Multiplication Facts That Stick


This is not a paid review, I bought this book with my own monies in a desperate attempt to get those few pesky unlearned facts in my now 13 year-old’s head.

Spoiler- it worked!

Although my son loves math and does complicated figuring in his head (not unlike Matilda) he has managed to limp his way through math without having all the facts memorized. In my defense, he skip counts with the best of them and gets great grades in math, he just isn’t as quick with the recall as I think he should be going into algebra next year.

This was a 3 am impulse purchase. I had one of those nights where I inexplicably was wide awake and started obsessing about imagined flaws in our school schedule.

I thought that we’d breeze through the first few weeks and was surprised at how fun and effective the games and worksheets were. So I didn’t consolidate or combine anything and we went “by the book”. This isn’t the first learn facts fast book that I’ve come across in the last seventeen years of homeschooling, but it is the best and it works.

Each week is a combination of worksheets and games that reinforce the facts that you are working on that week. You don’t need much that you wouldn’t already have around the house. We did buy a new deck of cards, but I had the other stuff.

Just my honest, unsolicited review.

Multiplication Facts That Stick by Kate Snow

Curriculum Planning 2018/2019

My secular friends will hopefully forgive me for my transgression of using a base curriculum that is in fact not secular this Fall. We've got reasons and issues, and well, that's the beauty of homeschooling- tailoring it for the student.

Plenty of secular folks send their kids to religious schools, and in fact, I cut out quite a bit to suit our needs. It's way easier to cut than it is to add which is why I went this route.  I know most secular homeschoolers do not agree with this approach. They are the same people who also don't eat at Chick Fil A. While I understand all the reasons behind both stances, that's not me. *Shrugs*



I had all of July to get my plans in order, and this year I went old school and printed out all the lesson plans and then planned on physically cutting and pasting them together in the Seventh-grade manual.

Then I decided that the manual would be too thick, so I tried copying and pasting them into a blank template.

Then I put blank labels over the subjects that were wrong and wrote on top of them. I just did the first seven weeks, so we'll see how it goes and tweak after that. 

(Then I saw they sell blank planners and will probably write them out in that.- just slap me now, I'm so indecisive this year.)

My kid is all over the place ability wise, and the accommodating folks at MP didn't hesitate to pull a package together for me across the levels. They go above and beyond in that way.  Next year I'll order the whole thing at Sodalitas because I kept changing it all even after the first day there.

Everyone always wants the nitty gritty, so I'll list our subjects for the year. We don't do everything every day, and some subjects are planned for the year, but I'll be using different resources by quarter or semester.


Let's start with Music.  All kinds of stuff going on here. We've got Rock History as pictured above from the School of Rock movie circa 2003- it's a family fave. I've also got a Classical Music Theory book from MP that we'll use once a week. The kid wants music lessons too- but I'm not sure if that will pan out this year.

Next up is Art. We are still on our quest to learn to draw- hoping hard that this is the year. I've got shelves of materials and a couple of real-life artists in residence, so its mind over matter. We're scheduling art for once a week, plus free time.

Literature: We'll do the four books in depth that MP schedules for seventh grade. Off the top of my head, they are Anne of Green Gables, The Hobbit (lol- we sort of know this one backward and forwards), The Trojan War, and they scheduled The Bronze Bow, but I don't know if we'll use it or not. I may sub in The Twenty-one Balloons. We also read a lot of ARCs as they roll in, but we don't analyze them which is why I use the Lit guides on at least one book a quarter.

Latin/ Greek: We're going to tackle First Form Latin for mastery this time instead of simply exposure. Since we both have memorized much of the vocabulary it should go smoothly. Greek is really just the Greek Alphabet book, if he likes it we'll do Elementary Greek next year.

Math- We're using a combo of Rod and Staff drills, Math Mammoth and various resources I have lying around. The goal would be pre-algebra next year in 8th grade.

ac odyssey.jpg

The ancient Greek Stoics, founded by Zeno in the 300s B.C., hit on what I consider to be the greatest ever secular argument for the necessary morality of man: Since the things that are the most honorable and right will always lead to the best outcome, we have an obligation to strive for those things. An educated man, therefore, was not only one whose mind was crammed full of knowledge, but one whose heart had learned to adhere to the virtuous. In fact, the Stoics first proclaimed the four cardinal virtues that were later adopted into the seven Christian virtues of the Church. - Abigail Johnson The Before Exercises

Classic History- Famous Men of Greece, Horatius at the Bridge and a bit of fun with- Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October. We'll add in whatever seems interesting too. I plan on doing the next thing and working at our own pace, I know we'll be all over the place in the printed plans, and that's okay with me. I'm looking for a rich, immersive experience, not a quick flyby. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) I know video games aren't for everyone.

Grammar and Writing are also from Memoria Press. I sat in on a tutorial of Classical Composition and finally understand the concept and implementation of the entire program. Spelling is from Rod and Staff. I adore their spelling program and detest those MCP workbooks with a passion you'd find hard to believe.

 Our grammar level matches up with First Form Latin and is light in the right way. My son has just wanted to memorize the "rules of grammar" his words- this does that.

