Critical Thinking Company The Language Mechanic (Review)

The Critical Thinking Co.™

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

At the end of every year, I like to take a few minutes to evaluate our school year, my children’s academic progress, and test results. Then I try to make sure I have a plan to work on any areas of weakness. This year, I realized I needed to spend more time with my eighth-grade daughter on grammar. I had the opportunity to review The Language Mechanic from The Critical Thinking Co.™.

What is The Language Mechanic?

The Language Mechanic is a paperback grammar book with eleven different units. The theme of the book is “Tuning Up English with Logic.” The book is designed for fourth- seventh-grade students, but I felt it would be a good fit for my daughter. She knows how to write papers but often struggles with the grammar conventions, such as commas and other punctuation.

Each unit is divided into smaller lessons (ranging from two to ten lessons per unit) and a unit review. Each lesson has a short teaching component, including examples, logic, and rule. That is followed up with practice questions that can be done together, “your turn” questions for independent practice, and challenge questions.

Also included in the book are a glossary of important terms, an answer key, and a few pages of instruction for the parent/teacher.

What is Included?

  • Capitalization
  • Run-Ons and Fragments
  • Pronouns
  • Modifiers
  • Verbs
  • Agreement
  • Unnecessary Words
  • Punctuation:  ‘ ” ?!
  • Punctuation:  Commas
  • Friendly Letter: Greeting and Closing
  • Spelling and Vocabulary

How We Used The Language Mechanic

For younger students, the parent or teacher would spend a few minutes teaching each lesson, and then the student would independently work on the “your turn” questions. However, since my daughter is older and just needed extra help with grammar, she worked through the program independently.

She was able to read the lesson and then go through the practice problems before checking her answers. Each lesson took her about ten to fifteen minutes, and we worked through a few lessons each week. I chose not to make her work through the units where she had already shown proficiency. She will finish the other units throughout the summer to be more prepared for her high school writing courses.

What My Daughter Thought

“Even though everyone dislikes the word grammar, this curriculum is good. I understood it, and it was not too hard for me to work through. There were many problems for me to work through to help me fully understand and grasp what we were talking about, and it was easy to follow and figure out what it wanted me to do.”        Elizabeth, Age 14

What I Thought

I loved the book’s layout because it was simple to understand and use. I appreciated that I could skip around and choose the areas of concern. Using it with an older child, I appreciated that she could do it independently, but even with a younger child, it would be easy for the parent. It is very open and go and would not require prep work.

I also really appreciated the logic portion of this book. Most grammar programs teach the rules but not the “why” or logic behind them, and I believe that it helps it make sense and stay with them better.

Recommendations

The Language Mechanic is a great way to help children work through standard grammar rules and improve their writing. I think that, in general, the fourth through seventh-grade recommendation is correct, but it could go up or down a little bit depending on the student’s readiness and understanding.

Be sure to click on the graphic below to read more reviews of this product and other great products from The Critical Thinking Co.™.


Critical Thinking

High School Math Live At My Pace Geometry (REVIEW)

 
Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

I love teaching elementary math to my children. However, once we hit Algebra 1, I find an online program to take over. My daughter is doing Geometry this year, and we had the opportunity to check out the Geometry At My Pace course from High School Math Live.

Course Layout

This course is broken down into two semesters (A and B), and we started with semester A. Once you set up your account, the student can log in to their account and see a syllabus for the semester. The syllabus lays out the course in three lessons each week.

Syllabus

There are video lessons (40 minutes to an hour-long), homework assignments, and quizzes and tests. Students can check their homework using the answer key in the back of the book and answers provided with the syllabus.

Quizzes and tests must be requested from the teacher. The teacher e-mails them to the parent to be given to the student and proctored by the parent. You then scan the quiz or test and send it electronically to the teacher for grading.

Sample Page in the One Drive notebook

Each student has a teaching notebook located in one drive. This notebook has teaching notes for each lesson, links to virtual resources, and the student’s grade book. The teacher inputs the quiz and test grades into this notebook.

