Archives For High school


Are you looking to complete your homeschool curriculum for this upcoming year?

I’m in the midst of figuring out exactly what we want to do…it is hard to not overwork my kids, there is so much great curriculum out here!

Anyway, I have more than I need and maybe something here is just what you need to round out your year. So, FOR SALE!

My paypal email is: Shipping is not included. I will ship media mail.

FOR SALE, High/Jr High

  • Exploring Creation with Physical Science. 2nd. edition. Fair condition. Does have some writing, highlighting. Beat up a bit. Will be heavy to ship, add media mail shipping. $65 new, asking $30 plus shipping

Text only.

Text only.

locPositive Action For Christ, The Life of Christ. Includes Teachers Manual hardback binder, Full Color Students Manual softcover, Transparency CD. Retails 42.95 for Teacher manual/binder, 18.95 for student book. Asking $30 for both. NOTE: the first 3 student lessons have been written in).

  • simply draw Simply Draw with Bob Parsons. In hardback binder, does not include dvd-that went missing:( Retails $37.50 on sale. Asking $15 in great shape, the careful child used this!
  • Set of Nine Stories From History Graphic Novels. Retails $6.99 each ($72) Asking $15
  • vocabaheadVocabAhead, SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos and Mp3s. Softcvr. Retail $12.95. Asking $5

For Elementary:

  • all togetherScott Foresman Social Studies, All Together, K-1 curriculum. Hardbk. new. Retails $43.47. Asking $15


  • Set of 4 Computer Video Games (work on pc/mac) for children– Elmo’s World, Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom, Dora’s Lost and Found Adventure, Go Diego Go’s Great Dinosaur Rescue and Safari Rescue. Retail from 16-20 each. Asking $10 for all 4.

I am also listing the curriculum I need for the upcoming year. If you have any of these and are willing to do a trade on something, I am interested, email me and maybe we can work something out:

High School:

  • Easy Grammar Plus. Nick’s testing results from this year in Grammar…necessitate this one!
  • Mystery of History Volume 2 (I’ll be using Illuminations, of course:) I have some $ saved from being an affiliate, but I really want to purchase Illuminations downloads for High School and Elementary and purchase MOH2.
  • An easy Spanish book/wkbook. Nick has done all sorts of “bits” of language, mainly online. We need to get serious without using too much of his energy on this

My Elementary One:

  • Math U See Alpha

Gosh, I need a lot to do what I’m thinking! Can you tell I’m a procrastinator? My husband and I were brainstorming today and finally…um…finalized what all I really want. So there it is:) Come September 1st, I WILL be ready, Haha!

Virtual Nerd Review

Heather —  January 12, 2011

When I first logged onto Virtual Nerd and took at peek at the online math and science tutoring site, my first thought was, “Wow, what will they think of next?”


I was pretty impressed. And, I’m not a newbie to what’s available online for kids.

As a homeschool educator and mom, I try hard to keep an eye out for new technologies and experiences that are available to assist my munchkins students. I mean, I have Brainpop and algebra apps loaded on my iPhone for even my five year old…seems like we have internet enabled everything and subscribe to all kinds of stuff!

And, I have taught my kids that one type of intelligence is that, while you may not know the answer to something, you know how to find the answer. But, these days, you really can waste a bunch of time searching though data to get what you need.

So, anyway, imagine I am holding my head trying to explain quadratic equations to my high schooler. Yes, this type of thing happens around here. Luckily, I have a sophomore who is a genius at math, so we often end up going to him for answers.

And when he explains something, it makes sense. And when it doesn’t, I can just say, “well, wait–what do you MEAN by xyz”? And then, he will back up and lead us through until we get it. I had a high school friend like that from Germany–Lucy actually taught me Algebra, as I never did understand the teacher. Have you ever had someone who could explain things like that?

