Sunday, April 25, 2010

Super Star Games

I was given an opportunity to review some Super Star Games as a part of the TOS Crew.  Debbie Lott from Super Star also sells a speech therapy program called Super Star Speech.  If you have a child that is struggling with speech please check out her materials Since I don't have a child that needs speech therapy, I am going to review some of the games that she offers. Each game retails for $3.50. 

Play The Insect Game to learn all about insects or to reinforce your current study of insects. Players  answer questions to earn insect parts, attempting to be the first player to build a complete insect. This game is designed for 2nd to 6th grades.

The object of Covering the Continents is to "settle" more continents than any other player. Covering the Continents includes a game board/ map and game cards that ask questions about each of the seven continents. Players try to be the first to answer three questions about a continent to "settle" it. Fun for ages 6 to 10.

 Players of the Exploring Egypt Game will race to be first to the top of the pyramid by answering the most questions about ancient Egypt. Game question topics cover geography, politics, daily life, and religion of ancient Egypt. The game can be adjusted to accommodate players of different ages and abilities. Designed for 3rd to 8th grade students.

 The Inventors Game will teach your child about 24 famous inventors. Instructions are included for two different games, with variations for difficulty. Children have fun matching inventors to their inventions or playing a timeline game using the dates of different inventions.

 these are just some of the games we tried and loved! These games are a wonderful way to reinforce what your learning, but also just fun for learning. My kids are not studying inventors but have played this game over and over...FUN and LEARNING....whats NOT to love?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The TV teacher: Alphabet Beats

Alphabet Beats is an award winning handwriting program that uses visual, auditory, and a hands on approach to teaching writing the alphabet. There are memorable chants that the children listen to and learn to help them remember how to write the alphabet.

I was sent a free copy of the LOWER CASE  Writing DVD to use and review as part of the TOS crew.

I was a little worried of a DVD for teaching handwriting, so was pleasantly surprised when I put this in and my 5 year old twins and grandchildren 6 and 3 became very excited!

  Each letter chapter is very short, less than 5 minutes. The idea is that after watching a segment, you’ll  practice making the letter on paper.
Ms. Marnie, the TV Teacher, introduces each letter by tracing it with her finger and saying a chant (for instance, little line down, up over and down, n) as a reminder of the correct way to form the letter. The rest of the segment consists of Ms. Marnie writing the letter on paper, while saying the chant and on a chalkboard again while saying the chant, talking about n words like nuts, new /old nickel, nurse (and what a nurse does) net, numbers (she goes over 1-9).   It's a varied mix of stills, video, and activity.
Ms. Marnie has, a “bubbly personality.” All smiles, exaggerated speech and hand movements, intended to keep a young child’s attention. And it works. .  My kids/grandkids were begging to choose a letter and they are writing random "letters" to everyone!!! This program teaches the ball and stick form but I see no problem with a child's ability to transfer into another style latter. We use italic and I will "transfer" them over latter.

Alphabet Beats Upper Case DVD is available for $35.
The Lower Case DVD is available for $35, too. Or buy both for $64.99.
There are also spiral-bound workbooks available for $4.49-4.99 each.
You can view a free demo of the Alphabet Beats Lower Case DVD here.

To see other reviews click HERE

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time 4 Learning

I have always wanted to try Time 4 learning  So I was really excited when as part of the TOS crew I received a one month membership to their  online preschool program.  My 3 preschoolers were excited that they had a special COMPUTER program for them!

Time 4 Learning is an online PreK - 8th grade curriculum that can be used a supplement to your current curriculum or even as your entire curriculum for language arts, math, science and social studies. The curriculum is tailored to each of your children's educational needs and levels and includes animated lessons, interactive activities, unit assessments, and printable worksheets for reinforcement (and it is ad-free!). Lessons are also correlated to standards in all 50 states.
The preschool curriculum offers two different levels of difficulty and covers 40 different topics including: shapes, numbers, feelings, human body, insects, color mixing, weather and much more.

  Each box is a topic the child can click on.  Inside the topic the child will find a selection of activities to choose from, including:
  • Storybooks
  • Match It game
  • Patterns
  • Find It game
  • Memory Match card game
  • Which is Which? identification game
  • and more

 As the child completes an activity, a check mark appears over the icon.  The child can still play again if desired.
What I liked MOST about Time4Learning Preschool is that the program speaks to the child, explaining how to play and naming all things they scroll over.  They do not need to be able to read independently.  The activities were fun. My kids begged to play all the time!  The PreK 2 level covers similar themes in more depth.

Membership is:    

$19.95 / Month for the First Child

$14.95 / Month for Each Additional Child!

 You can learn more and try free demos from the Time4Learning website
You can see more reviews HERE

Monday, April 12, 2010

All About Spelling: What Am I ? Reader

Earlier this year I reviewed  the wonderful spelling program All about Spelling and the Beehive Reader 1.
We have also received for review the second reader Who Am I?