There is also some one-on-one tutoring available with the At My Pace courses, but my daughter has not needed the additional help yet.

Since this is an “At My Pace” course students are not required to work through the course on a particular schedule. So even though it is laid out in a week-by-week format they can work through it at their own pace.

Elizabeth’s Thoughts

“I was able to learn and understand her teaching, but it felt a bit chaotic, especially at first. There are things and links you need scattered around in different places, and the tests are complicated because you have to print them, fill them out, and then send them to the teacher, and if you are not used to doing that, it can be challenging. The lessons are long, ranging from about 40-50 minutes each. “

Screenshot from a Class Video

Parent Thoughts

The instruction in this program is solid and appropriate for high school students. The teacher we interacted with via e-mail was polite, prompt, and helpful.

I felt overwhelmed when we first looked at the program because it felt like a lot to figure out and find. That became much easier as we moved forward in the program.

It is a program where someone else teaches, and the parent is simply the proctor. Depending on your family’s needs, this could be a pro or a con.

I feel like this course will give my daughter a solid understanding of high school-level geometry, and we plan to continue with the class in the fall to provide her with high school math credit.

High School Math Live

Conclusions

I think that the instruction for this course is solid, and it is a well-done and in-depth high school math course. It is a bit challenging to figure out initially but much easier to use once you have gotten through the first few weeks and understand the layout.

The lengthy videos and teacher-graded paper quizzes and tests make it more like a traditional math course than some other online courses we have used. This could be good or bad, depending on your student.

Other Review Crew families reviewed different courses from High School Math Live, so click on the graphic below to check out their reviews and see how the program worked for their families.

High School Math

Principles and Precepts of Government from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

One of our educational goals for our children is to have a good understanding of our government and grow up to be informed, productive citizens. As a part of that goal, we have been looking for an excellent high school-level government class. We have recently reviewed the Principles and Precepts of Government from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC).


What Is Principles and Precepts of Government?


The Principles and Precepts of Government curriculum included three text booklets and three coordinating activity booklets. There was also a teacher’s resource kit with tests and quizzes. You can choose from print or digital versions, and we were able to look over both for this review. The program is worth ½ of a social studies credit.


Course Overview


The text booklets are approximately 60-75 pages in length. Each one contains three sections which are further divided into five topics.
The content begins with the evolution of government, going back to historic empires before Christ. Then it moves on to the Roman government before introducing the colonies and the beginning of the US government.
The second booklet is an in-depth look at the constitution, the bill of rights, and the branches of government. The final booklet covers state and local government, the election of the president, rights and responsibilities, and parliamentary procedure.

I am somewhat concerned that the paper formatting of the text booklets may not hold up to long-term use.


Text Layout


Each topic is only 3-4 pages in length, making it a manageable amount to cover in a day. At the beginning of each topic, a vocabulary list covers essential vocabulary from within the text. Those vocabulary words are also written in bold format within the text. There are black and white illustrations and maps sprinkled throughout the text.
Most sections also include a life principle, an important quote about government from famous historical figures. For example, one of the sections is from Francis Bacon. “If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.”

Principles and Precepts of Government Text Booklet


Activity Books


The activity books are broken down into the same chapter, sections, and topics as the textbooks, which makes pairing them seamless. Each topic has a page or two of questions that are mostly fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice. Sometimes, there are places to write down quotes or important content, such as the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
I think it is important to note that while these are called activity books, they are more in the style of what most people would consider workbooks. There are no hands-on activities, just the questions.


How Did We Use Principles and Precepts of Government?


I have a rising ninth-grader and a rising high school junior who both need an American Government course, so we are going through this course with both. They are doing the work independently, but then we discuss it as a family. (You need a second set of activity books for a second student as they are consumable.)
Since it is broken down into small topics, we can do two to three topics a week and cover the course material in one semester.

Activity Book Page

What Did I Think?