Well, what led me to recall all this is the fact that Virtual Nerd works in this fashion–almost like you have a live helper or tutor. It is really a new unusual technology–rather than just watching a video about a particular math or science topic, you can find your topic and then, as you watch this video, you can click through a “smart” database for additional help and/or more detail–within almost any portion of your original question. Virtual Nerd calls this “drilling down.”

Some of the main perks of the Virtual Nerd system:

  • Dynamic Whiteboard™-This e-learning board can anticipate student questions and offer pre-requisite tutorials
  • Multimedia video presentations- 1,000+
  • FAQs, terms & definitions
  • Personalized interaction & control-you can access 24/7
  • Textbook search capabilities

Here’s the Official Word:

Virtual Nerd offers online tutoring in math and science to students grades 7-12.  Our service is both affordable and convenient, providing help whenever and as much as needed.  Using our patent pending Dynamic Whiteboard, each student has a very interactive and personalized learning experience.  While watching our pre-recorded videos, they can drill-down for more information and access FAQs, terms and definition to assist in their learning process.

Virtual Nerd currently offers hundreds of tutorials in Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Intro Physics.  More Physics, as well as Chemistry, Pre-Calculus and Calculus  are on the way.

Go take a look at how this works on Virtual Nerd website. You can also follow Virtual Nerd on Facebook and Twitter. I am enjoying reading their blog. (Haha, I know, what a nerd…I mean geek!)

Virtual Nerd offers several payment options, including a two hour free trial, a few one-time “help me” deals and larger plans such as $49 monthly, $129 for three months. To be honest, as a homeschool mom, that monthly price is high for a supplemental curriculum. I mean, we give up stuff to homeschool. BUT, that being said, I love this site! I think the value is here–especially if you have a struggling high school student–this site could help them say “I am good at Math” and that is worth trying to afford. I had fun on the site, myself–it was neat to relearn some of the things I had forgotten and I liked the teachers and how the whiteboard worked.

Take a look at how the creators explain the site in a recent interview with CNN:

See what my crewmates have to say about Virtual Nerd

I received a six week subscription to VirtualNerd through the TOS Crew for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

HSPlannerE-Book: High School Student Schoolhouse Planner

This year, I have been able to allow my son much more freedom in structuring his school schedule. He is now a sophomore and knows that his courses and how he approaches his work are important for his life. Whew!

I have been proud of him that he pretty much gets it as far as what he needs to do. That being said, he does have many things to keep track of and it is easy for stuff to fall through the cracks.

So, I have started thinking of ways to support him, without taking away his independence. As do many teens, he wants to be on the computer. So, when I heard that The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine has created Student Planners to use on the computer, I figured this was a perfect match.

When I downloaded the files I saw that they have almost 300 customizable pages! The following are just a few of the forms. And, when I say customizable, I mean that you can type in all of the forms—how efficient and organized is that?

  • To-do lists (today, tomorrow, next week . . .)
  • Goal sheets
  • Schedules
  • Audio/Visual log
  • Log sheet
  • Science lab sheets (use to gather all the supplies and record the experiment too)
  • General book reports
  • Chore charts
  • Loaned and borrowed lists (no more lost books, CDs, DVDs . . .)
  • Important phone numbers and contacts (never forget a phone number again)
  • Address book (from A–Z)
  • Community service record (college and scholarship applications may require this information)
  • Website login/password reference (handy!)

My first thought was that this would be helpful to compile data to help create our transcripts. In addition to organizational forms, the Planner has Bible study helps and tons of reference aids. My son was actually a bit overwhelmed by how many forms there were! I helped him go through and note his favorites and print some of those out. I think this is one of the strengths of the Planner–you are provided with many pages, from which you can decide what works for your child and your family.

The other night, I showed my highschool daughter who loves to organize (and really doesn’t even need help) what we had gotten for her brother. She was ecstatic about the number and types of forms and immediately wanted to set hers up!

Included in the file is also a Parent Pack–this pdf offers ideas and support for the parents!

View a sample of the planner. The planner is $29 and you can purchase it, here.

