elementary student and a high school student, I am overall very pleased with the program. We do plan to continue the program with two of our students for the rest of the year. 

I received a free year subscription to CTC Math in exchange for this review. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Our Easter in Pictures

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!