I liked that the curriculum was straightforward and easy to use. They had the students understand the background of our government and get a good knowledge of our constitution. Grading was simple because it included worksheets and tests.
I would like to see a little more time on primary source materials and more hands-on learning, but I appreciate the quality content and ease of use.
I also really appreciated this quote on the Paradigm website, “Principles and Precepts of Government is designed to equip students with an understanding of the evolution of various forms of governance, and thereby gain an appreciation of the workings and myriad benefits afforded in their American Republic, the sacrifices to bring it to fruition, and the requirements of involvement to preserve it.”


I just felt like that quote aligned with our family’s desire to teach our children about our government.


Both of my high school students will complete this course and some additional government materials to make a full government credit in the fall. You can also pair this course with an economics course from Paradigm to make a full credit.


What Did the Teenagers Think?

“I like how it is easy to find where you need to be in the text and activity books because Chapter #, Section #, and topic # are given at the top of the page. At the beginning of each section, it gives a vocabulary part, and throughout the section, it highlights all the words in the vocabulary part. I like how the quizzes are formatted with multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, or true or false questions. The curriculum covers from about 500 BC to more modern times, which I like because it gives you a good background on how government started and how it works now.” Elizabeth, Age 14

“The government course is a great course on the history roots and workings of the US government and I like the way that the quizzes are set up as multiple choice or fill in the blank.” Matthew, Age 15

Conclusions


Overall, this is an excellent self-paced American Government course for high schoolers. Most high schoolers could complete it independently, or you can add in family discussions. If your student is a more hands-on or auditory learner, you may want to add some additional activities or lectures.
I encourage you to check out this course and the other offerings at Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum. You can also click on the graphic below to see what other Review Crew Members thought about various classes.

Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum

LeapStart Learning Success Bundle (Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Our most recent review gave my four-year-old a chance to get in on the action. We received the LeapStart® Learning Success Bundle™ from LeapFrog. This kit included the LeapStart Learning Success learning system and two books.  

What is the LeapStart® Learning Success Bundle™?

The books had activities for various ages, from preschool through first grade.

The system operates on two AA batteries and is lightweight and portable. It works great for using at home or when traveling.

In addition to the books that came with the bundle, various additional books are available to purchase separately. You can find a book based on age (from two to eight) or skill and subject. You can choose from math, reading, science, creativity, and more.

The price is reasonable, with the set being less than $50 and additional books being under $10.

When you purchase additional books, you have to connect the device to your computer with the USB cord (provided with the set.) This allows you to download the audio for that particular book onto your learning system.

How to Use the LeapStart Learning Success Bundle

Once you download the audio and your learning system has batteries, you are ready to get started. Simply open the device and place the book that you wish to try. Then press the power button to get started. The child can use the attached stylus to press on different parts of the page.

There are options for activities, more advanced activities, and more information on each page. When the child presses the stylus down on different pictures, the book will tell them about the images or ask them to find certain things.

For example, one of the pages of the included book has lots of animals. My son could press on any animal, and it would give him the name and sound. He could also push the activity button, and it would ask him to find specific animals.

How Did We Use the System?

We do not do any formal schooling with my four-year-old, but he loves to learn and often asks to ‘do school’ while I am working on schoolwork with my older children.

This program was perfect for him to use during our school time. Once I took a few minutes to show him how it worked, he could use it independently. It introduced and reviewed key concepts such as letters, shapes, numbers, animals, etc.

It met another important criterion for me; it allowed him to learn through play! He was able to play and explore the different pages of the book without having to go in order or meet any objectives.

Our Opinions

LeapFrog

My son enjoyed this set, and he would often reach for it and play it on his own time. I could also give it to him to keep him occupied during school time with the older children.

I think LeapStart® Learning Success Bundle™is a fun toy with many educational benefits, and we will continue to use it as an educational supplement.

Click on the graphic below to check out all of the reviews from other Review Crew families!

LeapFrog

Dynamic Christian Living Positive Action Bible Curriculum (Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Positive Action Bible Curriculum

My daughter enjoyed her Bible curriculum on Proverbs from Positive Action Bible Curriculum last year; therefore, I was excited for the opportunity to review another one of their selections. We reviewed Dynamic Christian Living, designed for middle and high school students.


