Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Math. The struggle is real. At least it used to be. We have been using Teaching Textbooks for some time now and can I say, we are loving it! Our family was so greatly blessed to have the chance to review a couple different levels of the new and improved version, Teaching Textbooks Math 4.0. We received a twelve month subscription with lifetime access to the gradebook. There is also the option to pause your subscription for up to 3 months (this doesn’t count towards your 12 months) If you have seasons where you just get busy, or whatever may be, this is definitely a real bonus! Of course since we started with this we are really enjoying math; sure there are still some grumbles here and there but if my kids don’t really get so much out of each lesson.  

No matter what level you need they have something for you! Teaching Textbooks Math 4.0 provides courses from Grade 3 through Pre-Calculus. If you aren’t really sure where to place your children, they also offer a placement test to help determine what level to start at. We actually chose to use the levels we did because of the results of the test we completed so it is very helpful!

Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is an app based program (don’t let that scare you)! This program is like a personal tutor; there are instructional videos that precede each days activities. There are also ebooks you can access in your parent portal to get a printable PDF of every one of the lessons or tests along with the answers. There are also practice pages to print as needed. This is so helpful for me, especially as we get into those higher math courses. That day is quickly coming (One of my boys plans on learning forging this summer and there is so much math in that). What an opportunity that will be in so many ways!

What do I love most? I love the spiral program that this teaches. Every lesson involves review of previously learned concepts. In this way as my younger and older learn new skills, they are also continuing to strengthen those things they learned. Seeing my kids work through their lessons, it is so encouraging to see them have to review as well. And when they can’t quite get it right? They can see the answer and are also shown how to do that particular problem. For me, the more we learn, the more we need to use the material we have learned. The more I see my kids work the more certain I am that this works in amazing ways. 🙂

My girl (9) used Math 4 – we downloaded the app onto the computer and set up her account (I did need some help in this and their customer service, they rock!) This little lady wants to work with animals as a veterinarian one day so she knows she needs math but until now she has not enjoyed lessons at all. Getting and keeping her attention can be difficult but she really took to this program. She really loves the sticker and wallpaper books because, she is a bit of as diva, likes all her things to look pretty. She would often start her lesson by making sure she had a wallpaper and sticker that pleased her. Whatever it takes some days.

As for my boy (11) he just seems to have a head for math so he has been working through the lessons here and I am seeing a few gaps here and there. Thankfully, the method of teaching used with this program has been doing a fabulous job of working on those weaker skills while still moving him forward. Fractions have always been a struggle but he really likes the way this program teaches them. And it makes him so glad that he can see, when he gets something wrong, each step that led to the right answer and compare it to his work. Watching him work and follow along in the videos, he is my kid who is really into all the details, so this has been a great fit for him ad as he moves into pre-algebra and likely more, I am sure he will be asking for more of Teaching Textbooks.

There are so many programs out there for our children that focus on the various levels of math and I think we have tried most of them ourselves. Every child, every family, is different in how they best learn and respond to learning academically but for my children thus far, Teaching Textbooks has been such a wonderful experience for all of my kids, inspiring them to see how fun math can really be! As a parent it is so refreshing to find materials like this that help my kids to experience math in a gentler, way, especially when it changes their perspective from “math stinks” to math is kind of awesome.”

Teaching Textbooks is on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Teachingtextbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TThomeschool
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teachingtextbooks/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVlomrjY7xTs2cRxSsuKCrw

Click on the banner below to read what other members of the Review Crew thought. We are all using different levels of Teaching Textbooks to help you explore what it’s all about and how well it could work for your family.

Teaching Textbooks {Review}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

My girl (9) has recently started learning some multiplication. My younger son (11) loves math but still struggles a bit in this area so I thought it would be fun to give them both the chance to build their skills using Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division, a product from Math-U-See designed for ages 10 and up. This uses a multisensory approach that includes: manipulating blocks, writing, and verbalizing the facts to build their understanding.  

Included with this kit is:
● Integer Blocks
● Resource Guide
● Math Fact Strategy Posters
● Fact Check Cards
● Digital Pack – this includes lesson videos, instructions, solutions, and
printable resources

This program follows a mastery-based approach. That means you go at your student’s pace- one 15-minute session per day. With my younger daughter we would repeat a lessons until she felt she got it. With my son, there were days that he would do two or three lessons; working quickly through the ones he had mastery of and taking his time working on those he struggled with more. There are ten multiplication lessons as well as two lessons designed specifically to bridge the gap between multiplication and division. This was very helpful for my son!

