Home School Challenges and a Review

Every now and then I cover a bit about our home-schooling life. An ‘lo! Here is one! We are now in the high school years for both my boys. I feel we are in the home stretch, but when it comes to Sir A, one of his biggest struggles has been in math. While it’s gotten a bit easier over the years, he still struggles with times tables to this very day. His brother, Mr M did not have this issue and I’ve had to try and find ways to help Sir A get that skill under his belt.  It was especially difficult to find online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way that would not only interest him, but make him feel like he was succeeding and making progress. 

We tried multiple programs, games, and ideas over the years. Some of them quite expensive! I am both pleased and sad to say: I think I found it! This is one of those “Wish I had this when he was younger!” moments But when I was able to offer him, thanks to my being a 2017 Curriculum Reviewer on the Homeschool Review Crew, access to Times Alive online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way we found ourselves having an enjoyable time. While it’s true this lovely program is aimed at younger learners and not a high schooler, he still found it enjoyable for the most part.


Sir A. is always a good sport to try out the different suggestions and ideas I present to him. He was no different when it came to trying Times Alive by the Times Tables the Fun Way company. We both looked it over together initially and it was cute and helpful. It started with a speed review/test we both took and then moved on to some funny stories and songs. After he went though the entire program on his own in just a couple weeks (It was fast for him due to him being older!), He stated: “I liked it and it did help me, though I think it was meant for younger kids?” And, yes..he asked that in a questioning voice. He continued to talk to me about it and I could tell he not only found it helpful, but would be happy with a product from City Creek Press whose math stories and songs were aimed at teenagers if it still followed the same format as it was the way the material was presented that was helpful to him.

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I want to stress my son loves humor and laughing and will always be attracted to cutesy and funny animations and the like. This online program has such things in spades and is adorable and silly to my old, adult eyes. Apparently Sir A. felt pretty much the same way and loved it. So, even though it was aimed at those younger than he is, he still benefited from it. I am sharing a couple pictures to help you see some of what can be expected on the game. It wont be tons as I want you to be able to discover things for yourself -spoilers!-Enjoy!


And another….


Homeschooling is not all fun and games. We, as parents, want to know the progress of our children and what they have and have not done. This little gem provides such a nifty feature to help you know your child’s progress. Heck, my son liked having it so he could have a nice visual of how he was doing! So, here is another cute picture that has the more nitty gritty things in it:

Times Tables the Fun Way {Review}In conclusion, this is a really terrific and fun way to learn your times tables and really feel you should give it a try if you have a struggling math-er in your life regardless of whether they are homeschooling, in public school, or attending any other place. With that said, the final graphic below and a handy dandy link to read more reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew blog:PCrew Disclaimer


Review: SchoolhouseTeachers.com Yearly Membership (Affiliate Links!)

Well, good morning my fellow homeschoolers and bloggers! Today I have the great pleasure of sharing this review of the Yearly Membership for SchoolhouseTeachers.com. This is a product I could not wait to get my hands on as we have used it with our family more than once over the years. To be frank, the only reason we had not used it the last couple of years were two things. 1. The boys got older and much of what they had was still aimed at younger learners until recently and 2. I need to curb online education a bit since they were getting old enough to easily get distracted opening other web pages and the like.

As with everything in life, things change and/or needs have to be reassessed. The boys continued to mature and be more responsible and I could begin reincorporating online curriculum without worrying or needing to stand over them the entire time. This new maturity enabled me to pursue many things, including applying to become a 2017 Curriculum Reviewer on the Homeschool Review Crew and also caring for children/families as a “for hire nanny” to help earn a little extra income for our family. You see, I have yet to make money off this blog. Not even for the “Crew”. This may change, but until then…I have to earn money somewhere 🙂

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}So, imagine my excitement when I was offered a free Yearly Membership in return for my review! Here was an excellent way for me to check things out again to see if there was anything useful for high school aged young men who are very independent at this point. This, of course, was offered smack in the middle of what is our Holiday Break (We take off from Thanksgiving until after the New Year so we can focus on quality family time and service to others) and ‘Lo and behold…I got some groaning from those teen boys when I asked them to peruse the site and pick one or two things that interested them and give it a go.

Don’t get me wrong, I used the site myself and got hooked on their free Silver Membership to Applecore. Oh..My..Gawd..I could not be more excited then when I realized this was part of the Yearly Membership! You also have the option to upgrade to Gold for Applecore.

  • The Silver Applecore Plan Includes: Course Tracker, Grade Reporting, Report Cards, Portfolio, Attendance
  • The Gold Applecore Plan Includes: Course Tracker, Grade Reporting, Report Cards, Portfolio Assistance, Attendance, Scheduler, Transcripts (recommended plan for high school)


Ok, enough about my own experience. As I mentioned, my boys did groan a bit, one more than the other! The eldest simply did not bother, but my youngest, the 15-year-old, was more willing and cooperative and tried a few things, most notably the Web Game Design course. Keep in mind I left it entirely up to them what they would pursue. They already have a full course load for this school year and are already independently completing work and I wanted them to explore interests on their own to continue helping them prepare for the world as an adult. There are so many courses available now to choose from and this is the result of his exploration. Keep in mind it might appear simple, but he made this using HTML5 in the ‘HTML5 Canvas and JavaScript’ section of the course in Lessons Three-Six. It was also completely on his own with no help from me.



Sir A’s Picture with HTML5 Code


While this product was offered to our family when we already have the 2016-17 school year figured out, I know where I will be getting 2017-18 curriculum from! The courses, information, help, and ideas for teenagers has improved tremendously since the time I was using it for spelling help in the younger years. Not only that, I found myself intrigued by their Just for Parents section under the resources drop down menu. There is so much available there for those new to the idea of homeschooling all the way to grandparents who support a new generation of homeschooling. You have everything from faith building links to special needs support available for your use!


List of the many subjects found on SchoolhouseTeachers.com!

Yes, I know this is getting long for some of you, but I wanted to be sure you knew that right now New members can try a 1-month-trial offer; just enter the code: TRIAL at checkout to get your first month for just $1. I assure you, the resources you find there during that one month is worth far more than $1. Just check out the price of many other curriculum sites after you look over the courses for yourself and you will be amazed that you can get a Yearly Membership for as little as $90 a year until January 15th 🙂 Enjoy!


*Note* In mid-January,  SchoolhouseTeachers.com is having a price increase. The promotion is to LOCK IN NOW at the $9.95/month rate so that you save 50% on the NEW prices. In about a week and a half this same monthly service will be $19.95/month–approximately twice as much!

Until next time!

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}Crew Disclaimer