Sunday, July 26, 2015

Magic School Bus Sale

Educents has the award-winning Magic School Bus Science Kit subscription for 50% off (+ free shipping within the US)!

Be sure to check out this great deal. We love Magic School Bus Science Kits. They come with most everything you need and they are kid friendly and kid loved.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

SimplyFun Review

Simply Fun Review

Vendor: SimplyFun
Product: Expanders
Simply Fun Review
Age: 7+
Price: $34.00

About: SimplyFun is the creator of the game Expanders as well as Shape Whiz.  For this review I got to try our Expanders. This game uses reverse addition, spatial reasoning, and critical thinking. The object of the game is finding numbers then the connecting numbers that add up to their sums. You want to cover the most of the board in order to win against your opponents. You may have one to four people playing this game. The game comes with the following: 1 mainframe, 6 double-sided circuit boards, 2 circuit board fillers, 4 sets of tokens, Expander token storage bag, and a rule book.

Each player has their own color of tokens so that no one gets confused on who they are. The tokens are see through which allows you to still see the number under it. This is great so you do not have to keep moving the tokens to see what numbers are under. The hardest part of the game is the first three moves that are required and to be done a certain way. After that you are free to move as you wish and expand any way you are able to. 

Our Thoughts: I used this with my 10 and 9 year old. My 10 year old took off easily with this game but my 9 year old is dyslexic and has a harder time with things. She does not like to do school work unless it is fun or in game form so I really wanted her to like this. Turns out she did great too. She loved the fact that it is competitive with her sister and they can block each others moves if they can expand their numbers in front of someone elses move. The object of the game being you need to fill the mainframe made her have a goal to get it done quickly. It allowed her to use her math skills and work on going quicker with adding. 

The directions are clear and easy to follow. The game is a bit versatile with bigger numbers for easier game and smaller numbers for a tougher game. What is better than having a game to teach your children with and for them to learn with? This would work well for any child that knows their addition facts. This could work as a family game or for homeschool game. Really anyone that needs or wants some fun with Math. We will continue to use this game and hopefully move up to Shape Whiz soon as well. 

As always, be sure to check SimplyFun out on the social media links below. Also follow along with my other crew members and read their experience with Expanders as well as the ones that reviewed Shape Whiz.

Simply Fun Review

Social Media:

Simply Fun Review

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Teach them young

It is always hard to let your little ones clean. Sometimes...ok most of the time...they make it worse than if you did it yourself. However the only way they will learn is to do it. 

Do you teach your children to cook and clean at a young age? Or do you do it yourself so that you do not have waste time or end up with a bigger mess, like when cooking?

With my first child I just did it myself. Now at age 10 she is pretty lazy. She never got the excitement to cook or clean. My other three I started when they were little and though the youngest still likes his messes, it will get better everyday. 

Home School In The Woods Review

Home School in the Woods Review

Price: $33.95 for download
$34.95 for CD

Age: Grades 3-8

Home School in the Woods Review
AboutHome School in the Woods gave me Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt, in the downloadable form, to review. This is geared for 3rd to 8th grade children, I used this with my 4th grade daughter. This lesson plan is to take about an 8-12 weeks to complete. The lessons are separated by "stops". With these "stops" you read the text (which we did from the PDF so we didn't have to print so many pages) then you go onto the travel itinerary that corresponds with that go with that stop. There are 25 stops for the study unit. The travel itinerary includes things such as; lapbook projects, creative writing, recipes, file folder games, notebook projects, timelines, and much more.  Also included in the download was a teacher key and the mater copies of the things that need to be printed off to use with the projects and mp3 files. Through the journey of Ancient Egypt you will meet people and learn about who they are. You will learn about the every day life, education, religion, and many other things about the way that they lived as well.

Thoughts: Over all this was a fun topic to explore with my daughter. There were things that were over her head but that is to be expected since this is for children up to 8th grade. That means that this can actually grow with the child and you can review in later years with those tougher things. It also helps if you are teaching mulitple grade levels so no one gets bored. 

When I downloaded the files it was a bit confusing on putting it all together. There is A LOT of information and parts to this lesson. It is not in a book format which is what I am used to. Instead you get a zip file that you open and there are folders, like your text and itinerary and etc. Then they are sectioned off by each stop. Once I got the hang of how it was set up I could just go to the stop we were on in each section and work from there. 

We would read our text and then go over to the itinerary that went with it. Depending on how detailed it was would depend on how long it would take my daughter to complete it. We did work on it daily, but some stops took us longer to complete than others. My daughter likes to make everything perfect so the lapbooks to much longer. I think she enjoyed learning about their clothing and the recipes the most. We were able to try to cook some of them, I can't say that we did a very good job or at least our taste buds were not used to the flavors.  

I think any child that has an interest in history of other areas would really enjoy this. There are so many fun facts and projects to keep children of those age ranges engaged and interested in what is being taught. We personally love that it is clearly focused on hands on learning. The text for the day is short and not boring to read over. Then you are still learning facts and things that went along with the text on your daily project work.

We cannot wait to finish the lapbook out. It will be a great way to review all that we learned. They are also great to have around the classroom for research when we move forward.

Be sure to check Home School in the Woods out on social media:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cursive Logic Review

Vendor: CursiveLogic
Price: $29.00
Age: 7 and up

About: CursiveLogic presents CursiveLogic Workbook. This book is both the teacher book as well as the workbook. The workbook teaches cursive using lessons, practice sheets, and dry-erase surfaces. All pages are in color and there are 96 pages total. CursiveLogic uses two key features to teach cursive; letters grouped by shape and letter strings.

Letters grouped by shape: CursiveLogic uses the fact that there are 4 basic shapes that make up the alphabet. They teach all of these in one lesson.
Letter strings: They teach letters that are of the same basic shape together in string. This gets the student to writing in cursive from the start versus single letters at a time.

CursiveLogic also uses color coding, catch phrases and real words as visual and auditory cues to reinforce the shape patterns. 

Color coding: Each of the letter strings have a color.
Catch phrases: Saying an action verbally as it is done manually to help develop muscle memory.
Shape patterns: By the end of the first lesson students will be able to write real words. 

How we used: I used this with my 10 year old daughter. We have done cursive with her before but it has never stuck and she had a hard time learning to combine the letters. As many of you know most cursive is taught by letters then they just kinda learn to blend them. The method that CursiveLogic uses is completely different and they are point on by stating your child will be able to write real words. We worked through each lesson. Having the dry erase pages in the back was a bonus. If she was not feeling confident in working directly to the paper she would practice with the expo markers first. This also gave us space to practice writing our own words.

We really loved this method of learning cursive. It makes things simple and not overwhelming. Being able to make a whole word at the end of lesson one gives instant gratification for kids. I know my kids love that as they get frustrated if things take to long.

Be sure to check CursiveLogic on social media:

Also be sure to check out what my other crew members had to say about the program.
CursiveLogic Review

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thirsty 4th of July

So made this fun drink for the kids. They actually liked the flavors and sucked them down.

Red- Cranberry Black Cherry

White- Coconut Water and we also tried Pina Colada

Blue- G2 Gatorade

Fill a glass full of ice and slowly fill each drink in a 1/3 of the glass.