review- Quarter Mile Math



It is the rare child who doesn’t like cars or horses, so combine them with a fun skill review game and we have a winner in The Quarter Mile Math!

We received the Deluxe version to test and it has been so much fun! Each person chooses a dragster to race or a horse to run through a meadow.  After choosing a topic, you try to correctly answer problems as fast as you can. Your five fastest horses or cars are always competing against each other, so the object is to top your previous best time. My 4 year old can even play along with the keyboard letter and number recognition categories.

I think this is so much more effective than flash cards. My kids are motivated to keep practicing the same multiplication problems in order to to beat their fastest time. I really appreciate how Barnum Software has made this cost effective for the majority of homeschoolers at $2.95 per month for the entire family!!

The Nitty Gritty:

The Quarter Mile Math comes in two different affordable versions. You can compare them on this chart.

Things I like:

  • fun for all ages, from preschoolers to adult
  • skills are very specific, not just a bunch of random problems
  • kids are motivated to improve on their best time
  • used by Sylvan Learning Centers
  • very affordable

Value: Dirt cheap is how I would price this one!  LOL  I know that this is not true for all, but most families will not miss $2.95 a month. You can also purchase a one or two year subscription, or the standard cd version.

Barnum Software is offering my readers $5 off of the Standard or Deluxe version if ordered by September 30th using this code: 7R7K7

See what my TOS Crew Mates had to say about The Quarter Mile Math.

our first day


We had a lovely first day of school today!

We did some group activities and focused on getting notebooks organized – the real academics start on Monday!

We have a new student this year. My niece (11) is joining us each morning and we are enjoying her lovely spirit. Her bloggy nickname will be Niecey. (What can I say? I’ve used up all my creative brain cells planning our school.)

Here’s a look at what we did:

~ Sticks & Stones– We each got a body cutout with our name on it. We passed them around the circle, making sure to add a wrinkle or tear to each one as we passed it. They were a wrangled mess by the end. We then talked about how using our words as weapons does the same kind of damage to each other. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

~ We made get-well cards for my grandparents who are both in the hospital.

~ The 3 older girls filled out a Learning Style Questionnaire and How Many Ways Are You Smart?

~ The 2 younger colored & cut out a dog mask to go along with our Hank the Cowdog bedtime story.

~ We read the first lesson out of Over Our Heads In Wonder and then headed outside with this cloud paper to record our sky views.

~ Creating a September Nature Calendar was last on the list.

Tomorrow we will add journal writing and math to the mix. It’s going to be a great year!

review – ALEKS math

The timing was perfect for our chance to review ALEKS Math! We were lagging a bit behind due to our new baby & recent move and this online Math program was just what we needed to get caught up.

ALEKS is a Research-Based Online Program:

  • Complete Curriculum Solution for Math with Access to Full Course Library
  • No Textbook Required
  • Artificial Intelligence Targets Gaps in Student Knowledge
  • Assessment and Individualized Learning for Grades 3-12
  • New and Improved Master Account – Includes Quizzing, Attendance Tracking, Automated Reports, and More
  • Unlimited Online Access – PC and Mac Compatible
  • QuickTables – Complimentary Math Fact Mastery Program for Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction

Assessment: Students begin in ALEKS by taking an individualized, adaptive assessment to determine what they already know and what they are ready to learn next.

Student MyPie
MyPie: The ALEKS Pie summarizes a student’s current knowledge and offers topics that the student is ready to learn next. The darkened portion of each pie slice represents the topics that the student has mastered and the lighter portion represents what the student has yet to learn.

Student Problem Two
Learning Mode: The Learning Mode provides students with practice problems, and offers explanations of topics and procedures as needed. Once a student has demonstrated mastery in the Learning Mode, the item is added to the ALEKS Pie, and new material that the student is now ready to learn becomes available.

Master Progress Report
Student Progress Report: Track student progress made throughout the course. The blue bar represents the percent of course material that the student has mastered during an ALEKS assessment; the green bar represents the percent of new topics the student has mastered in Learning Mode since the last assessment; and the yellow bar represents the percent of topics the student has yet to learn in order to complete the course.

The Nitty Gritty:

A subscription to ALEKS is

  • $19.95 per student, per month, or
  • only $99.95 every 6 months, or
  • only $179.95 every 12 months.

Learn about the family discount program.

Things I Like:

  • The Learning Pie is a very motivating tool for my kids. They like seeing what they have mastered & what they still need to learn.
  • It is easy to keep track of progress for multiple kids.

Value: I think you definitely get your money’s worth if you just need ALEKS for a month or two – to play catch up like we did or for some tutoring. However, I think it is very pricey for a whole year. If I am going to invest a large amount of money, then I want something I can use year after year. Having said that, if you have a child who struggles with Math then it might be  worth it to you to finally find the program that clicks!

ALEKS is offering my readers a FREE 1-Month Trial. Just click the banner below to get started!
Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial

See what my TOS Crew Mates had to say about ALEKS Math!

review – Grapevine Studies


I’ve had my eye on Grapevine Studies for a couple of years now, so I was thrilled when I saw them on my review list! Dianna, the author of the series, went above and beyond to help me decide which studies were the best fit for my kids. I chose to review the Old Testament Basics and New Testament Overview Levels 1 & 3 e-books.

The concept is simple: draw basic stick figures for key stories in the Bible. The Teacher Book tells you step-by-step what to say and draw. Each lesson starts with a review, and then the teacher draws the lesson on a whiteboard as the student follows along on paper. It is that easy!! But don’t let the simplicity fool you – my kids are absorbing Bible facts like little sponges.

My husband is leading us through this before bed each night and the kids really enjoy it! My 4 year old needs a little guidance, but she is having no problem understanding and keeping up with the others. Everyone wants a turn with the dry erase markers, so Hubby quizzes each kid at the end of the lesson and they get to draw (and then erase!) the answer.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • OT Basics Teacher e-book  19.95
  • OT Basics Student e-book  19.95
  • NT Overview Teacher 3-4 e-book  24.95
  • NT Overview Student 1  e-book 25.95
  • NT Overview Student 3  e-book 22.95

Things I Like:

  • very easy to use – just open & teach
  • fun for the whole family
  • great customer service

Value: I think these are worth the money, especially if you buy the e-books. My 4 kids are sharing two levels, and I can cycle back through them when the two little ones & the baby get older.

I have a special discount to share with my readers. Order by September 15th and get 30% off with this code: crews

Go see what my TOS Crew Mates had to say about Grapevine Studies!