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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thinkwell Math Online

In my Inbox today was a 30% discount notice from Thinkwell for their online math courses. It seems they would like to increase their take-up amongst the homeschool community.

First let me say that Homeschool Buyers Co-op has the best price for Thinkwell Online Math products.

Both offers expire Monday, October 26th, 2009. You can save 30% direct through Thinkwell and 39-48% through Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Most of the courses at the co-op are currenly just 2 subscriptions short of getting a 44% discount.

Do you like cake? I've been using the Thinkwell Algebra I online course this term and for me it's the most enjoyable Algebra course I've seen. Professor Burger is a really high-thinking mathematician who makes the course fun and just covers math at a deeper level than other courses I've seen. His fun props such a cake and bologne also get his points across.

I don't recommend Thinkwell Online Math courses for every student though. There are a couple of other online math courses I recommend. Take a look at Thinkwell if your kid/student:
  • Likes variety - there is a fair bit going on within the multi-screen format.
  • Wants to work excusively online.
  • Asks questions and wants to understand math in its wider context.
  • Doesn't need things broken down to tiny steps with lots of repetition.
And if you're already using Thinkwell, or decide to, you might be interested in:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Homeschool Parent Teacher Conference?

Schools in my area are doing parent teacher conferences next week. As a homeschooler do you to a parent teacher conference?

This might sound a rather stupid question, but when you think about it, conference is not just about a teacher communicating with a parent what a child is doing in school, it's about taking the time to review progress and a child's strengths.

For a homeschooler, conference is a time to look at what you've been doing together. Reviewing can bring back some of the joy of things you've been learning. It can highlight things you want to do more of and things to do differently.

You've been working hard. Acknowledge that, praise yourself, praise your kid/s. Share some more of what you've been doing with a parent who is not working with your child/children every day.

Celebrate and eat a cookie, or a pizza. You'll enjoy the change of pace. All teachers and children need the reward of thinking about good things.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween Costume Ideas with Books

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Dressing up is so much fun. It's a time for imagination, creativity and just a bit of scaring. Candy is good too, but not too much of it! My kids have always used the candy they gather at Halloween to supply them with a weekly treat for much of the year. We also give excess candy to a food pantry collection every year.

My kids have always loved homemade Halloween costumes. Sometimes it's a challenge to come up with a good costume idea and a plan to implement it. The Usborne Book of Fancy Dress contains some quality classic costume ideas and is great for kids 8 years and up. For the younger group What Shall I Be has simpler ideas which will end up as favorites in your dressing up box. Or, for the princess who needs all the right accessories, there's the Princess Jewelry Kid Kit.

Face painting can really set off a good costume, or make a simple, uncomplicated costume appear professional. A muskeeter with a mustache is so much more believable, tiger face painting looks better and is more comfortable than a plastic mask, and a clown can't be a clown without face paint. Quality face paints are also easy to use if you have any skill at all with a brush and paint. I've bought paints from both Michael's and from a local costume shop. They lasted for many Halloweens and really made a difference to how great a costume looked.

You might take advantage of the excitement with Halloween to get kids reading. Who doesn't love a scary story - so much better under a blanket now that the weather is cooling! A set of Halloween themed readers is ideal for 2nd and 3rd graders just re-establishing their reading after the summer. Or pick out a Princess item or something for a pirate - better than a big pile of candy because a book lasts all year and brings learning too!

If you choose to click through and order I thank you for supporting this blog and the education of my children. Otherwise, purchasing from your local Usborne consultant or borrowing from the library are great options.

What are your Halloween traditions?
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