K5 Review

About 6 weeks ago, we started our free trial of K5 Learning.  

Butterfly girl FT

My daughter loved to work on all the programs and especially enjoyed the creative activities.  She (recently turned-12-years old) said this,

“I enjoyed the options the program provided and the fun activities.  The lessons were very helpful and gave me a boost in Maths.”

Let me start from the beginning ~

Their initial assessment was excellent. The results were detailed and clear, and for the first time in our homeschooling career, I had an accurate breakdown in my child’s Maths and Reading skill levels and abilities.

My daughter loved the Maths Facts section – mental maths “designed to help kids develop instant recall of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts”. She worked positively to maintain high scores and loved to see her mastery results on the K5 Math Fact Matrix display. What impressed me was that the program constantly adapted to reinforce specific maths facts which she missed or took too long to recall.  

The Maths program has excellent explanations of new maths concepts with good, clear examples of the work, followed by the exercises.  Without too much fuss, K5 gave a quick sound effect to indicate success or mistake.  After the exercise series, my child was given time to play on an “arcade game” which gave her a few minutes of  fun as a refreshing break.

The Reading and comprehension was thorough and very comprehensive. I was impressed with the comprehension questions and the vocabulary extension.

We struggled with the Spelling program because there was no “teaching” or pre-learning component on the spelling lessons presented.  The program presented the vocabulary test and practice almost blind.  Despite trying to change the grade levels, we didn’t seem to find our level and so we did not enjoy the spelling program. 

My only regret was that we didn’t have reliable, speedy Internet service during our free trial period and so we missed several days each week of online learning.  But I highly recommend this program to any homeschooler!  It is excellent and very effective! From an educational perspective, it is outstanding and their methodology is excellent.  From a parent’s perspective it is very easy to use, log in to assess and keep in touch with the child’s progress.  For the child, it is simple to log in and work on his or her own.

K5 learning badge125x125

K5 Learning has a referral program, which pays participants $25 for each new subscriber that clicks over to K5, so my daughter and I will be very grateful if you click here to go start your free trial!


Free Trial K5 Learning

I seldom promote products and have never done reviews, but an invitation to try K5 Learning caught my attention.


K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students. I’ve been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program. If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

After receiving this invitation, I popped over to check out their website and I was very impressed.  Their demo videos looked so inviting and their approach and methodology seemed excellent.

My initial thoughts were that my youngest is already in grade 5 & 6 and up in most her subjects and that this might not fit into our homeschool schedule, but their Math Facts heading caught my eye and I thought that this would be worth doing the free trial.  They explain ~

“Learn math facts online and say goodbye to counting fingers”

“Recalling math facts efficiently is critical because it allows a student to study more advanced math topics without being bogged down by simple calculations.”

So, I hope to use K5 Learning with my youngest and trust that she will both enjoy and learn a lot more than she does with my Mental Maths fun worksheets and Bananagram spelling games.

For more information please go to http://www.k5learning.com/.  I will be back with my honest review in 6 weeks time.


Teaching 24 Hour Clock

My visual learner needed a 24 hour clock with colored indicators for am or pm and the 24 hour numbers.  She and I discussed how we could show the difference between daytime and nighttime on a clock and came up with this idea ~

24 hour clock

To start, begin inside the clock at 12 midnight. Follow around the thin blue circle until it becomes orange, indicating day time. Continue following around the thin inner orange circle until you reach 12 noon.  Now slide outside the clock continuing around the broad orange circle for the 24 hour daytime hours.  At 18 hours, the broad outer circle turns blue, indicating the start of nighttime.

Place this clock inside a plastic protector and use whiteboard markers to write the digital times and the matching clock hands. My youngest daughter and I enjoy taking turns in drawing the clock hands to show the times and writing digital times!

There are separate hour, minute and second hands which you could attach to the clock with a split pin.

Download and enjoy this middle school maths activity ~ 24 hour clock.

  • Khan Academy has fabulous maths video lessons and exercises to teach the time.
  • Maths is Fun has lovely clear images and explanations on clocks.
  • Maths Games.org includes lots of different times and clock games and activities.


Maths Games With A Pack of Cards

We love to play maths games on Fridays for informal, fun mental arithmetic practice!

Did you know that an ordinary pack of playing cards is your most versatile game?

I spotted the game that is worth 1000 worksheets at Lets Play Math.net.

I made these instruction cards sized to fit in the card pack so that the kids can play maths games when they have spare time.

And here’s your free download ~ Maths Card Game Rules

There is so much more on Let’s Play Maths, but take a look at these other web sites for more maths card games:

Have you seen the other fun maths downloads on my Maths Pages?

Have fun!


Maths Mini Office for Middle & Senior Students

A Mini Office is a collection of reference materials your child needs to refer to while they work.

Most mini offices are pasted into the child’s own file folder.

This makes it easy for them to find information or important facts.

Mini Offices replace the wall charts that most classrooms have on display.

My grade 5/6 and grade 9 children refer to math reference pages often.

I created this Maths Mini Office for them.

I have combined current middle school and high school Maths work in this  13 page download ~ Click your download here ~ Mini Office Senior Maths A4

Included in this Maths Mini Office are~

  1. Multiplication Chart
  2. Shapes and Counting
  3. Roman Numerals and Angles
  4. 3D Shapes with formulas for area & volume
  5. 2D Shapes with formulas for area & circumference
  6. Circles with formulas for area &  circumference
  7. Triangles with angles, area & Pythagoras Theory
  8. Maths Symbols and Compass Points
  9. Fractions, Decimals & Converting Fractions

Here are some examples of the download:

Multiplication Table

Shapes & counting

Roman Numerals & Angles

3D Shapes ~ Pyramid, Sphere & Cones

Read more ~ go to  Mini Offices


Homeschooling High School Maths ~ a challenge!

I’m a homeschool mom of 3 very different children.

They range in ages from 15 and 10 to my youngest who is 8 years old.  Most of what I post in this blog features my younger children, but I devote much of my time and energy to my high school daughter …

and in particular to her maths.

Congruent Angles

Maths was never my strong subject and I failed many maths exams and tests through my high school career, yet somehow still passed. I was always insecure and stressed about maths.  In my final school year I had a fantastic tutor who explained things clearly and slowly and patiently, until I ‘got’ it.

Despite his help, I did not feel confident doing maths.

Then, a few years later I studied to become a public school teacher and I was given 3 grades’ maths classes during a student practical experience.  I was terrified!  How could I teach maths?

I studied at least 3 different textbooks on the work I had to present, and I gained confidence.  The more I scribbled and practiced, the easier it became.  The next day I entered the classroom armed with my textbooks, and I  had some tricks up my sleeve.  I had my examples, manipulatives, some games and exercises that made maths come alive.

Actually, I was a good maths teacher!

Fortunately, when I qualified, I was given my favourite subjects to teach (English, History and Art) and I never taught maths again. (Sigh of relief!)

Now, many, many years later I am facing grade 9 maths with my daughter.  Whether it is hereditary, or temperamental, I don’t know, but she is also terrified of maths.

I can teach her,

I can urge her,

I can support her,

tutor her,

console her,

instruct, remind, exhort …

but she has to conquer her fear of maths for herself.

I must lay out each step slowly and clearly.

I must stay patient while she thinks the work through.

I need to try different approaches if the one I am using is not clear.

The textbooks may give us the break-down of each step, but we need to work through the concepts until it ‘clicks’.  I usually show her the principles, then show her some examples, and then she has to try while I watch.

While  she works I give some encouragement, whispered reminders, a nod, yes … you’ve got it!

If she keeps at it at her level long enough, she’ll eventually say, “Mom, I know this stuff.”


She has to work at it till she ‘gets’ it.  This means a lot of hard solo work.  She needs to keep at it until it shrinks in her view finder into the subject it is – and not the giant terror that it seems.

Teaching high school maths is a challenge.  The work is abstract and complicated and complex.  But, by far, the greatest challenge is the attitude and emotional issues that add stress to learning and mastering high school maths.

I’m reminded, even as I write this, the prayer is vital.

I pray for mental clarity,

for calm,

for grace,

for strength,

for courage,

for perseverance,

for confidence

to conquer maths.

What high school homeschool experiences have you had?



Maths Flowers ~ More Mental Maths Worksheets

I have made these mental maths worksheets to add some variety to your previous Mental Maths downloads!

Maths Flowers

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These 13 pages of Maths Flowers include adding,subtraction, multiplication and division.

Each page is dedicated to one number concept;

+ 2, -2 or x2 and divide 2

3, or 4 or 5 x table

bonds of 10

and blank page for you to customize.

Here is your 13 page download ~ Maths Flowers

Please check for more Maths or Remedial downloads on Free Pages.

As I am constantly creating more Practical Pages to add to our collection, please subscribe or click on my RSS feed under my Gravatar to receive notification of the latest posts.