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Review: Math Mammoth International Light Blue

My lad has been working through the International Series (Light Blue Version) Grade 6 curriculum from Math Mammoth for the past several weeks.  Let me tell you how well this program is working for us.

Do you ever battle with your children over math?  Well, my son is GOOD at math, but that doesn't mean he likes being TAUGHT math.  We have over the years started various math programs to the delight of my lad until he runs into a part of the teaching that he doesn't like and it will quickly fall apart of from there...usually takes about 1-2 months to kick in.  Imagine now, my delight to have a program that is working well for my lad.  Oh.. it's amazing!!!!   :)  

Math Mammoth...I LOVE YOU!!!   (so does my lad).  :)

What is Math Mammoth, International Grade 6 you ask?
 It is a complete maths program for sixth grade. It consists of two student worktexts (A and B), a separate answer key for each, tests, mixed revisions, and in the download version, an additional worksheet maker (Internet access required) to make extra practice worksheets when needed.

Now I will admit there was a bit of a learning curve and a needing to figure out how we would do the program.   See Math Mammoth doesn't set out and say "Day one do this, day two do that".. WHICH I admit I love.  I as strong aversion to being told what to do and when to do it.  I like figuring things out on my own.  Ego I printed off what I thought my lad could reasonably be expected to complete in a week.

Uh..rebellion.  "Way too much work mom!   I can't do ALL THIS".  This was his shocked response to being handed that reef of papers. 

I broke it down for him... just two pages a day AND asked him this: What do we do when we run into a snag?   "We stop and figure it out mom".   

To which I responded "Do you think just because we are starting a new math program that will change?"   No.

Off we set.

Admittedly there was some worries... do I have use their paper?   Do I have to write it all down there?  (Math Mammoth uses a grid to help learn long division).  No...but you might find it useful to write on something.   "Is my tablet okay?"  Sure.

You see, I don't care what he write it on, his tablet, in the air, on paper, with a grid, without a grib...doesn't matter.  What matters to me is this: Is he learning the material, does he understand it, AND can he explain to me how he got there?   That later is important to me because my lad often approaches math in a different direction than what I would do ... so as long as he can explain his process and gets the correct answer using the process multiple times...it works for me.   This HAS been a problem for us.

Why do I tell you all this?

Math Mammoth links to a variety of sources to help children learn to do math.  Not all those math systems use the same way to do the math.   So when my son gets stuck, I just keep showing him how different people solve the problem until a method clicks with him and bam.... math is learned.   It means we don't get stuck knocking heads over methodology when all we want is math learned and used.

Here he's playing a game to remind him of how numbers make sense regardless of which way the math is done.

Doing math while mulling over why long division was so tough that particular day.

I was surprised that such a simple game made him think.   In the process of playing, he figured out what that problem with long division was (word usage and concern over bigger numbers).

Math Mammoth has shown us areas of weakness (like truly understanding how long division works and multiplication with really big numbers).   It's also shown us areas of unknown strength like the ease of learning exponents when he's never seen them before.

Now that we have gotten into a routine of 2 pages completely done everyday, my lad looks forward to doing his math.  To learning new math and being able to do it in a way that makes sense. He loves knowing that he can work on his math at his own speed, taking time where needed, and speeding through when he understands the concept. 

Math Mammoth has given us a logical way of doing homeschool math that is working for my lad without a lot of needless repetition, access to a variety of methods to learn, and just the right amount of work.   It provides extra worksheets to help with areas of struggle.

Should you get it?
YES!  Especially if you like the things we like:

If you have a child who dislikes images on his math pages.
If you have a child who likes straight-forward math programs.
If your student appreciates different ways of learning the same material.
If your student likes doing mental math.
If your child has an appreciation for working through material at his/her own pace
If you love excellent customer service.   We had a query with one question, asked about it, and got an answer within 24 hours.
If you like an affordable homeschool math curriculum. 

If you decide you too would like the Math Mammoth International Series (Light Blue Version)
this is what you get in your affordable downloadable link.

  Two student worktexts A & B along with answer keys for those books.  PDF's.

A variety of tests, one for each chapters.

Some additional worksheets.

A bonus soft-pak, you can use these to make up additional question sheets as remedial or more difficult as you like.    This is a package that you download onto your computer.  The math maker that I used automatically printed.

The two parts of this program (A and B) sell for $18.75 each for the Worktext and answer key, soft-pak, revisions and tests.  Full Set for $37.50 and can be used with more than one child.  Affordable indeed.

