My Teaching Library Download Club (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.

This post contains affiliate links, see below for more information.

Our family has been spending some time checking out the My Teaching Library Download Club over the last month. The Download Club membership allowed us to use as many of the products on the site as we wanted during the time of our membership and we found lots of resources to try.

The site offers resources for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade and even resources for organization and classroom management. The resources can be sorted by grade and topic and there are thousands to choose from. In addition to sorting activities by grade and subject, they also have monthly activities, seasonal activities, and special holiday activities. All of the resources are included in the membership or they can be purchased individually.

Most of the resources that we utilized were for my toddler and my first grader. As we were starting back to school and enjoying the slightly cooler weather (at least for a few days), I wanted to do some fall and pumpkin activities with them. There were quite a variety to choose from that included coloring pages, poetry, writing, science projects, and more. There were 39 different fall packs to choose from with activities for a variety of ages.

We started by using some of the pages from the P is for Pumpkin pack and the Funny Pumpkins unit. My son really enjoyed the letter finding and word making activities. We also liked the page with a pumpkin picture that my youngest could finish with dot markers. We have been reviewing upper and lower case letters and the pumpkin pages were a great way to incorporate pumpkins and fall into that review. There was even a fun short video that explains the life cycle of a pumpkin.

In science, my seventh grader and my first grader are studying anatomy. I had been hoping to find some pages that were a little easier for my first grader and was delighted to find some coloring pages that will work great as we go through the curriculum. There were also some great diagrams and pages that will help my seventh grader.

My oldest child is in ninth grade and taking a pretty full course load this year. I had not planned to use this program with him because I did not want to add anything to his load. However, I was surprised to find that there was a guitar tutorial included with the membership. This 62 page document takes you step by step through learning the guitar. He has just started lessons and I shared this with him to help him study and practice.

In addition, there were lots of great resources for organization including a transcript record, course of study records, activities log, desk toppers, calendars, and more. These would be great for homeschool, co-op, or a classroom teacher. There were also glossaries for various subjects, lined papers, templates, and even a college application guide.

Overall, we thought there were lots of great products included with this membership. We will use it as a supplement to our regular curriculum. I could also see it being very beneficial to someone who wanted to create their own curriculum or use student directed learning because you have access to so many different resources on such a variety of topics.  If you want to learn more, make sure to check out the My Teaching Library website and click on the graphic below to check out the other reviews.

My Teaching Library Download Club {My Teaching Library}

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

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.

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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.

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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}

ThemeVille Math 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.

My son and I have had a chance to review ThemeVille Math Grade 1 over the last month or so. This program is set up as a workbook based program that can be completed without additional resources. However, there are options for manipulatives as well as some video based instruction as needed.

First, this program is based on the common core standards. I know there are families that like using those standards and others that do not. We personally, do not try to adhere to common core standards but do not necessarily oppose using programs that are based on those standards.  I have found that for our family, the biggest drawback is the emphasis on doing things using multiple specific methods. However, when my children have mastered a concept, we just move on to the next concept and have no problems skipping over additional methods if we do not feel they are beneficial.

themeVille Math Pinterest

While it varied a little depending on the types of problems, most lessons were one page front and back. There were plenty of problems for mastery but not an overwhelming amount of problems. Each day also included a page front and back of review questions. I like that there is review throughout the book, but personally would choose only part of the review problems rather than a full page each day in addition to a new lesson. There were ten tests throughout the book to check for mastery and retention.

The lessons start by reviewing the numbers 1-10 and then basic addition and subtraction. Then it builds up to the point that a student would be comfortable with numbers 1-100 by the end of the book. Also, included were ordinal numbers, measuring lines, and counting money.

As you go through the lessons they also incorporate word problems. This is a great way to help students understand real life application for their math. Since my son is still a very beginning reader, this did mean that I needed to be sitting with him to read each problem on the days that there were word problems.

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The book was done in black and white, with the only color being on the cover. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing really depends on the child. For some children, extra color and pictures can be a distraction and this simple black and white style can help them with their focus. Other students are more interested and engaged when there are colorful graphics.

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Overall, I found ThemeVille Math was a solid math program that covered the content well. It is a great option for families that would like to use the common core standards or for those children that do best when they learn a skill in several different ways. The workbook was well laid out and easy to follow and there was an answer key available (while I did not need this for first grade, it does make things much simpler as the math gets more complicated. )

I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and see what our other Review Crew members thought about ThemeVille Math. The Crew reviewed a variety of grade levels so you can get a feel for how it works at other grade levels.