Schoolhouse Planners for other ages are also available—you can teach them self-reliance early!

  • Primary Planner—grades K–3
  • Secondary School Planner—grades 4–6
  • Middle School Planner—grades 7–8

Math Tutor DVD Review

Heather —  September 8, 2010

Math Tutor

Review & Summary: 4 This company specializes in Math Curriculum, packaged in DVD and online formats for all ages, from beginning Math to Physics. We received two specific DVDs, Pre-Algebra Tutor Volume 1 and a TI83 / TI84 Calculator Tutor.

Overall, I felt the curriculum was solid…the presentation for the older ages is very much like taking Math in a class.

Now, while Math Tutor does have a range of math products that includes colorful and fun videos for younger children,when you look at  the material for the older students, you are getting serious, lecture style instruction. The instructor is Jason Gibson who has several math related degrees.  As he lectures, he uses the whiteboard and is quite clear and very specific. You can see a sample from the Pre-Algebra video here:

I am not a math lover, myself. I will basically do anything to avoid Algebra. But, I do understand Jason…so that is a start. I have one child whose eyes just glazed over when I put it in…and another who excels in Math said he could use this easily and move forward quickly. So, for the cost, I think this could be very useful. I intend to use the DVD as a help–to do review or get extra help when my Algebra student is stuck.

item63Now, the graphing calculator DVD is supposed to “unlock the power” of your graphing calculator. And, it does! With 3 DVDs you can see all kinds of functions. I am ashamed to admit this, but it helps you to put it in perspective. The main thing I have done with a graphing calculator lately is to type in numbers and turn it upside down to see if I found a new word. With this tutorial, I can show off some new skills. I did not watch all 8 hours, but I think it is cool that I could.

My three teenagers felt that this DVD was really worthwhile–all of them are using/or will be using the TI calculators through High School. As in most of the Math Tutor materials, you learn by watching your teacher DO. For this one, it is neat to see a close up of the calculator itself as the teacher works example problems on the calculator. You can see a clip of this in action on the math tutor page. (Drag down a bit).

I think this curriculum is worth taking some time to look at. While I feel less sure about my opinions when it comes to upper level math, I think this curriculum does have some excellent courses and is very reasonably fantastically priced. If you are looking for a long term plan or just some help for Math, definitely stop in at the Math Tutor DVD site. They have plenty of samples and videos and worksheets to peruse to see if the style works for your family. They also offer an online plan for $19.99 per month.

The Math Tutor DVDs reviewed today are currently on sale for $26.99 each.

Find tons of FREE sample lessons, online calculators and math references and articles–even a podcast at Math Tutor.

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here

The 2 Math Tutor DVDs were provided to me for the purpose of my review. I have expressed my unbiased opinion on this product.

Technology in Our Homeschool

Heather —  August 30, 2010

em at computer

I think this weeks Blog Cruise question is a good one. The question is:

Do you use technology (iPods, Computers, Videos, Digi. Cams,etc.) in your homeschool?

My Answer? Yes, yes and YES!

I honestly can barely imagine running our homeschool without technology. Especially as I am teaching high school age children, we are very open to incorporating technology.

Right up front, I will address the fact that I do believe too much technology can adversely effect your homeschool. Obviously, it is not great for kids to be sitting in front of a computer all day long. I have found it is important to establish some type of schedule for using some of our technology–and the schedules are not just for the kids! They make me get up and go for that nature walk. And I don’t want to hear whining if it’s time to get off the computer learning games…so it has saved my sanity, to have a plan and set timers.

That being said, I do think computers, ipods, digital cameras…items like ebook readers…all of these things can be wonderful teaching aids. I do think that having a college student and teenagers pushes me to be aware of the technology that exists. It seems like every week, I am hearing about new items and/or programs that exist in the world of technology. I woke up to a new operating system on one of our computers the other day…Ubuntu. Apparently, it would make that computer go faster. I am proud of my tech savvy kids. Need a program installed? Need things rewired or the new router installed…who am I gonna call…? My kids. They are amazing critical thinkers when it comes to hooking up tech gear.