And it was good! Our week Feb 19-25

We planned a bit of a short week this week.   Plans to go away this weekend, a vehicle in need of repair, and knowing the learning takes place in many different ways.  :)  School happened!   Life happened.  And it was good!  :)

Today was family day, so the lad did his minimal schooling that he does on days off, and off we went to first take part in a demonstration Karate Class and then to go for a walk at the Pinery.   We did some pokemon going while we are there, toured through Grand Bend and just hung out together.

Ice experiment...ooh.. fun with matches!

The lad made cake!
It was his turn to cook, he saw the cake in the cupboard and his eyes.... oh my, they just lit up!   "It's my turn to cook!    Let's have cake!"

He was a bit downcast when I mentioned that just cake for supper was not acceptable... which led him to ask for helped in making perogies.

Dad, not being a lover of perogies opted to make himself some other dish instead.

Food bank.   Regular schooling.  The lad pushed hard and was done by 1230.  :)  
Had a lovely walk together in the afternoon the lad and I did.   New Pokemon out and running around, so we had to chase them down.  :)

School, the lad's report this week on the Caribou.
Garbage day, lovely weather, car work to do... we called it done as early as we could. :)

The lad helped clean the cars out and helped dad work on the rear brakes.   They also fixed the side mirror that I accidentally broke off after over correcting from someone taking a corner really wide.   (I avoided being hit but the car mirror...not so much).

Rabbit picture taking day.

Gramma coming over since hubby and I are heading out for the weekend.   
The lad did practical schooling today making cheese buns.  :)  He'll also be doing animal husbandry and housework with gramma this weekend.   

Hubby and I just schleped around together.    We had a wonderfully relaxing weekend doing absolutely nothing but wandering around together, looking and talking and just being alone without distraction.

Faith and Word Prompts
Set your face against Mount Seir.   Devotion on Ezekiel 35
Sunday sermon.  Can you build the church for others?
A Wife's Understanding of God.  chapter two of excellent wife book
You Will know that I am the Lord.   Devotion on Ezekiel 36:1-15
Forgetting the Holiness of God. Devotion on Ezekiel 36:16-24
For His Name's Sake.  Devotion on Ezekiel 36:22-37
Pajamas are Optional.   word prompt post on pajamas
Oh to be Slow.  World Prompt on the word Slow.
Earth-Space Colouring Book.
Conspiracy of Silence.
Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush
A Dog's Purpose.

Homeschooling and Life
ABC Blogging.  F is for frogs.  Frogs with tails.. think on it.   :)
Art Series: Earth-Space Colouring book. Cool resource for astronomy lessons.
Hymn Study: Have thine Own Way Lord.  
Chicken Heart Casserole
Books for Canada, the Canadian North (Jack London).
STEM: Building a Robotic Hand.
The Lad's Research: The Caribou.

Linking up at the following Places:
Homeschool Highlights.
Family Friday Link Ups:
Weird Unsocialized homeschoolers: Weekly Wraps Up.
Homeschool blog and tell.

Review: A Dog's Purpose

Out in the theatres now is the movie A Dog's Purpose.

So I can't say I was really surprised when I was sent "A Dog's Purpose" (the book) to review.   Kind makes sense to promote both book and movie at the same time eh?   :)
I read Ellie's Story a while back and thoroughly enjoyed that book, once I got into it.  It was a nice story about a dog and her person, a dog with a job to do, a dog with a purpose in life.   It's a bit unusual reading a book from the dog's point of view, but once I got past that... a good book.

So when I was given A Dog's Purpose I was admittedly curious to see if I would like it. I have to admit, it was interesting story.   Would I like a book, meant for adults, written from the dogs' point of view?

Well.. I have to admit, it was a nice story.   It was.

I struggled though.   I dislike the idea of reincarnation..and having a dog live, die, a dog live, die and so on throughout it's life just didn't set well with me.

If I could have separated out the separate stories about the dogs' and their lives and somehow managed to have them interconnect with the reincarnation bit I more than likely would have enjoyed the book more.

It was very funny in sections... seeing how a dog might interpret what we are saying to them and how disappointed they might be at missing out on a cookie.   It was intriguing to see a dogs perspective to their family being in peril, or hurt, and how they just might see their "job".   Of course it is also the personification of dogs and the failure to see that dogs are NOT people.  Seeing things through their eyes also helps make that apparent.  Dogs are not people as much as we want to personify them.  