There are three modes of instruction used:

  • Accelerated – Students have the opportunity to move quickly through a skill set they have not yet mastered.
  • Individualized – Every student is different, their learning preferences are too. Using various approaches, this program creates an environment enabling the student to master the skills needed.
  • Mastery – Here, mastery means a student is able to recall all math facts using as little mental energy as possible, engaged in the process of problem solving.

For my daughter I have to say this approach is very much helping her to build her confidence as she slowly masters multiplication in a relaxed way. In the past we have used this program for addition and subtraction (again with great success).

The build, write, say method used here directs the student to use the manipulatives to “build” the problem. They are then to write the problem (my daughter has a cute notebook for this very thing), then answers the problem aloud when it is repeated. This is the structure for new lessons. Simple right?

Once we have learned it, it is time to demonstrate it. After taking some time away, we come back to the problems to ensure that the information is still well known. In some situations I could see that my daughter had mastered the information, other times we would go back and review material as I would see her uncertainty.

Next comes transitioning these math facts to the visual memory. How do we do that? This is where we draw, write and say the facts from the lesson. Here we can have some fun with the math fact cards included with this set. And of course CELEBRATE those facts that are known as you go along (we have some yummy flavored cocoas that my girl loves to treat herself to).

You can have so much fun with the math fact cards. Shuffle them really well and then see how many you can get right, how quickly you can answer. I know my girl had fun quizzing me some days too. I guess I need to master my facts a bit more too.

This program has so many great resources additionally, both online and off, to help encourage your struggling students in a fun way. You can even generate your own worksheets! This was great for encouraging all of my kids – without even knowing they can gain mastery and understanding as they quiz their sister and play math games. Learning CAN be fun!

Find Math-U-See on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mathusee
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/mathusee
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mathusee/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mathusee
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/mathusee 

Make sure to click on the banner below to read how other families used this program.

Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division Reviews

Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) Multiplication with Bridge to Division (Review}

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

My younger son (11) has been wanting to learn how to use a scientific calculator ever since he found my husbands very old, big and clunky, one from his college days. Not having a math head myself (or a science one really) I was rather uncertain how to help him follow this rabbit trail. But then we were given the opportunity via, Triad Math, Inc., to learn how to use the TI-30Xa scientific calculator using an online course and a softcover book, Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator Augmented Intelligence for all 21st Century Students. How exciting when things come together like this right?

Typically I have drawn a hard line when it comes to using calculators; I don’t remember ever using one when I was in school. However, my son also pointed out how much I struggle to this day, with math and after looking over the foreword in the work book we received, I was certain that learning how to use a calculator like this would actually be a huge benefit to my son and his educational journey.

The book we received contains twenty five lessons in all; this includes the accompanying online video tutorials using the platform, Moodle. There is also a short online course help you learn how to use Moodle if you need it. The first 13 lessons should take about 10 minutes each. Each lesson contains: a pre-test, notes (pdfs you can download), video lesson, exercises, answers to exercises, post-test, and a forum. The pdfs in the lessons are also within the work book included for this course.

The first fifteen lessons were a wonderful “warm up” and confidence builder for my son as he refreshed his understanding of things like: real numbers, negative numbers, multiplication and division, percentages, squares, fractions, and fraction to decimal conversions. As we progressed, he would often comment on how much he liked Dr. Del being so clear and concise. My son likes those folks who know how to get right to the point, 🙂

My son had no problems, or hesitation, digging into this course (especially online) as he started out learning the many benefits of knowing how to use this scientific calculator. Referring to this calculator as the power tool of math was an analogy my son could really understand since he loves to build and use tools. He really loved the analogy that was made in the very first lesson that:

“Math is like a contact sport, You must play and practice to master the necessary skills and knowledge.”

When it comes time to begin trigonometry, the lessons following will be extremely helpful and lessons 21-25 are designed specifically for future STEM students. We are not there yet but I know we will be, all in good time. This program excellent for any student (in my opinion) in pre-algebra/algebra but also as an introduction to higher level maths. Seeing as we had no really delved into these, I was pretty impressed with how quickly he picked up on all of this.