So, let’s get down to exactly what tech stuff we use around here..

We have a couple of laptops and itouches that are networked. The kids also have the xbox and tv setup so they can watch netflix on there. I added another free app the other night so I can watch Netflix on my itouch. Pretty neat. I have a digital camera and I let the kids use that on field trips… we also use the itouch as an ereader. We also use podcasts and audiobooks… dvds and videos to reinforce different subjects we are studying.

Now, how do we use that stuff…

We use the internet in so many ways. Our world is amazing and I love being connected to learning communities…downloading ebooks and maps…teaching ideas on really short notice…whole downloadable unit studies–just with the click of these buttons!

We use many internet sites that have teaching programs–both free and subscription based. I have listed some that are great for little kids on my “Fun” page, which you can access by the tab at the top of this page. My five year old especially likes the Starfall page and Mathletics. But there are so many useful things out there for her age.

My older son takes several classes online. Currently he is using the math program ALEKS (you can see my old review for ALEKS) and he is also taking a Potters School Science Class (Apologia Biology) I like the Potters School because they have a safe community for kids to interact. While using the Potters School setup, my son also uses video and speech software to interact with the class. If you take a look at my “Homeschool Helps” page, you will see many of the items are computer based or have some type of tech “connection.”

We like to find stuff on Netflix that goes with our studies–they have a lot of educational movies on there!

One issue I have with having the older children using the tech a lot is that, while I do trust my children…I understand that they are not perfect and they may be doing something they should not (like messing around on email and facebook) when they are supposed to be working. I want to teach them freedom…but also responsibility. So how does Mom not hover over the laptops while they are working?

I have NOT had much luck with using computer protection systems–I find that while I am trying to block some things I consider evil or whatever, I will end up with many of the sites I NEED blocked. This has been an ongoing frustration for me. Just recently I got a TOS review product to check out called Lanschool. So far I am loving this! I will tell more when I really know how to use it, but so far this program allows me to monitor my kids while they are working and lets us send popup messages back and forth. While the kids are not thrilled I can choose to see what they’re doing, they know we are doing this and so they can take the laptops, etc and go off to another room…just whatever. They actually have a lot more freedom within this structure.

Really, I know I’m just scratching the surface here. There are so many ways to use technology in homeschools. I would love to hear from others, too.

Do you have some favorite ways you incorporate technology into your homeschool? Favorite learning sites? Please tell!

And do go by the Blog Cruise and see what other people have to say on this topic.

The main reading romm of Graz University Libra...

Image via Wikipedia

I mentioned the Hop the other day, and I am happy to share my curriculum for my kids. I love the order in the photo above. Our homeschool will not look like that, but it will be filled with some wonderful, classic stuff this year…stuff we can read on the couch!!

Today, I am posting the curriculum for Nick. Nick is in High School this year (9th/10th).

Here are my finalized plans for him:

  • Math — ALEKS online. Semester 1, complete Algebra 1. Semester 2, Geometry
  • Biology — Apologia Biology through The Potters School, online
  • Additional Science Nutrition 101 Text
  • Ancient World History/Geography — A mixture of Mystery of History Text, Ultimate Geography, Homeschool in The Woods.
  • Grammar/ Literature — Rod and Staff Text, Illuminations, World Literature and British Literature
  • BibleGrapevine Studies (New Testament) and Illuminations (Old Testament)
  • French–Rosetta Stone, additional videos, texts
  • Fine Arts–Artistic Pursuits, Music classes
  • Electives — Computer Technology, Penmanship, Cooking, PE
  • Reading ListTo include: The Greek Way, Prometheus Bound, Oedipus Rex, Julius Caesar, The Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, Ivanhoe, Frankenstein, A Tale of Two Cities.

Join in the fun at the Not Back to School Blog Hop!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Today is a Review Day!