Grade 1 to 4 ThemeVille Math (ThemeVille Math Reviews)

Homeschool Easy Full Curriculum 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.



With so many folks new to homeschooling this year and looking for an open and go curriculum option, I was excited to take the opportunity to review 1st Grade Entire School Year Curriculum by Homeschool Easy

The 1st Grade Entire School Year Curriculum included reading, grammar, math, history, science, and writing all in one program.  The program is downloadable and was well organized with each subject being in a folder and then the necessary PDFs with-in each folder were labeled by week. This makes it very easy to open what you need and print out each week’s materials. There was also a short 2-page PDF that walks you through how to use the program.

There are two components to the reading program. The first is a book that you would read each week for comprehension with questions about that book. The books are available online and linked through the PDFs so you do not have to purchase additional materials. The second component focuses on learning how to read with sight words and phonetic lists.  Each week there is a new set of words with flash cards and worksheets to work on daily that relates to that new set of words.

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History and Science are both set-up with a series of worksheets and art projects. Several times a week there is an accompanying YouTube video or other similar free resource with more information on the topic. The science lessons had more videos (almost daily) and I felt like those lessons went more in-depth than the history.  While it would vary some, most days the history component would take about 5-10 minutes to complete and science about 15-20 minutes.

For writing, each day the child has a simple grammar worksheet to complete and there are two writing prompts for each week. Each week focuses on a new skill such as nouns, contractions, or combining sentences. The writing prompt worksheets provide lines for the students to complete the prompt on the worksheet.

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The math component includes a worksheet or two for each day. Each worksheet provides an example and explanation at the top and then problems for the student to solve.  There is an answer key provided with answers as well as links to YouTube videos that explain the concepts for each week.

Overall, I found Homeschool Easy to be a great option for a parent that is looking for an all-in-one print and go curriculum. It included reasonably short lessons that are easy to implement and cover all of the basic subjects for a first grader. Our family would want to go deeper with the history component, but we could use this as a guide and find additional books and documentaries to go more in-depth. I think this program is a great option for parents that want something that is all inclusive and open and go and takes a minimal amount of planning time. It would make a great basis for a new homeschooling family.

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! Reviews reviewed grades 1-5 so you can check out specifics for the grade level you are interested in.

Homeschool Curriculum for Grades 1 to 5 {Homeschool Easy Reviews}

Super Teacher Worksheets 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.

 Over the summer we had the opportunity to review a 1-year membership with Super Teacher Worksheets.  This membership gave us unlimited access to all of the worksheets on their site and the worksheet generator where I could create my own worksheets. They have a wide variety of worksheets available for reading, spelling, math, and more.

For this summer, I primarily used this program with my six year old who is learning to read. I chose a variety of worksheets that would supplement his phonics program.  In particular, he enjoyed the the worksheets that used his dot to dot markers to fill in the circles and make the shape of the letters. I printed out each of the letters that went with his phonics program for the day.  Each letter also had handwriting practice, craft activities and more. There were also phonics worksheets that worked on letter sounds.

My son also tried and enjoyed some of the basic math worksheets. Since we were between school years, we used some of the kindergarten level math worksheets to review and keep his skills sharp. The math worksheets are divided by topic (addition, multiplication, geometry, etc) and then with-in each topic there are a variety of different worksheets at different skill levels. There are worksheets that go all the way from the very basics of numbers and addition up through algebraic equations.

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Science and social studies were split into various topics such as butterfly life cycle, human body, simple machines, American Revolution, landforms, maps, and more. Each topic there were a variety of activities and those were marked with their suggested grade levels. In addition to more standard comprehension or question worksheets, they also offered coloring sheets, scavenger hunts, crossword puzzles, and other activities. For example, the butterfly unit included several songs that students could use to learn about the life cycle of the butterfly, coloring pages of the life cycle, a wheel they could cut out and put together about the life cycle, and a variety of other fun worksheets.

We did not try the spelling program because my son is not yet ready for spelling but they offered spelling for grades 1 through 5. Each grade offered 30 units and each unit had a new spelling word list and a variety of worksheets to accompany the list. It was enough to be a standalone spelling program.

For older elementary children, there are a variety of worksheets that form literature units for popular novels, such as Magic Tree House, Charlotte’s Web, Boxcar Children, and more. The units for each book include comprehension questions, writing prompts, vocabulary worksheets, and more. There are also independent reading comprehension worksheets that are divided by level. They range from first grade level all the way to middle school.

For teachers or homeschool moms, there are a variety of printables to help with various tasks. This includes calendars, lined paper, projects, grade books, and other templates.  There were also some fun brain teasers, puzzles, and holiday worksheets.