Triad Math states that their mission is to deliver an effective, appropriate post-elementary math education to every individual who wants one—quickly, easily, and inexpensively using the many math programs created for middle and high school students to assist them in learning many varied math skills. They are not wrong. As I watch my son progress through this program I can attest to how quickly and easily he is gaining math skills and also having fun “playing math the sport.”

Find Triad Math on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LearnPlayConnect
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TriadMath
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/triadmathinc/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ2wNPnArm66nzIicv_QUiw

Be sure to click on the banner below to see how other members of the Crew used  Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator Augmented Intelligence for all 21st Century Students.

Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator {Triad Math, Inc. Reviews}

Master a TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator {Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We believe very much in the value of math; at the same time I acknowledge that I myself have always struggled in this area. Having a daughter who is certain she is going to be a veterinarian or other animal caregiver, I am sure math will be of great value and necessity. Since she seems to prefer workbooks over online materials I was pretty happy to get my hands on ThemeVille Math, which has 5 levels to choose from. We received Worktext Level 4. This included the Math Solutions book for this review as well as online lesson videos to supplement learning as needed.

Themeville Math believes in helping our kiddos to “See the themes behind the details.” Isn’t that a great aspiration? The worktext is both workbook and textbook; what is nice about this is how it is all in one place.

There are visuals as you complete each day’s lesson. With plenty of visual aids (manipulatives are an option too, although not included for his review) there are plenty of opportunities for practicing the lesson before moving on to the next thing. This does align with Common Core; very basic, no fluff, no cartoons but still visually appealing to my girl, without being distracting.

In total there are 586 pages in this book; there is an appendix in the back with a grade sheet, unit rulers (cut and laminate to use) and a list of manipulatives recommended. Even if you don’t purchase these with the books, certainly they do offer a list of materials that are very helpful, in my opinion. Play money, for example, or fraction circles and tiles. I know manipulatives have always made a big difference in how my kids “get” math.

The following topics are included:

       Fractions, Mixed numbers
       Addition/Subtraction of fractions
       Factors, Prime numbers
       Comparison/Rounding of numbers
       Long division
       Decimals – Tenths, Hundredths
       Addition/Subtraction of decimals
       Big numbers
       Multiplication/Division by 10 or 100
       Time calculations
       Word problems

With 126 daily lessons as well as ten tests included in this book, this is a very thorough program. Open the book and get started with daily lessons and daily reviews (pre-lessons). Daily lessons include both previously learned material, to continue enforcing it, and new material as one concept slowly builds upon the next.

There are also instructional videos, just in case. For the videos you just need to create an account on their website; then you can access the videos that go along with the level you are working on. For the times when its hard to understand the concept, these are very helpful. The instructor shows step by step, for one or two problems and they range in length with maybe an average of 6-10 minutes.

If you are looking for something that is low maintenance, where you can get started with exactly what you have, then this may be what you are looking for. Super easy to use – with or without the manipulatives – with mastery and spiral formats that guarantee your kids are learning! If you aren’t sure where to begin you can even complete their placement test. That way  you know exactly where to start.

Check out Themeville Math on Social Media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/themevillemath

Be sure to read the reviews other members of the Crew wrote about their experience with the various levels offered by Themeville Math.

ThemeVille Math {Review}

Posted in TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

Supercharged Science {Review}

Aurora Lipper is a former NASA scientist and mechanical engineer turned teacher. With a love and enthusiasm for science, that is so catching, her program, Supercharged Science is an online subscription program for grades K-12, designed not just to educate our children but to grow a love for science in them. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have the chance to review a full year of the e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum for all levels. With four kiddos who love all sorts of science, this is something that we simply had to have! An amazing variety of topics for all ages – I tell you – we could live here indefinitely! As she says, “Science is a verb. It is something you do.” So let’s do some science!

I must say, this is not like any science curriculum we have used before. And we LOVE it! There is just so much for my kids to explore. You can explore by grade or topic. This is so engaging, as she teaches science from “the inside out.” Starting right away, our kids are getting their hands dirty with experiments that get them involved and experiencing for themselves all that science has to share! My boys absolutely must have hands on activities when it comes to science or else they are “bored”, “lost” and “far away”. That is NOT how we want our kids to learn.