As it was I can say "nice overall story, but not one I would read again".
Makes me wonder how they'll end up turning it into a movie.  :)

Would I recommend it?
If you are able to separate the idea of reincarnation and simply enjoy a story from a dog's point of view, complete with the humour contained therein, then yes.   If you cannot, then I would recommend giving it a pass. 

Author: W. Bruce Cameron
Publisher: TOR
Pages:: 335
Size:  7.56 x 4.63
Book for adults

Reviewed for: Raincoast Books
Amazon.ca: A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans

Amazon.com: A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans

STEM: Building a robotic hand

Ever since we build a hand out of paper and yarn my lad has been searching for something, almost ANYTHING that would work better.  So imagine our delight when Tinker crates arrived and the topic was "Robotic Hand!"

With the use of elastic, brands, eye screws and foam...one working robotic hand was made.

I loved seeing the look of concentration on his face.
Tinker Crates give clear instructions on how to make their crates.  As long as one carefully reads EVERYTHING you can make the STEM project without any issues.  I find them affordable, and the lad likes putting them together so it's a win-win.  

It comes with a handy tinkerzine with greatly expands the learning done.  We have a couple of other projects left in this kit to do.  We just didn't get to them today.

The lad has had a great deal of fun experimenting with the robotic hand.

I really wish I could have videoed the conversation between the lad and his dad afterwards.
Figuring out why the robotic hand doesn't work as well as a human hand.
Seeing how they would change it to make it work better if they could.
It was just a great conversation and one of the top reasons why I like to do these tinker crates with my lad, the conversations with my lad.

That and this statement
"This isn't homeschooling.  This is fun!"

If you follow this affiliate link, you can get $10 off your first Tinker Crate eh?

Oh to be Slow

Oh to be slow

To not be in a rush.
To take my time.

To listen.
To watch.
To see.
To really observe.

The flight of a bird.
The sound of my son's voice.
The labour of my man.

The squeak of baby mice.
The thump of a nervous rabbit.
The crunching of food.
The chirp of a budgie.
The squeak of a wheel.

To listen.
To hear the sound of the Spirit.
To know fully the cost of the cross.
The awareness of that quiet voice within.
The roar of the lion of Judah.

Take the time.
Let it sink in.

To be slow
To take the time.
To not be in a rush.

This is a five minute Friday post. the word prompt is brought to us by Miss Kate.  Today the word is Slow.  What is Five Minute Friday?  Well it's a party of a group of like minded folks who gather on Friday to do a five minute free write around a singular word.  AND THEN we take the time to offer up encouragement to each other on this writing journey.  It's fun, though it's not always easy, but it is always good.   Come join us won't you?  You are always welcome.

The Lad's Research: caribou

Caribou can be found in the northern parts of Europe, Asia, Greenland and North America. Caribou can be found in coniferous forests characterized by swampy areas, Lakes and rivers.

Caribou are also known as reindeer, There are two types of caribou the woodland caribou and the tundra caribou. The tundra caribou has six subspecies but the woodland caribou only has three. Caribou can reach up to 4-5 feet at shoulder height and up to 700 ponds in weight. The body of caribou is covered with a winter coat which provides insulation at the low outer temperatures. The furs color depends on the species. It can range from dark to light brown.

Caribou are the only species in the deer family were both males and females have antlers though the females have smaller antlers and lose them after giving birth. Males shed their antlers after mating season. Caribou will also use their antlers to dig in snow.

Reindeer are herbivores (plant-eaters) and depending what time of year, they will feed on various plants, grass and lichens. They will travel up to 3,000 miles each year in search of food. They can run at 50 miles per hour. "Caribou have scent glands at the base of their ankles that are used when the animal is in danger. It will rear up on its hind legs to release a scent that alerts the other caribou to the danger it is facing." (source).

Sources are here or here.

Pajamas Are Optional

The Homeschool Review Crew does word prompts for Instagram fun, I think it's great to have these words prompts for doing quick posts.  :)   I find them fun as sometimes it surprises me where my brain goes.  :)

The word for today is Pajamas.  Let's follow my brain where it goes eh?

Pajamas are optional!

When I went to school one of my roommates didn't wear pajamas!   WOW what a shock to this naive country girl.  

For a while I steered clear of that young lady thinking how odd she was... 