Overall, I found this program to be a great resource. I appreciated the variety of different types of worksheets, the ability to create my own, and the fact that the worksheets included answer keys to make my job simpler. I think it works best in most areas as a supplement to another curriculum or as a part of a parent created program. This is especially true for math where the worksheets would make great practice or review, but do not provide a great deal of instruction.  The spelling could stand alone and for younger grades the science and social studies could mostly stand alone with a few read alouds or documentaries added in.

I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and see what types of Super Teacher Worksheets other reviewers used in their home and how they put this program to work! There is so much variety available.

Printable Activities and Worksheets! {Super Teacher Worksheets Reviews}

Journey Homeschool Academy High School Biology 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.

*Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links see below for more information. *

I get the privilege of sharing lots of reviews with my readers for many great products. However, it is not often that I feel like a review product was a true answer to prayer, but for our family Experience Biology: Upper Level was just that.  My husband and I were struggling to find a biology curriculum for my 9th grader that we both liked and I had been praying that God will help me because I didn’t know where else to look. In the same week I was offered the opportunity to review this course by Journey Homeschool Academy.

How Does Journey Homeschool Academy Work?

This curriculum is set up to allow the student to be very independent with the work. Each lesson includes two video lectures, a textbook reading, a quiz, and research questions. The quiz is automatically graded by the computer. Since the research questions are done short answer style they need to be graded by the parent but there is an answer key to help out. Experience Biology: Upper Level has a student notebook that can be printed (or purchased as a hard copy) for the student to take notes as they watch the lectures. These pages have fill in the blank style notes that help the student learn how to take notes and what information is important to remember.  Students cannot move onto the next lesson in the course until all of these items are marked complete and the quiz has been successfully passed.

Journey Homeschool Academy Lab Assignments

In addition, each lesson includes a lab assignment. The creators suggest in the parent guide that the students complete at least some of the labs but not necessarily all of the labs to have a complete course. There is a lab notebook that helps the student go through the lab process and a video that explains the assignment for each lab.

Experience Biology Upper Level Review photo

There are also quarterly exams that the students take at the completion of a set number of lessons. On those weeks there are not lectures, labs and quizzes. The students are given a study guide to review and prepare for the exam.  These exams help you see how well they are retaining information and unlike the weekly quizzes, the grades are final and cannot be reset.

When you purchase this program you have one year from the start of the program to complete the 35 week course. This allows time for breaks, sickness, and life in general while still completing the course.

My Experience

When we got started with this program, I decided to sit through the first week’s lesson with my son. This was to allow me to learn more about the program and to make sure that he was understanding what he needed to do and how the process worked.  We were trying it out during out summer break, so he would work on it at night after he had completed whatever he had on the agenda for the day.

I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging the lectures were, while still being solid and full of good information.  The instructor had a very relatable style that made it easy to listen and pay attention. Journey Homeschool Academy has invested considerable time in production, which comes across as clean graphics, images, and sound-which provides a very ‘professional’ product. I only required my 9th grade son to watch, since it is his course, but found that my twelve year old daughter and six year old son would sometimes stop what they were doing to sit and watch as well.

I started by printing out the student notebook pages and lab pages that my son needed each week and having him put them into his three-ring-binder. After trying that for a few weeks, I decided it would be easier on me to go ahead and print everything he would need and let him set up in his binder. This way he can get started each week without needing any assistance from me. I will just need to grade the research questions and make sure he has the lab supplies.

I also appreciated that the labs started by working through what a lab report should look like and how the process works. This allows a student who many not have done any formal labs to get a better grasp of what is expected before diving into the regular labs.

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My Son’s Thoughts

My son felt like he could complete the work independently and liked the video lectures. He is excited about continuing to use the microscope and complete more labs as we continue in the course. He completed the first five lessons (which would be five weeks of the course if you were using it as a year long course) and after taking a short break to finish out our summer will be finishing the course in the fall semester.

Overall, I felt like this was a great high school biology curriculum. I feel like it will help prepare my son for his college level science courses with lectures and lab reports. It covers a great deal of information but in a way that is engaging and not dry. I also really appreciate that he can do it mostly independently so that I can focus on some other areas of our home school. In many ways Experience Biology: Upper Level blends the traditional video based course with up to date distance education assessment tools.

I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out the other reviews to find out more about the different courses from Journey Homeschool Academy and how they were used by the Review Crew members.

Experience Biology: Elementary Level, Upper Level and Experience Astronomy: Elementary {Journey Homeschool Academy Reviews}

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

MaxScholar Reading Intervention 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.

I recently had the opportunity to check out the MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software as an online reading intervention program. Both my 12 year old daughter (who does not struggle in reading) and my six year old son (who is still in the early stages of learning to read) spent some time trying out different aspects of the program.

There are a variety of different component to this program that work on reading through vocabulary, music, phonics, words, and more. When the student first begins they take a placement test that helps them be in the right levels of the various programs.

My daughter is a musician, so after her placement test, she immediately wanted to check out MaxMusic. This program used songs from a variety of popular movies and musicians to help with reading skills. There were different activities including reading the lyrics and picking out various parts of speech. My daughter’s favorite was when she was able to use a virtual keyboard to follow along with the music and choose the right notes.

MaxMusic

My six-year-old son enjoyed the MaxMusic but also checked out the MaxPhonics component of the program. He was working on the earliest level, which was all about learning the individual letters and their sounds. Each letter has a lesson which worked on learning to recognize the letter, learning the sound of the letter, and learning how to write the letter. The program incorporated tactile, visual, and auditory learning for each letter. The student would hear and see the letter, then have an opportunity to trace and write the letter with the mouse. Finally, there were activities to help them work on recognizing which objects began with that letter sound.

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The MaxReading section has selections for a variety of reading levels including high school students. There were even selections about a variety of college majors which would be very interesting to a student that was trying to decide what they wanted to study. Inside of the reading program the selections has vocabulary words highlighted and if the student needed help with the word, they could click on the word and be provided with the definition, an example in a sentence, and synonyms. Next, the passages had the student highlight the topic, main idea, and important details. After that step the student worked on using an outline with the reading passage. Following the outline, the student completes a writing exercise. They can choose from three different options for the writing prompt.  Finally, the student is asked questions about the reading passage.

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In addition to the MaxVocab that is offered with-in the reading component, students can go directly to MaxVocab to get more vocabulary via the dictionary portion or play games such as hangman to improve the students vocabulary.

Another great component of this program are the MaxBios. you could choose a famous person from a variety of options including Aretha Franklin, Georgia O’Keefe, and even Mother Teresa. The student would then read the short biography, have the option of virtually highlighting important facts, and then be asked to answer questions based on the biography. A great way to include history and even art and music studies into reading. Similar to the MaxBios is MaxPlaces except instead of people it uses reading passages to explore a variety of different places throughout the world.

Overall, I found that this program has a variety of different activities and could be a great asset to a student that enjoys working and learning online. It can support reading skills for everyone from a young student learning to read to a high school student that wants to improve comprehension skills.

I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out the other reviews to see how different families used MaxScholar in their homes with a variety of different ages and reading abilities.

MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software {MaxScholar Reviews}

Exploring The US Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 (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.

When the opportunity to review Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities   by Rebecca Locklear came up, I immediately thought of my oldest son. I knew he was very interested in history and we had talked and learned about the US Life Saving Service in our study of the Wright Brothers a couple years ago.

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When asked about this review he was very interested in giving it a try and the plan was for him to go through a couple of the units as an independent study.  However, when I received the e-book I realized that it was set up more as a teacher’s manual and would be a challenge for him as an independent study. Each section is set up with objectives, materials lists, introductory information, and a variety of activities and answers that relate to that topic. The units varied in difficulty, some of them being suitable for students as young as fourth or fifth grade and others being better suited for high school students.

The activities were varied and included such things as group discussions, matching games, recipes, art projects and more. The section that he was originally most interested in, Prepare to Stay Alive, was not really going to work well as an independent study. So we decided to start with the introduction and work together through some of the other units.

Throughout the different units you are able to learn about almost every aspect of the lives and work of the men in the U.S. Life-Saving Service. You find out about where they lived, the rescues they made, their hunting and fishing for food, the ships they used, and even information about staying alive in dangerous conditions. There were fun activities that discussed appropriate manners and had the children become familiar with how the social rules of the time would have worked. They had to determine whether it would have been appropriate for the men to wear their hats in various situations.

US Life Saving Pinterest

One of the facts that I learned, is that the men only had leave one day a week and that was often the only day they saw their families. While a few stations had family houses built next to them, for most of the men they stayed at the station and only went home on their one day of leave each week.

Our family loves to eat and incorporate food into our educational activities. We were excited to find information about what the men of the U.S. Life-Saving Service would have eaten and recipes that we could try. One of my son’s favorite activities was baking the gingerbread muffins after learning about how they used molasses. As a bonus, they made for a great breakfast that I didn’t have to cook!

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Overall, while Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities  didn’t work quite the way I had envisioned, I think it has a lot of great information and activities. It would be perfect for a co-op or family unit study.

You can find out more about this book, check out the authors other work, and get updates and information by clicking here and signing up for the e-mail newsletter.  I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out all of the reviews of Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities as well as The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today.

 

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Critical Thinking Co (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.

who is that kid

I started homeschooling when my oldest was in first grade and he will begin his ninth grade year in the fall. I remember teaching him to read and now he is reading the works of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Time has moved quickly and it is hard to believe that it is already time to be planning for college and his future. As we work towards coming up with a good four year plan and helping him prepare for college, I was excited to get the opportunity to review Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! from The Critical Thinking Co.™.

critical thinking college

I received the e-book version of this book for this review and was able to print out the sections that my son was working through. We did just a few pages each week as we began to work out way through this journey and the discussions that arose from it.  The first section was helping the student work through thinking about themselves and learning how to describe themselves well for colleges and interviews. It was really interesting for me to see what characteristics my son thought describes him and what other family members had to say when they chose.

The next portion of the book helps students explore a variety of college options. It helps them find out more about colleges they might already be interested in as well as looking into other colleges that they may not have considered. The worksheets help them gather information and compare the various schools. This section also walks them through asking questions about the colleges, in person and virtual tours, and other aspects of finding the right college fit.

Part three walks them through college applications, essays, and interviews. Part four gives a calendar of monthly actions that should be taken by juniors and seniors as they work through the college admissions process. Finally, part five is a glossary of terms that students need to know during this process. It includes such terms as humanities, pass-fail, resident advisor and more.

We worked our way through part one and plan to continue to work our way through the book as we go through this process of getting him ready for college. I would recommend the book for any high school student, and ideally start it not later than your junior year in high school. However, if you have a rising senior it could still be beneficial.

Overall, I think this is a great resource for helping students learn more about the college admissions process, helping them learn more about themselves and find the right fit for a college.The less than $15 you pay for this book could easily save more than that in helping them find the right fit before they pay application fees and in increased scholarships because of well written applications and essays. In addition to this title, the Review Crew had the opportunity to review a wide variety of titles for various ages.  I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out all of the different The Critical Thinking Co.™ products that the other reviewers tried with their families.

 

Creative Problem Solving, Dare to Compare Math, Mastering Logic & Math and Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews} 

Math Shed and Spelling Shed (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.

Learning is always more fun when you can turn it into a game. Math Shed and Spelling Shed do just that. These two computer programs turn math facts and spelling into a game. I received these products to review and over the last month my six-year-old son tried out Math Shed and my daughter used Spelling Shed .

 

When I received my subscription to review, I was able to go in and set up each child as a student. This allowed them each to work and get their own ‘honey pots’ or points if they scored well in the games. However, since each one was doing a different subject and they were working on the same laptop they ended up deciding to save one log-in in the laptop and use the same account to work from. Thus they were able to score more points quickly. Since I was not using the points for anything other than motivation for them, this worked well for us. However, if you wanted to track more data or have students competing against each other, they would each need to use their own log-in.

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My daughter enjoyed the spelling program. When she went into Spelling Shed she could choose the level of the words and the level of difficulty of the game. In the lower levels on the easy setting, it would give you only the letters you needed for the word and you just had to put them in order. When you chose more difficult settings, it would give you lots of letters to choose from and you had to determine which letters were in the word and their order. As a parent I could have gone into the parent dashboard and assigned her certain spelling lists, however, I chose to allow it to just be random practice.

My son did most of the math, though my daughter also tried it out once or twice. There were a variety of different types of math problems to choose from including: number bonds, times tables, add & subtract, powers of 10, and negative numbers. Since my son had just finished up kindergarten level math, we chose to focus on addition and subtraction. When we went into that section, he could choose to focus on addition, subtraction, or both. He could also choose how high the numbers would go for the problems. We stayed with the 0-10 range and worked on those basic facts. From there you could choose the level of difficulty. He typically went with easy which gave him three answers to choose from. Each round of the game lasts for one minute and he had to answer as many questions and possible by clicking on the correct answer choice. This program reviews and reinforces concepts that have already been taught but does not have an instructional component.

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Overall, my children found these games to be engaging and fun. I thought it provided practice with important skills and was a good way to get them engaged and enjoying schoolwork. If you wanted a program to give your child extra practice with math or spelling skills in a fun and engaging way,Math Shed and Spelling Shed might be a great fit. I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out the other reviews to see how different families used these programs in their homes.

Spelling Shed & Math Shed {Education Shed Reviews}