American History- we've slacked on for the last semester or two. I'm more than ready to give this subject a bit more time this year.  We'll use the 200 Question book from MP and a bunch of historical fiction books.

Geography- We'll do a States and Capitals review unit first quarter and then roll into a World Study for the rest of the year.

Science- We already used the 7th-grade nature study of Trees last year, I thought about using Oak Meadow Science since I own it and all. Of course, that would be too easy. I ended up choosing to do a few units: nutrition, safety, wilderness survival, and a biology unit in the Spring.

What else is there? I bought the text for Christian Studies 4 and may use it as a cultural reference course one afternoon a week. We are joining our local YMCA to have access to a swimming pool in the Winter and inherited a treadmill from the former owners of our house, so that should cover PE.

We still have a house to demolish, a home to remodel and sell, and Grandad- so if we hit the basics: Latin, Math, Lit and Comp daily.  I'll be thrilled. I also permitted myself to stretch everything except Math and Lit over two years if need be. 

Memoria Press Elementary Latin- Charter and Public School Version

Update 6/17/18: Well, I've gotten over my annoyance. Memoria Press does Classical Education so well and is so nice that I'm forced to admit that what they publish works and even though I don't share all their world beliefs I share enough to use and enjoy using their curriculum. We start our new school year August 1, 2018, and we'll be using a slightly modified version of their Grade Seven Package. I only tweaked the Latin and Math level.  You can kick me out of the secular club if you want to.

I still don't think they fully grasp what secular homeschoolers want, but at this point, I'm not sacrificing my child's education on principle.  

I haven't written a curriculum review in a long while. I planned on reviewing this Latin program as soon as I decided to order it. Then I got it, and we used it for a week. Then I saw what Memoria Press said about the creation of this product, and I'm left feeling yucky. This kerfuffle is why I should stick to writing about actual books- I've been on an emotional roller coaster with this one.

I guess I should start with the fact that while we are secular homeschoolers, I often adapt materials purchased from the religious curriculum community. There just isn't enough ready-made homeschool teacher-friendly materials that are secular and classical out there.  I'm comfortable with revising a guide, reading a passage aloud and explaining how actual science has disproved that theory, etc.  We study Greek mythology the same way- some people think etc., etc. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't note that plenty of secular homeschoolers are not willing to purchase curriculum that is not completely secular. I respect that and I think if I started homeschooling now I might feel the same way. However, I have become adept at modifying curriculum and it's not a deal breaker for me personally.

However, this phrase from Tanya at Memoria Press-  "I like to compare us to missionaries in China. Our primary goal has to be to the children, and these children are in a situation where they can't receive the Gospel in school. But we can still fill them with goodness through our materials and hope that as they learn to think well, they will be able to discern the Truth that guides our lives and theirs."

I'm left with the thought that, as a company, they will take my money, but I am somewhat perceived as "less than" their Christian customers. That's not the kind of feeling that will keep me coming back. Before I read that statement, I was thrilled and excited that a company that we already use was creating a product that would make my life easier. I'm even registered for their Summer conference for classical home educating parents.

It is also a market that is ripe for the taking monetarily. Charter School money must be spent on secular materials, and there are plenty of people that need to spend that money or lose it. It's a smart business move. What would have been wiser would have been to issue a statement that assured their customer base that while they are Christian, they respect the belief systems of those who are not and feel that those children can also benefit from a classical education. 

As far as the actual review goes. Memoria Press has years of experience in teaching Latin and has created a curriculum that parents can utilize even if they themselves have ever taught Latin. I don't have both versions of this text to place side by side, but I can say that there are secular phrases to memorize instead of the biblical ones and that several vocabulary words have been changed. Any prayers that are in the original version have also been removed.


We are ending week 4, and In all honesty, I was leaning towards purchasing an entire package from Memoria Press for seventh grade and have now decided to go in a different direction. I'll continue to use the materials that I already own, and I'm not closing the door on their charter materials, but I am going to hold back a bit and see if their message to secular homeschoolers gets clarified at all in the coming months.



Jennifer Naughton

I'm a lifelong bibliophile who happens to love children's books and who should have become a librarian. Instead I horde books in case of apocalypse or the enactment of a Fahrenheit 451 type law. My five kids accept my addiction and have learned to accept books in odd places.

Star Wars Reading and Math Workbooks- A Review

Workman Publishing continues to share some great homeschool supplements with us. This week I've got copies of Star Wars Reading and Math to preview. Talk about high-interest subjects. I don't know many 9 to 11-year-olds that wouldn't want to do math when the problems say:

Imagine a group of 7 Jedi can lift seven times as much mass as one Jedi alone. If one Jedi can lift 80 kilograms How many kilograms can 7 Jedi lift?

Or what if these were your Spelling words?  

Hermit, Council, Alliance, Magnetic, Government, Corruption, Fatal, Fugitive

These are the kind of workbooks I like to use when we are in between subjects, as a Summer bridge, or if I have a substitute teacher (yes, even homeschoolers sometimes need a sub)

Verdict- Buy

I wish these went all the way through 8th grade.