What is Dynamic Christian Living?


We received the student book and teacher’s manual for Dynamic Christian Living. This curriculum covers basic Christian doctrine, salvation, the study of the Bible, and the power of prayer. The student book was a 271-page paperback workbook and the teacher’s manual was enclosed in a three-ring binder. The manual was organized with tabs into teaching material, testing material, and the answer key.


Each week there is a guided lesson for the parent or teacher to do with the student. The teacher would teach the lesson and the student would complete a guided notes page in the student manual. Then there is work in the student book for the student to complete independently. It took my daughter about an hour to ninety minutes each week to complete the lesson.

Sample Student Page


There are 35 lessons in the book, which works out to one lesson per week for most students.
The manual also includes tests and quizzes that we could use for student evaluation. There is an optional scripture memorization plan as well, but we chose not to use that memorization plan since my daughter already does other scripture memorization.

Positive Action Bible Curriculum Daily Christian Living

What is Included in the Content?

  • Unit 1: Birth (Salvation)
  • Unit 2: Growth (The Bible)
  • Unit 3: Breath (Prayer)
  • Unit 4: Communication (Witnessing, Sin, Questions)
  • Unit 5: Behavior (Living a Godly Life)

What Did My Daughter Think About Daily Christian Living?


“I have enjoyed working on this bible study. So far, it has talked about salvation, faith, grace, and a few other words relating to those topics. It has me read a section from the Bible, answer questions, and it explains some of what I read and helps to tie it into the word we are discussing.
While I have learned from this study, it would make an excellent curriculum for someone who didn’t know how to be saved.” Elizabeth, 14


What Did I think?

Student Book and Teachers Manual


Overall, we like this program. I love that it is set up to allow me to stay involved but also has students work through some of it independently.


I appreciate that it is more than surface-level devotionals or character education.


I did feel like they underemphasized baptism when they discussed the process of salvation and receiving the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, I was pleased with the theology and thought it was Biblically accurate. Since the parent is involved in the lesson, it allows me to continue to monitor the theology to make sure it aligns and facilitates any necessary conversations about Biblical interpretation.


We plan to have her continue to use this program and believe that it will help her in her Biblical foundation. While some of the first chapters were mostly review for her because of her spiritual maturity, I believe that the three units she has left will help her continue to grow.

Inside of Student Book


I encourage you to click on the graphic below to see what other families thought about Dynamic Christian Living and several other selections from Positive Action Bible Curriculum.

Bible Curriculum for Homeschool

Memoria Press Famous Men of Greece

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Memoria Press

I have had the opportunity to review Famous Men of Greece from Memoria Press over the last few weeks. I was given the textbook, student guide, teacher guide, and flashcards. I was happy to check it out because it tied in nicely to the era in history that I have been covering with my elementary and middle school students.

What is Famous Men of Greece?

Famous Men of Greece is a history program designed primarily for middle school-aged students. The program includes a student textbook broken down into sections focusing on different men from Greece. For example, it covers Socrates, Philip of Macedonia, Alexander the Great, and Aristotle.

It also covers the Gods of Greece and the Fall of Greece.

There are many pictures throughout the book, which help keep it exciting and engaging for students. 

The book is 126 pages long, including the table of contents and a pronunciation guide at the end of the book.

The set also includes a student guide which is a workbook that accompanies the text. 

Each lesson includes vocabulary, facts to know, and comprehension questions. There are also additional activities that often involve mapping or timelines.

The teacher’s manual includes an answer key for the student guide and tests and a final exam.

Finally, the set includes a nice pack of flashcards. These flashcards can be a great way to review the material, and you can use them as traditional flashcards or create a game to help make studying more fun.

How Would We Use Famous Men of Greece?

Famous Men of Greece is a very classical style product. Since our family leans towards a more Charlotte Mason style approach, we would adapt our learning. The textbook is written in an exciting story-style fashion that works well for classical and charlotte mason style families.