Science is exciting! It is full of things that make you say “WOW”. I love when I see a sparkle in their eye and they are leaning in, hanging on every word. When every single lesson starts out with a list of supplies that are needed, I have to say, my kids get excited. It really motivates them and keeps them focused on what’s going on. The only problem with this? We just couldn’t decide where to start.

My younger son wanted to start with astrophysics; my older son wanted to get started on the electronics. Then we found the lesson in Mathemagic. My oldest son spent quite a bit of time learning some amazing tricks this past year.

Then there is also geology (we love collecting rocks) and what about biology (we found some baby bird eggs and have been watching them this spring). There is just so much to do here! Rabbit trails..if you love those trails this is such a great place to be!

We had to find a way to make this work for everyone! That meant that we spent a lot of time on this website. We had to be sure to plant seeds and watch them grow; we also had to build some rockets because who doesn’t love rocketry? My younger son loves to say, “It’s not rocket science” and since we started this, he loves being able to respond to someone else saying, “It is rocket science.”

For anyone new to this program there is a great section on Getting Started, to help you get the most out of your subscription to her program. There are a couple videos to direct you where to go; there are even videos to encourage you on how NOT to teach science. I remember seeing that one long ago when we first discovered this, and I just love that video! It is full of great reminders for how we can encourage and inspire our children to explore the world around them and how and why stuff happens. There are a couple videos to watch in this section; this shows you how to get the most out of this program. This also helps direct you to the most popular experiments to get started (use a water bottle to make a hovercraft) or watch the latest videos. There are even science journals for our kids to use so that they can track what they did and the results of it all. Super easy to get started! SHe is even has lots of great resources for us mommas on how to motivate our kids, some fun books and games to help inspire our kids in their learning. I think she covers everything we could possibly need to know; while I love science, I am not a teacher of science so all of her handy videos and resources really are a great benefit to me.

“What we don’t know is just as important as what we do know. But how do we fit all of these things together?”

Aurora breaks science down into three basic questions:

  1. What IS it? What is it made of, look like, act like? (This is where you describe it.)
  2. How does it work? Why is it that way? What are the physics behind it?
  3. How does it move through time? How did it start, develop through time, and end? What are the laws of physics that determine how things unfold in time?

“Most things in science do not yet have answers to all three of these questions! Sometimes parts of learning is unlearning some of the things you think you know.”

Since my kids wanted to do it all we started at the beginning (initially) as they are organized by topic. Starting in the overview turned out to be great for my kids because, isn’t there always something that our kids might need to know but missed along the way? Filling in some gaps as we go along. And reminding myself that we don’t have to (maybe we can’t anyway) do it all! I was amazed at all of the opportunities there are for our kids active and engaged. So many experiments to choose from. It was a struggle at times to choose just one. Since she had a handy list of links to the supplies needed for everything and a couple specific things to try on the main page, we decided to start there. It helped that we had a bar of soap and balloons. I admit it, I tend to make lists and forget about them. And one of my goals for my kids is for them to DO more. Not watch more videos or do more worksheets but to DO more themselves. This is a perfect fit for that. I still need to give a bit of a nudge at times. Some days I have to break up a fight over which lessons we are doing for the day. But as we move through this program, they learn by doing and that makes all the difference!

As we progressed through this, we stumbled onto Summer Camp which opens June 1st through October 31. There are tons of labs that are super fun and not in the regular program offered here. We are definitely planning to be a part of this and if you are considering this program, come join the summer camp. You can make cars and rockets and engines. Very cool right? There is even an advanced area for our older kids who need a bit more of a challenge! We plan to have so much fun building and exploring with this program for the summer! For my kite lover, we are exploring kite dynamics, let’s go build that large airfoil (also known as a kite). There are lots of great ones here; many more coming in August that will help our kids explore robots, lasers and spy science. How can anyone say no to any of this?

We are very much enjoying this program and honestly we have been all over the place with this! It’s actually kind of fun (although I have struggled a bit with just keeping track of where we are now and then). Something really cool about this program? It doesn’t feel like learning at all. Our summer is full of plans to build kits and rockets; to grow things and having lots of fun with Mathemagic. This is a great one for kids who are struggling with math. If we look at all the opportunities and connections that are made as we complete various parts of this program, our kids are learning as they should – naturally!

Click on the link below to see what others on the Crew had to say about this program!

