Menu Close

Our Experience with CTC Math Homeschool Curriculum: A Mini Review

Our experience with CTC Math homeschool curriculum - a mini review

If you’re like me, you read more than one review when considering a homeschool curriculum purchase. 

And, if you’re like me, you get frustrated when the first half of every review repeats the same basic product info. 

So, in this review, I’ll skip all the basics. This won’t be “All You Need to Know” about CTC Math. And it won’t be the  “Complete Ultimate Comprehensive Guide” to homeschool math curricula. 

In this CTC Math Mini Review, I’ll assume you’re already semi-familiar with the program and you’re just trying to decide if it will work for your family. (If that’s not the case, check out the CTC Math website to see what it’s all about or read Cathy Duffy’s review for a quick summary. Then come back here for my two cents.) 

Our Homeschool Summer Break – Year 8

Our Homeschool Summer Break Year 8

Years ago, I started writing about our plans for summer breaks. I shared the educational and homeschool-y things we did over the summer each year. If you read those posts, you might remember that each year I seemed to bounce back and forth between too academic and too relaxed. 

By our 5th homeschooling summer I’d found a good balance. (Yes, it really did take me five summers to figure it out…)

But just when I was getting the hang of things… the pandemic reared its ugly head. 

Homeschooling in the Chicago Suburbs: Co-ops, Field Trips, & Family Activities

homeschooling in the Chicago suburbs: co-ops, field trips, & family activities

As I’ve written this post, all of my family’s belongings were loaded onto a 26’ moving truck and taken to our new home in another state! 

After searching online for co-ops and extracurricular activities near our new home, I realized firsthand how helpful it is when bloggers share their favorite local homeschooling resources!

So, before my family leaves the northwest Chicago suburbs, I want to post a “brain dump” of all the northern Illinois homeschooling resources I’ve found over the years. We’ve been parenting and homeschooling here for over a decade and have collected a list of awesome co-ops, support groups, nature centers, field trip ideas, and more! 

A Tale of Two Subjects: Why Homeschooling Parents Succeed (Even If They Aren’t Experts)

Why Homeschooling Parents Succeed Even If They Aren't Experts - A Tale of Two Subjects

Have you ever questioned your ability to educate your own kids? Are you scared to teach math or science (or any other subject) because you barely made it through those subjects yourself?

Or, have you wondered how homeschooling parents can teach their own kids when they aren’t certified teachers?

The “parents-can’t-homeschool-since-they-aren’t-certified-teachers” criticism is (unfortunately) still a common homeschool myth. I debunk it pretty thoroughly in my book, Think About Homeschooling: What It Is, What It Isn’t, & Why It Works, so you can check that out and put that myth to rest in your mind. 

But, for now, I’d like to address those of you who are genuinely concerned that you won’t be able to teach your kids _______ (fill in the blank with your weakest subject). 

Homeschools Are NOT Public Schools (and That’s Okay!)

homeschools are not public schools and that's okay

Today, my 7th grader did his math lesson on a laptop in my parents’ dining room, his spelling on the living room floor, and his history on the couch.

Yesterday, we planned a last-minute field trip to a children’s museum since grandma was available to join us.

Last week, when all the public schools were in session, we took our Spring break because it worked better for our family’s schedule.

A month ago, my 4th grader and I decided to switch to a different math curriculum. We transitioned mid-year to a program that worked better for him.

We’ve got no school desks, no bulletin boards, no interactive smart whiteboard, and no lockers. Some days we start school at 7am and other days at 10am. Our homeschool is a far cry from a public school classroom. 

But it wasn’t always so. 

Kids Are Always Learning (Even When They’re Bored)

kids are always learning - even when they're bored

Kid: “Mommy… I’m bored!”

Mom: “Good!”

I think this is how I’ll respond to my kids from now on when they complain to me that they’re bored. 

No, it probably won’t go over very well with them. But boredom – free, unscheduled, unfettered time – is a GIFT in our culture today. Too much free time can become an issue, of course. But, for many of us, time to think and dream and putter around is often lacking.

One More Day in the Life of a Homeschooling Family

One more day in the life of a homeschool family

If you don’t homeschool, have you ever wondered what it is those crazy homeschooling people do all day?

And, if you already home educate, isn’t it fun to get a glimpse into another homeschool to see other ways of doing things?

That’s why I like to do “Day in the Life” posts from time to time. You can check out other days in our life here and here. But for now, here’s a look into our homeschool on…

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

How to Plan Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU) Curriculum

How to Plan BFSU curriculum

If you’ve read my review of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU) science curriculum, you’ll know it’s no secret that I love it!  

The content is awesome, it’s organized logically, and it encourages students to observe, question, and think their way through the lessons (rather than just memorizing science jargon that’s thrown at them). 

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my BFSU review to learn more about the curriculum and how it works. 

But, even though I love BFSU, there was a steep learning curve for me as I tried to actually implement it. The thing is, I was creating work and frustration for myself that could’ve been avoided! The steep learning curve was my own fault!