In our family, we do not use a lot of workbooks for history, especially before high school. However, using the comprehension questions as discussion starters could be a great resource. We would read the section in the textbook together and then discuss the vocabulary and comprehension questions.

Teacher’s Guide

Who Would Benefit From Famous Men of Greece?

I think that the Famous Men of Greece would be great for middle grades students who like using a classical or traditional approach. It is also a good resource for adapting to families that enjoy a Charlotte Mason style approach.

The program could also be a part of a high school curriculum, particularly for a student that did not have a strong history background.

The Review Crew is reviewing Famous Men of Greece and several other products from Memoria Press. Click on the graphic below to see how other families used these products in their homeschools.

Classical Christian Education

NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

This review is a little different than many of the reviews that I share on the blog. Instead of reviewing a curriculum or book series, we are examining a particular translation and the formatting and information included in the NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers from Zondervan.

I want to be upfront that I have been reading and studying the Bible since my childhood, I am very familiar with the Bible, but I also do not claim to be a Bible scholar. This review is my opinion as a Christian and a mother. It is also important to note that we hold the Bible in high esteem in our home and consider it the holy and inerrant word of God.

Layout and Formatting of the NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers

The paperback version of the NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers that I received to review is a full-color book that includes a bright and lively cover that both of my young sons found interesting.

The bulk of the print was black, but headings, chapter numbers, and other information were in different colors. I thought this was very helpful for teaching a new reader how to navigate the Bible. Colorful sections are included throughout the Bible with additional information, illustrations, and thoughts.

The beginning of each book of the Bible has a page that gives information about who wrote the book, when it was written, important events, etc. In addition, there are full-color pages sprinkled throughout with important information, such as a list of the Old Testament prophets, a list of the disciples, and a timeline of the life of Christ with scripture references.

Thoughts on the NIrV translation

When I looked over this translation and compared it with the translations that we traditionally use, I felt like it was a reasonably accurate translation of the Bible. There were times when I felt that other translations were more precise because of the more complicated language. However, I did not think that this translation for inaccurate or false.

The wording was similar to the New International Version (NIV), but many sentences were shorter, and simpler language was used. It was very appropriate for a beginning reader but not as precise as I would want for a study Bible.

How We Used the NIrV Adventure Bible for Young Readers

I decided to review this edition of the Bible because I have a seven-year-old who is just learning to read, and I thought it might be a good fit for him. He is not to the point in his reading that he could read the Bible independently.

The NIrV is on the third-grade reading level, and my son has an early second-grade reading level. 

He enjoyed spending some time looking over the Bible, looking at the pictures, and decoding what he could. We also used this Bible when we looked up verses in conjunction with his Bible curriculum.

Since he is a very early reader, he still needed help with some of the words, but he could be much more successful at reading this translation than some of the other translations.

Zondervan

Opinions of the NIrV Adventure Bible

Overall, I think that this is an excellent translation for younger readers, and I am excited to use it with my young sons over the next several years. I believe it is the perfect bridge between children’s Bibles, which are often more of a collection of Bible stories and a more traditional translation.

In our home, I will have my beginning readers use it to allow them to start reading scripture for themselves and following along with our family studies. However, it will not replace the translations we prefer for teen and adult Bible study.

Be sure to take a look at the NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers and click on the graphic below to see what other Review Crew families thought!

Read the Latest Kids Bible With Your Children

The Bible Memory App Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Introduction

I might lose some of you, but I have never been a fan of doing lots of random memorization. While I want my children to understand history, science, etc., we do not spend much time memorizing dates and random facts.

The big exception to that in our home is scripture because I believe that memorizing scripture is hugely beneficial to all of us. When my children were younger, we sang songs and did memory verse games.

My fifteen-year-old understands the importance of Bible memorization but is no longer enjoying the songs and activities. Thus I was very excited to try out The Bible Memory App – Bible Memory PRO from BibleMemory.com.

Bible Memory App for Homeschoolers

What is The Bible Memory App?

The Bible Memory App – Bible Memory PRO is a program that works on a computer, phone, or other mobile devices to assist with Bible memory. The membership includes up to four family accounts.

