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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! 

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!

5 Key Reasons Every Student Needs Higher Math

5 Key Reasons Every Student Needs Higher Math

(The following article was originally published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC in the Summer 2020 print edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. It can also be viewed online here.) 


Some teens love math and know they’ll need it for their profession. Others, pursuing a college degree, have reluctantly accepted the fact that many colleges require algebra, geometry, trigonometry, or even calculus for admission. Then there are the students who can’t imagine ever using, and certainly not enjoying, any kind of higher math, and they aren’t afraid to let you know it!

How to Plan Your Homeschool Week: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Plan Your Homeschool Week A Step-by-Step Guide

How you plan out your homeschool week will depend on many factors. The curricula you use, your educational methods, your personality and your kids’ personalities will all affect what your weekly planner looks like (or if you use one at all). 

I’ve always considered myself a planner connoisseur (yes, I’m aware I’m a nerd). But when it comes to our weekly school planner, I’ve found just using a very basic spreadsheet for each of my kids works best for us. 

How to Homeschool – A Quick Start Guide for Desperate Parents

How to Homeschool - A Quick Start Guide for Desperate Parents

It’s August…. The END of August…. 

If you’re being thrown into homeschooling unexpectedly (due to COVID-19 or for any other reason), this might be the moment you start to panic. 

Or, it might be when the panic you’ve felt rising for months turns into full-blown freaking out. 

As a friend of mine says to lighten the mood when her kids are stressed out, “don’t worry… sausages!” 

Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay.