Saturday, April 5, 2014

Celebrate Earth Day with Tips from Little Passports

As Earth Day approaches, we wanted to share some of our favorite projects from around the world to help keep our planet green.

Here at Little Passports we know that global adventure wouldn’t be possible without a globe to explore. It’s up to each of us to learn about our planet and keep it healthy. It should be no surprise, then, that Earth Day is one of our favorite holidays! This year, people all over the globe will gather in their communities to celebrate. 

Photo Credit:

In light of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit Southeast Asia in 2013, young people in the Philippines are holding a convention called “Sulong! Power Shift Pilipinas.” "Sulong" means "forward" in the Filipino language of Tagalog. They want everyone in the Philippines to talk to their friends, neighbors and leaders about using sustainable energy sources instead of fossil fuels like gas, coal and oil.

Sustainable energy sources are ones that can replenish themselves (such as wind and water) and would have a lesser impact on the environment. There are many Earth Day celebrations around the world which focus on helping cities switch to these sustainable energy sources and becoming “green” cities.

In Kenya, they are organizing a number of “green-city” events such as city cleanups and tree planting ceremonies at schools. In Uganda, they will hold special raffles, football matches, and competitions to bring awareness to conservation projects in the country.

With a focus on sustainable energy, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society in Canada is holding the “25 Acts of Energy Conservation” campaign. They are challenging people at home and in schools to take 25 steps to save energy and water and to reduce waste. In an effort to help people stay on track, the society will be posting daily tips. They are even holding a contest for the top 25 acts!

Photo Credit:

In the United States, schools celebrate Earth Day (April 22) by planting trees and cleaning public parks to create public awareness about ways we can keep the Earth healthy. Here are a few simple ways Sam and Sofia (the cute Little Passports characters) try to keep Earth clean.

Reduce - use less electricity and water
Reuse - use things like aluminum bottles to carry drinking water instead of buying plastic bottles
Recycle – dispose of paper and plastic in “recyclable” baskets so they can be made into new materials, using less energy

If you loved this information, check out the Little Passports Blog for more fun learning opportunities to share with your kids and maybe even get them started with a subscription of their own! 

15% Off New Subscriptions at Little Passports Now - 4/8 with code: HAPPY5

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Celebrate Little Passports 5th Birthday & Save 15%

Did you know that Little Passports was co-founded by two moms who believe in raising our children to be compassionate and knowledgeable on world cultures and people? Pretty sweet business philosophy! Each month, the imaginary characters of Little Passports, named Sam and Sofia, travel the globe on their magic scooter and share their experiences with your child. This birthday sale, which allows you to take 15% off your total subscription package, will give your child a personalized package in the mail that includes an adventure letter, fun souvenirs, activities and access to their online Boarding Zone full of activities and games. (with that sort of deal, I feel like it's my birthday!) Click on the link or banner below to sign up for your subscription today and get 15% off by using the code: HAPPY5 from today through Tuesday, 4/8.

15% Off New Subscriptions at Little Passports Now - 4/8 with code: HAPPY5

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

CTC Math review
This post may contain affiliate links.You can read more about affiliate links under my disclosure policy tab, or by clicking here.

Struggling with Math?

Most often it's for this reason. Something has been missed or not understood earlier.

Since the rules and principles of math build on each other step-by-step, if some of these crucial building blocks are missing, then it's very tough for your kids to really understand math going forward. 

What happens then is the age-old problem.

Kids fall further and further behind until finally they convince themselves they're "no good at math."
But here's the good news...

This can change. And it can change for you and your kids without the pain normally associated with change.

Proven to Raise Grades Fast

CTCmath guides kids through math, lesson by lesson.
It allows them to pause, rewind and repeat all or part of any lesson until they get it.
  • Learn math at their own pace - no stress, no pressure
  • Pause, rewind or repeat a lesson until they really get it
  • Increases confidence in class
  • Catch up on lessons missed or concepts not fully understood
  • Preview lessons at home before school
  • Gain understanding and confidence especially in areas where they struggled before
  • Gives your kids the freedom to learn without stress at home in their own time
  • All results are recorded so that progress can easily be seen
  • Above all, this really does work!
Because math concepts build upon each other, sometimes it's necessary to go back and revise a particular concept before moving on to a new topic. 

By being able to review all lessons no matter what grade your kids are in, they get the chance (maybe for the first time ever) to finally understand math properly.

Which greatly lifts their confidence. Not just in math, but in themselves.

So no matter what grade your kids are in, this program helps. They can go back if they need to. Or even look ahead if they want.

Who Is It For?

All ages, K-6 students studying Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Pre Calculus, Calculus, Algebra II, Geometry and Trig


Math has never been my strong suit, so when I was asked by the Educent teams if I wanted to try out CTCmath in exchange for an honest review, I was all over it. I decided I would use CTCmath with Poppy and Yang.  I started Poppy on Algebra I since she completed Pre-Algebra with K12 before Christmas break. Clearly Poppy is good at math so I'm really looking for something to actually challenge her at this point. Luckily I'm able to move her around as need be and I plan to move her up to Pre-Calculus next week to see how she does. 

I started Yang out on the third grade level.  She is pretty good at math but she likes things to move along and not spend 20 minutes doing the same type of problems. You start out each lesson with a short 3+ minute audio/video lesson which is followed by 10 online questions on the material just covered. If the student gets the answer wrong it gives them the correct answer, otherwise they will receive a green check. At the end students have the option to print off their score along with the test questions and their answers. If they did not master the concepts they are able to do the lesson again. 

The lessons are in depth so that the students can learn the materials but they are not long and drawn out so the student loses interest. Owlet has always had a hard time with math so once she gets done with her OGT testing at the end of next week I am going to try some lessons with her to hopefully get some missing concepts to click for her.

We are all looking forward to continuing to use CTCmath!

Disclosure: CTC Math was provided to me to try out and review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Essential Skills Advantage’s online Reading & Language Program ~ Review

This post may contain affiliate links.

For the past decade, Essential Skills Advantage has been changing the face of education across North America. Up until now, ESA has primarily been used in 20,000 schools, where it helped countless students. Due to its profound success for boosting students’ learning potential, many of our members began to ask about using ESA at home, as a supplement for homeschooling and tutoring. The demand for a home-ready learning supplement continued to grow, and we are proud to announce the next incarnation of our innovative learning system, fully optimized for use at home!

To successfully use Essential Skills Advantage, you’ll need:

  • Internet Access
  • Java Script enabled
  • Flash Player 10 or higher
  • Volume - make sure that your speakers are turned ON and UP

In your Parent Portal you can:

  • Manage login for students: you can change each student’s username and password at anytime.
  • Learning Measurement: you’ll have complete access to your child’s progress with the ability to access marks, number of attempts, mastery, date, and time stamps.
  • Download certificates: on completion of all units, your student can be awarded a certificate.  You simply download and print. 
  • Access freebies and giveaways to help motivate and reward your student(s).
For your convenience, each parent is assigned a unique URL so that their student(s) can access any grade at any time, independently. Student can select the grade level icon of their choice, enter their unique username and password, and begin.


As a member of Educents Blogger Program, I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing Essential Skills Advantage. After taking a look at the program I decided to give it a try. We stopped using T4L a few months ago when we got off track. Yang hasn't said anything about it so I was sort of looking for a new program anyways. 

ESA is bright, colorful, fun and inviting. When you get an answer correct you get a little "triumph" victory sound. If you get the answer wrong you get a different sound. At the end you get little dancing puppy with your score and time (I love that there is no timer during the actual lesson as those tend to make Yang panic). Yang laughed the first time and said, "Look at the fat puppy!" 

Yang has always had a little trouble of reading comprehension. I think it is mostly because the story passages are dry and boring, so she tunes out and then is never able to answer all of the questions. I know she has a great memory because she can tell you almost everything there is to know about My Little Pony. We began by working in the Complete Reading for Third Grade - Reading Comprehension. The stories were fun, upbeat and help her interest so that she was able to answer all of the questions correctly, the first time.
I love that I am able to select grade level based on the different parts of the program based on my child's abilities vs so standard grade level.
While the background sounds of birds and crickets chirping can be soothing to some, with Yang's sensory issues it became overwhelming after awhile. 

All in all we have enjoyed ESA and are eager to work our way through more of lessons.