When you log into your plan, you can choose which verses and which version of the Bible you would like to work on memorizing.

There are three steps for each verse in the memory app. First, you are given each word and type either the whole word or the first letter of each word (depending on how you have your settings).

Next, you are given every other word, and you have to fill in the blanks. Finally, you have a blank screen, and you have to type the complete verse (or the first letters of each word).

You can work through those as many times as you need, and you can work on as many different verses as desired.

You earn points and badges as you practice and work through the verses. While that part was not a big deal to me, it can be very motivational for many students. You could even have it be a competition between family members.

Memorize Bible Verses with BibleMemory.com

How We Used Bible Memory

When we received  The Bible Memory App – Bible Memory PRO, I set up accounts for myself and my two teenagers.

We were getting ready to start memorizing a selection of verses from Ephesians about the armor of God. So, I set up those verses to learn first. Once they were set up, my teenagers could practice at whatever time was convenient.

It is important to note that each family member could work on different verses.

I was able to put the app on my phone and have access to it on the computer. The program saved my work from each platform, so I had no problem using both interchangeably.

What We Thought About Bible Memory

We enjoyed the program. I thought it was a quick and easy way to work on scripture memory. I also really appreciated that it was also good typing practice.

My daughter chose to do extra verses on her account to help memorize verses she was doing with her American Heritage Girls troop. While she is pretty good at scripture memory on her own, she enjoyed the program and thought it made the memory work faster and more fun.

The one thing I would change is that I wish you could see progress on the other accounts from the parent’s account. In order to see progress for my children, I had to log out as me and log in as them. This was not a huge problem, but something I hope they consider later.

The price of this program is very affordable, at only $9.99 for the license.

Conclusions

We enjoyed BibleMemory.com. It is a great way to help older children, teens, and adults memorize scripture. It is affordable and easy to use, and we will continue to use it as a family to aid our scripture memorization.

Be sure to click on the graphic below to see how other reviewers used BibleMemory.com.

Memorize Bible Verses in Your Homeschool with BibleMemory.com

YWAM Heroes of History: Thomas Edison (Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

When the opportunity to review a book from the Heroes of History series by YWAM Publishing arose, the only question was which title we would choose. We love the YWAM Publishing biographies and were excited about the chance to review a new title!

We have used titles from these series as read-alouds, pleasure reading, and as part of literature study for my older students. There are so many great options.

YWAM Publishing

For this review, I decided to let my daughter choose the book and use it as part of her literature studies. After looking over the various titles, she chose to read the book about Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison: Inspiration and Hard Work was written by Janet and Geoff Benge. It is a paperback chapter book that is recommended for ages 10+. They are written from a Christian worldview.

We think they are ideal for upper elementary and middle grades. However, they are interesting enough to still make good pleasure reading for my high school student. They also work great for younger students as read alouds.

In addition to the paperback book, YWAM Publishing also graciously provided us with the coordinating unit study. The unit study is over 80 pages of ideas, projects, worksheets, and maps to use with the book.

The first section of the unit study is key quotes that go along with the study. Some are quotes by the Thomas Edison and others are quotes that relate to his work and character.

Next, there are ideas for building a display corner. This is an area in your home that your student can put things that are relevant to Thomas Edison. This might be maps of where he lived, pictures, models, diagrams, examples of his inventions. This can make a great visual to help students remember more from what they read.

Third, there are about six comprehension questions for each chapter of the book. You could have your student do all of the questions, but I chose to have my daughter answer just the ones that I selected.

Next is the part my children enjoy most, the activities! There are a variety of suggested activities to choose from in various categories ranging from hands-on projects to essays to audio/visual projects. There are also art and craft project options.

My daughter chose to complete the hands-on project of writing and sending a message in Morse code. She enjoyed writing it and hearing how it sounded. She also shared it with her brother.

The next section of the unit study is community links. These are suggested field trips or people that could be interviewed to increase your knowledge of either the person you read about or his field of expertise.