A+ Mini Math – A Schoolhouse Review

Math is not one of our favorite things in this house. My husband is an engineer, and my younger son, who is six are really good at math. But my oldest son and I really struggle in this area. Needless to say, I know the importance of enjoying the things being studied so I am often very much looking for something that will make math a bit more enjoyable for my oldest son. We have had the chance to review a number of math programs this year but I was still eager to review  A+ Interactive Math‘s new Math Mini-Courses and we have had the opportunity to review a couple of them through the TOS Crew. There are 20 various Math Mini-Courses to choose from; we were provided with the Elementary & Middle School Multiplication (2nd-6th – 13 lessons)  and Elementary Geometry (1st-4th – 19 lessons) for our review.








Just to give you an idea as to the courses available:


Counting and Identifying Numbers (1st-3rd) – 15 lessons

Place Value and Number Combinations (1st-3rd) – 15 lessons

Naming, Comparing and Arranging Numbers (1st-3rd) – 17 lessons

Early Elementary Fractions (1st-3rd) – 10 lessons

Early Elementary Addition (1st-3rd) – 17 lessons

Early Elementary Subtraction (1st-3rd) – 15 lessons

Elementary & Middle School Multiplication (2nd-6th) – 13 lessons

Elementary & Middle School Division (2nd-6th) – 15 lessons

Tables, Charts and Graphs (1st-6th) – 17 lessons

Elementary Geometry (1st-4th) – 19 lessons

Elementary Algebra (1st-4th) – 27 lessons

Advanced Geometry (4th-7th) – 35 lessons

Advanced Fractions (4th-8th) – 26 lessons

Decimal Numbers (3rd-7th) – 20 lessons

Percentages (5th-8th) – 13 lessons

Time (1st-4th) – 20 lessons

Money (1st-5th) – 18 lessons

Number Types and Conversions (3rd-6th) – 35 lessons

Ratio, Proportions, Probability & Statistics (3rd-6th) – 14 lessons

Measurements and Conversions (2nd-6th) – 23 lessons


As I am sure you can imagine this isn’t a complete math curriculum, but it could be a very helpful addition if there are some areas that are more troublesome than others. There are numerous worksheets, reference sheets, and the videos are all animated (kind of fun says my son).  Its also got a great tracker so you always know the progress that is being made in the course.






My son is very artistic and loves playing with lines and shapes so when we had the chance to complete the Elementary Geometry mini course, I wasn’t going to think twice about it. This is a great basic course too! The course begins with a very easy to understand introduction to geometry and then covers topics like: Naming Plan and Solid Shapes, Vertices, Edges and Faces, 2-D and 3-D Shapes, Lines of Symmetry and plenty more. What we really liked about this was the Interactive Q & A where we can review what was taught with guided assistance (like having a tutor right there with you!). And at the end of every lesson there is a certificate that can be printed out. My son really liked that part too!  I think this was probably his favorite course out of the two. There are 19 lessons in all in this mini course and it really is a great way to introduce your kids to the subject of geometry in a way that is fun!





We also had the opportunity to review the Elementary and Middle School Multiplication – Mini Course Online. My oldest son has been really struggling for some time now with multiplication so when this came our way, was I ever glad for something new to try. And again, my son really likes these classes – he finds the videos short enough that he can focus on the lesson – and the Interactive Q & A is a great help to him when he is struggling in one lesson or another. This mini course begins with an introduction to multiplication and slowly moves into more advanced topics such as: multiplication tricks, multiplying a 2-digit number by a 1-digit number, multiplying a 4-digit number and a 2-digit number, all the way to multiplication with three numbers.  I have to say, there was quite a bit of this that was definitely over his head (mine too in some cases!). There are 13 lessons in all in this one. It definitely is quite a bit more advanced than I expected but it was a good challenge for my son and we worked through the videos and the problems together. I made sure to remind him too, as we advanced in this course, that the math we were learning was quite complicated and we were working to do our best. Plain and simple.  He was a really good sport in all of it too!



We really enjoyed our experience with  A+ Interactive Math; this is a very easy program! It wasn’t overwhelming and while its lessons were clear and concise, it was also short enough to keep my son’s attention. A+ Interactive Math does a great job with teaching these hard things to our kids, in a simple way. If you have some gaps, as we do, this is a wonderful alternative to use to fill those areas in. Simple, not too boring but not too childish either, this is something that really is a great addition to our homeschool. And did I mention, its quite affordable too!



Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

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