Heather —  June 29, 2009

As a kid, do you remember being all excited to organize all your brand new school supplies for the first day?

I totally do. I remember lining up newly sharpened pencils, colored pencils, erasers, composition books…having a special pencil case usually completed my pile of treasures. I was READY. I was excited…I felt like I could take on the world.

I have to say, that is exactly the feeling I get thumbing through my brand new OldSchoolhouse Planner for 2009! I get a sense of peace looking through the planner and adding my own personal notes and plans into my new book…my ONE book…instead of my usual many separate books.

Are you curious about what kind of planner would give this mom of five a sense of peace…the feeling that she’s actually not missing something? Okay. I knew you were, just a bit. As I mentioned a little while ago here on my blog, this year I am a member of The OldSchoolhouse Crew (TOS Crew), and as such, will be using homeschool products and sharing my thoughts about them with my local homeschool group, and with you here on Faith, Family & Fun.

Well, one of these products is the 2009 OldSchoolhouse Planner, the 375 page E-Book subtitled “Making a Plan for School and Home.” The editors have done a great job of determining what organizational helps homeschool moms (and dads) need to make their duties as teachers and homemakers easier. The cost is a steal at $39. You can take a look at a sample of the planner or peek at the table of contents here.

Basically, the Planner is divided into 4 distinct sections. These are:

1. Main Body of the Planner. This section includes yearly and monthly calendars. Each month offers a topic with an article and ideas for unit study, clickable hyperlinks to more resources, and recipes. With my homeschoolers being on separate ends of the spectrum–one preschool, one High School, I am pleased to see topics ranging from “Lapbooks” to “Getting into College”. I feel good about having topics like American Government Basics, Weather and Astronomy.

2. Miscellaneous Educational Information. A helpful section with wonderful charts & tables like measurement conversions and historical timelines. (Great quick reference so I sound like a genius to my kids:)

3. Homeschool Forms. This year I will be homeschooling a highschooler. Frankly, I am worried about keeping excellent records–I know it is essential for this age. I believe this section of the planner will make a real difference in our lives. There are forms in here I never thought to keep, but which will support my child. There are evaluation forms, annual plans, report card forms, High School transcripts, High School hours tracking log, copypages, even journaling pages…way too many to list here!

4. Household forms. These are the icing on the cake for me. Not only will I have my official records covered, but I can feel more in control on the home front. I love the family health information forms, homekeeping reminders, food inventory logs, address book, party plans and gift lists!

The Pdf file downloads easily and all the forms are interactive. While you can just download the file and type into the forms and then print out as you see fit, I often need to print things out–hold them in my hand to really know what I am doing:)

I immediately went ahead and printed my Planner out and placed it into an Avery Heavy Duty 2″ binder. It fits easily. I think it is marvelous that I have all this knowledge and the forms at my disposal!

On top of that, as I get more organized during the upcoming year, I will type things into my PDF Planner and reprint…all updated, tidy, and beautiful! Plus, I cannot “lose” a form–they are in my PDF file! This will be great for using for records. Can you tell I am a “thrower-outer” who tends to lose things? Truly, I tend to file things in “special” places and then cannot find them. Not with this:) I am so glad this came when I was getting ready for record keeping for High School. Also, my state is very easy on Homeschoolers regarding records, but I hear many states have more stringent requirements. Having many of these forms handy can help protect your family.

Another nice option is that the Planner is expandable. The OldSchoolhouse Store already has monthly modules geared to supplement your original monthly units, with more on the way. These modules include lesson options on topics such as summer fun, and federal, state and local government, just to name a few. Take a look at these here.

The 2009 Planner can be ordered right here and..if you purchase your 2009 Planner by July 12th, you can also get the 2008 Schoolhouse Planner Useful Excerpts for free! See my post about the excepts, here

Kudos to the OldSchoolhouse! The only thing I need now is a special holder for my planner that zips, so I can fill it full of photos and post-its. Check back with me throughout the year to see the difference having the planner makes for us!