Saturday, August 22, 2020

Why We Switched Math Programs to Teaching Textbooks

Why We Switched Math Programs to Teaching Textbooks

We've been homeschooling since 1994 so we have been at this for a minute. For over 20 years we used a very popular curriculum that's been around for many years. It was used in many public and private schools but not really geared toward homeschool students. It was a thorough program and met the needs at the time.

However, in recent years, our lives have become a little more hectic and unpredictable. These changes came due to the health issues of my sister and my dad. Basically, we needed something a little more "hands-off" for me. So, I reluctantly tried Teaching Textbooks.

Teaching Textbooks -Teaching Textbooks allowed me to easily set up a schedule and it does the teaching and grading for me.

We set up a system...a "standard operating procedure" for math. The kids, at the time a 1st grader, 6th grader, and 8th grader, would watch the lesson, complete the practice problems, and then complete the lesson problems. If they missed a problem, they were to try again. If they missed it a second time, they were to watch the video that shows HOW that problem was solved. This allowed them to learn from their mistakes as they did the work...which did not happen when I had to grade their work because, honestly, I would fall behind trying to grade math for three kids and still run a household and care for other family needs.

Moving them to this curriculum allowed them to keep up with their math lessons even if I was unavailable and I could log into the parent side, review their progress and even reset a problem they had missed or even a whole lesson if I felt they weren't comprehending it well.

It really has worked well for our family and I enjoy the freedom it has given us. We do use the CD version of the program and it's loaded on our laptop. Since it's loaded ON the laptop, we can do math anywhere...even in the car! This is great when our schedule takes us away from home for the day or we are traveling.

Give it a try! You might love it as much as we do! 
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Nice Surprise

Today we had a repair man come to the house to repair a recliner we purchased two years ago. We rarely have repairmen in the house since my hubby is very handy at fixing pretty much anything but since this piece of furniture has a lifetime warranty on the mechanism and that was the problem...Tom was here to put in the new parts.

    As you can imagine, our younger two were totally entertained by watching Tom install the parts. I'm almost sure I saw one of his ears fall off from their talking so much, telling him stories, asking him know, all the normal things we hear ALL day, EVERY day.

    It wasn't surprising that Tom was patient, after all he is a grandpa and has a granddaughter about the same age as the Princess. What was surprising is that as soon as he discovered that we home school our children, he went on and on about how great it is for children. This comes as quite a surprise because most people are not real encouraging. Tom, however, was very informed on what home schooling is and how it works! He talked about how well children who are home schooled do on tests, how most of them turn out as great citizens and just, in general, bragging on them.

    So...Tom, thanks for your encouraging words. You probably won't know how much you lifted my weary heart. Home schooling is hard and it's nice to have a cheering section.

Blessings to you,

Mavis D.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordy Wednesday - My Little LadyBug

Recently we participated in co-op classes with our local homeschool group. This cute little bug learned all about God's creatures with our good friends "Confetti" and "Cranberry." 

Adorable, right? :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Perfect Rice...Every Time

Photo courtesy of ScottChan of
 How many times have I made rice and it turned out to be a huge sticky mess? I can't begin to count the times! All I wanted was rice that sat nicely on a plate and I could put stir fry over or I could use it in fried rice, one of my favorite foods!
Well, I've tried and tried and just couldn't get the hang of it. Now, finally after all these years, I've figured out something that works for me! EVERY. TIME! The great thing about this method is that it doesn't much effort and if you do a little planning, you won't be using any extra electric or extra appliances (yes, I almost bought a "rice cooker" before I discovered this method).

So...lets get started.

The amount of rice doesn't matter...whatever you need for your family. For ours we usually make one cup of dry rice so we end up with about two cups of cooked rice.

You'll need a covered baking dish. If you don't have a regular casserole dish you can use whatever you have and cover it with foil but I prefer my Corning Ware dishes. Put one cup of rice in the dish and add two cups of water, add a dash of salt (if desired but it's not necessary) and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the lid on the dish and bake it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it sit another 15 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and serve.

Now the way I save on energy is I'll bake a dish or two of rice while I'm baking something else. If I'm not serving it with dinner I let it cool off some then I put it in the refrigerator for later use. Most of the time it becomes part of lunch for the next day when I have something that calls for cold fried rice!

Here's another tip: If you are using it for fried rice, instead of adding two cups of water, replace 1/4 of a cup of water with soy sauce. Then when you make your fried rice the next day you won't need to add the soy sauce so you won't need to wait for it to evaporate when you are frying the rice. It really makes the rice crispy.

Have a great day!
Mavis D.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sautéed Zucchini

I've been trying to be more creative with side dishes and use potatoes and rice a little less. I've been on a lower card diet for about 10 weeks now so I've had to get creative so we aren't eating the same things over and over. Today I made Sautéed Zucchini and it was a big hit, even with the one kid that says he doesn't like veggies much but just tolerates them! LOL!

Anyway, here it is, I hope you like it!

Two zucchini squash, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter (you can use olive oil if you like)
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

Coarsely chop zucchini, toss with salt, pepper and parsley then set aside. In a nonstick skillet, heat butter on medium/high heat. Add zucchini mixture and cook until about half done...this will be to your taste, some like it a little tender-crisp and some like it a little more soft. When you have about a minute of cook time left, add your garlic. If you're handy with flipping it with just the skillet, you can do that , otherwise, toss using a spatula. :)

Serve immediately.

Sorry the picture is a little blurry...I was trying to hold the pan and take the picture without fogging up the camera! :) 

Have a great day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

I've been looking for a recipe for a coleslaw dressing that we liked. My mom just mixes mayonnaise and vinegar but we didn't like that flavor much so I've been experimenting and we've finally decided on a winner.

I just make it up as needed, there no reason to make up too much at a time. I'd say we have coleslaw about once per week and it only takes a few minutes to mix it up so it's fresh!

Using a pint size jar, add three tablespoons of sugar, a teaspoon of salt and three tablespoons of vinegar.
Shake or stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add 3/4 cup of "salad dressing" (some people call all of the white sandwich spreads mayonnaise but if you look closely, there is actually two different products...we prefer the salad dressing version). After you've added your mayo or "salad dressing" put the lid on tight and shake it up. Right before serving, pour dressing over your shredded cabbage and carrots, then toss to coat.

We used to buy the Kraft Coleslaw dressing but now we use this instead. It works out to be about 35c per mix and the Kraft is about $1.50 per bottle.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Great Search!

     I was beginning to think our family was just really hard on can openers! Either that or we simply couldn't operate one correctly! We've tried several over the last few years trying to find one that will hold up without leaving shreds of metal around the top of the can or that doesn't mess up the can do bad you can't even come close to getting it open!
     Finally I did some homework! I planned on getting a quality can open that will open all size cans and last at least a year...longer if it cost was on the high side.
     So, I found's called a Swing-a-Way and it's made by Amco. It looks a lot like one we had years ago but lost. Now the only problem was finding one locally because we needed one last week! After a little more searching I found a local dealer and purchase TWO! After just a few day I know this was a good purchase and I'm sharing the info with my friends. Ok...I'm sharing the info with anyone who stands still for more than 2 minutes! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Fox Run Craftsmen Swing-A-Way Can Opener