For example, some of the suggestions given in the Thomas Edison study were interviewing a draftsman to talk about blueprints or going to a power plant/power plant museum.

In the social studies section, there are mapping projects, vocabulary terms, geographical characteristics, and questions to ponder. My daughter did the mapping projects and I felt that it really helped her to understand where the events took place.

Finally, the unit study includes a culminating event and a books and resources section. The culminating event is a fun party style event to close out the end of the study and the books and resources section provides ideas for additional study.

My daughter said, “I enjoyed the way they talked about his life and his inventions and how they were made.” When asked about the unit study portion she said, “I really liked the link they gave for a program where you could type a message in and it would give you the Morse code translation.”

She recommends it for middle schoolers and anyone who was interested in history and inventions.  The only thing she would have changed was making the map larger for the geography activity because there were a lot of places to include on the small map.

Whether you want a fun read-aloud, a new pleasure book, or an in-depth unit study, I absolutely love these books. The unit studies are great because there are so many options, the books are very educational and they are written from a Christian worldview.

I love that it is so easy to pick and choose what components we want to complete to make it as short or in-depth of a unit study as we would like to do.

You can check out my reviews of Benjamin Franklin, Orville Wright, or Alan Shepard. Don’t forget to click on the graphic below to see which books other Crew Members reviewed and how they choose to use them in their homes.

YWAM Publishing

Reading Eggs Online Subscription Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

 

We were recently given the opportunity to review a 1 year subscription to Reading Eggs from Blake eLearning Inc. I had used the program in the past and was excited to try it out with my six-year-old that was just starting to learn his letters and sounds.

Reading Eggs is a fun online program that teaches phonics and later comprehension skills. The student takes a placement test, and then can begin lessons based on their level. By completing the lessons, they earn eggs which they can use to purchase things to decorate your online house and character. Those eggs were very motivational for my son. He loved to be able to purchase all of the accessories. Each month there is a new theme and they offer accessories specific to that theme in addition to the regularly available items. The monthly themes were fun and added an additional incentive to earn the eggs before the theme changed. The theme for this month was outer space, so there were rockets, space suits, etc.  In addition to the accessories and such, you can use your eggs to get extra games.

reading eggs 2

When the student logs into reading eggs, they go to their map and see what progress they have made through the lessons. Then they can click on the lesson that they need to complete. Each lesson contains multiple activities that they complete and earn eggs.  Once they have completed all ten of the lessons on that particular map, they take a quiz to make sure they have mastered that material before they move on.

reading eggs 1

One section that was new to me was the Fast Phonics. This new component is available both on the computer and as a phone app.  This section was great for my son as it focused on reinforcing the letter sounds which was an area we were working on. He loved the playing the app and enjoyed the characters and games. I did notice that there were a few sections that I felt were confusing for new readers. For example, he was being given three letter combinations and had to sound them out to determine if they made a word. So he might see C A T and mark that it was a word. However, he had P A S and they even sounded it out pass, but then it was not a word. While I know that pass has an additional s that was very confusing for someone that was just learning to sound out basic three letter words.  However, overall I felt the benefits outweighed this challenge.

In addition to the regular reading eggs program, they also offer Reading Eggs Junior which is designed for students ages 2-4 and includes opportunities for the students to listen to books being read aloud, watch videos about the letters, and complete simple activities.  For older children, ages  7-13, they have Reading Eggspress. This program works on reading longer sections and comprehension. They also offer a math component, Math Seeds, which is set up similarly to Reading Eggs but focusing on math skills instead of phonics.

reading eggs pinterest

Overall, I felt like Reading Eggs was a great addition to our homeschool and we plan to continue to use it throughout this year. The program reinforced the skills he was learning in our phonics program and also taught him new skills. For my son he went from only knowing some of his letters and a handful of letter sounds, to learning how to sound out short words and knowing most of his letter sounds in about a month.

I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below to see what the other reviewers thought and how they put this program to work! Reviewers used this with students from a variety of ages and were able to experience different components of the program.

Reading Eggs Subscription {Blake eLearning Inc Reviews}