It took me a while to realize this fundamental truth... She was a nice girl.  She really was and we became friends (can you believe it!?!?!).  Despite our differences and the shock it was to me at the time...

So when I saw this word, that friendship came back to me and reminded me of this truth....

There are many things in life that optional.

How one approaches life.
How one appears to others.
What our attitude toward life is..
Along with ....
The food we eat.
The clothes we wear (or don't).
The people we spend time with. 
The expressions we wear on our faces.

The question we need to ask ourselves is this...
Can we love the person who is before us?

How can we look past the differences to see the person that God has created?

It's not always an easy thing... when one is faced with unwashed bodies, a different skin tone, a manner of address, a gaping mouth, a stern expression, a hidden body clothing style, or the opposite indeed.

Seeing the person within is sometimes a challenge.

Can we see what is optional and what is important?

Something to work on together eh?

Books for Canada: Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush

I very much enjoyed this book about Jack London.   

If you don't know who he is, he is the guy who wrote books such as "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang".  Books that inspire us to know more about Canada's northland and the critters contained therein.

Both of those books were favourites of mine as a youngster.   Calling me into the land of untamed wilderness and the heart of animals that are part of it.  :)

BUT this book is NOT about those animals, but about the man who wrote the books.   A biography of a great author. His books required and desired reading among Canadian Students, speaking to the allure of the north.

Jack London who got swept up in the Gold Rush of 1897.

Filled with photographs of the day and the daring heroism of the men who set a goal.. GET TO THE GOLD!!!   Climbing over mountains, fording rivers, canoeing across large rivers, dealing with weather, and fording through the untamed wilds of Canada.

The sheer hardship they went through.
The number of men forced to turn back.
The fight against the land and the weather and the animals.

The sheer joy of striking it rich.
The thrill of making it through the rushing water.
The knowledge of the need to return home.  
The sorrow when riches weren't found.

So many stories and adventures contained within one book.  

What else did I appreciate in this book?

The timeline in the back of the book.
running from 1876 to 1912.

His early life and his love of books. 

His work as a seaman. 
His vagrancy. 
Gold rush days.
Marriage to Bessie May Maddern.
And various books/stories written.

I appreciated that the author explained that he did take some liberties with the story.  Much in the book in included from writing from Mr. London and others who travelled with him.  

 Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush

188 pages
published by Henry Holt and Company
Written by Peter Lourie
Type: Biography
Written for ages 8-12.
Illustrated by Wendell Minor

Reviewed for Raincoast Books 

 Amazon.ca: Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush

 Amazon.com: Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush

For His Name's Sake

We continue our study in Ezekiel, the last time we met was about Forgetting the Holiness of God. You can read more in my Ezekiel Studies here and here.

Do you remember yesterday that the Lord had concern for his holy name?   He had disciplined his people and still they made mockery of his name.

Today the Lord is going to do something.. you see that word "THEREFORE"? It is a connector word linking two thoughts. "“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God:"

God is going to act "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came."

So God is going to vindicate the holiness of his great name.
That name that has been profaned among the nations.
That name which THEY (his people) have profaned.
 The end result: The nations will know that " I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holines before their eyes."

Vindicate means to justify, prove, or reinforce an idea — or to absolve from guilt.

God is going to justify the holiness of his name, absolve it from guilt, prove his holiness.

To do so God will do the following.
- take them from among the nations and bring them into their own land
- will clean up from from their uncleannesses
- clean them up from their idols.
- give them a New heart and a New Spirit.
- remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
-   And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules      
- You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
- there won't be a famine in their land
- crops and produce will be abundant
Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations.  

But God is not acting for THEIR sake (though they will benefit).  He wants that to be really clear to them.  They should be ashamed of what they have done, confounded by God's mercy to them.

When the people are cleansed, the Lord God will populate their cities, till desolated land, what was waste will become beautiful.   It will be a noticeable change.

 Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it. 

The Lord would have his people know this:

37 “Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. 38 Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

He will build up his people. 
The change in them will be noticeable by the nations around them.
And all will know this....The Lord is God.  

God did all this stuff for his people.
I have to wonder if they appreciated it.
If they saw his goodness and holiness.

I know that God does all this stuff for me...even without me even asking... and how often I fail to see his holiness.  Do you ever have that reader?   That you fail to see God's holiness or fail to thank him for the blessings he bestows, or fail to see just how holy he really is?

Let us do better at this eh?