This reader follows Beehive Reader 1 (which, by the way, is getting a new title -- Cobweb the Cat -- same great book, different title), and coordinates with the first 14 steps in All About Spelling Level 2.  It can be used whether or not you use All About Spelling.  This book includes longer stories, but similar wonderful illustrations of endearing characters.

 Like the first reader this one is wonderful! it is available from All About Spelling for $19.95

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tales From Terrestria by Ed Dunlap

As part of the TOS homeschool crew I received two books from Ed Dunlap Ministries, The Tales From Terrestria book 1:  Quest For Thunder Mountain and book 4: The Isle of Dragons  to review.

Ed Dunlap is an evangelist, who has written many books to reach out to children.
His latest set of books are fast paced, exciting and entertaining. They contain no magic or wizardry, making them an excellent alternative to popular, secular books of today. Yet, they also contain an important message.

Here is what the web site says:
Book One – The Quest for Thunder Mountain  (203 pages)
A dangerous quest to a mysterious mountain—but how will it end?...When Gavin’s career comes to an  
abrupt end, the talented young minstrel learns that King Emmanuel has plans for him—plans that promise life and purpose. But Gavin must make a difficult journey to a mysterious mountain.

The young minstrel eagerly starts on his quest with three companions, but the travelers are warned that Thunder Mountain is a place of terror and treachery. Will Gavin and his friends find Emmanuel’s will on the mountain, or are they walking into a trap?

The Quest for Thunder Mountain, written to show the wonder of doing the will of God, is the first book in the new young adult allegory series Tales from Terrestria, a companion series to the Terrestria Chronicles.

Book Four – The Isle of Dragons    (201 pages)
The Dragon Tournament—a mysterious event that draws young people by the thousands. Admission is free, but what price do the... 
participants really pay?

When sixteen-year-old Joel of Seawell, the son of a peasant fisherman, receives an invitation to the Tournament he is thrilled beyond words. Too late he learns the terrifying secret of the Isle of Dragons.

Captive in a hostile land, Joel gives up all hope, certain he will never again see his home or experience the happy life he once knew. 

In his despair, he has overlooked a powerful force—the unconditional love of his father

 Peer pressure—a powerful force for evil. Parental love—a powerful force for good. The Isle of Dragons—a powerful book to encourage young people to listen to the right voices.

We really enjoyed these books as our read a loud!  The kids would beg me to keep reading! I highly recommend these books.

There are 3 books out in this series (you do NOT have to read them in order) of the seven planned.  Each book is $7.99 or 3 for $19.99

If you would like to see what other crew members have to say , please click HERE.

ally enjoyed these

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World

The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks, a massive online virtual world for kids aged 7-14, has been the buzz around our home for the last month As part of the TOS crew we received a membership to review this sight..

According to the website, WW promises:
“…an experience in which players will be able to travel to places around the world, through time and space, meet famous historical people, play dozens of fun enriching games, make new friends, buy exotic islands, build culture-inspired houses, wear clothes from different countries, explore secret locations, solve mysteries and become a legendary traveler!”

My kids have been following the plot by traveling around the world to help locate a group of historical people who have lost their memory from traveling through a time warp. Their goal is to help them regain their lost memory. Your child will meet characters like Buffalo Bill, Galileo, Albert Einstein, Beethoven, and Emperor Qin in their travels.

I would have to warn parents that at this sight your children may encounter some things that you may wish to watch out for!
Your child may be exposed to evolutionary content through characters like Charles Darwin and objectionable material like the false gods. Your child may also be exposed to foul language.  because of the chat feature.
children are able to chat live with other children from all over the world. WW has a strict policy on safety and children are taught to report any offending or illegal behavior – and trust me they do! But, my children have still been exposed to inappropriate language. 
WW does have a set of proprietary rules and safety features
  • No numbers (designed to filter out phone numbers and addresses)
  • No URL links (prevents the sharing of inappropriate websites)
  • No vulgarities (language is censored and repeat offenders are banned)
  • No private messaging (no unsupervised conversations)
  • Reporting feature (Players report and moderators investigate inappropriate behavior)
  • Chat logs (parents can request children's chat logs as far back as 90 days)
  • Parent/Admin panel (parents can monitor playing habits)
However, there are ways around these safety features and children do find these ways!

The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks, a product of Wiglington and Wenks Worldwide Pte Ltd, is free for a basic membership, but to gain access to all of the features, special areas and extra privileges, you will need to purchase a WW Membership.
Membership Price:
  • Monthly: $5.99
  • 3-Month Ticket: $16.99
  • 6-Month Ticket: $29.99
  • 1-Year Ticket: $59.99
Though it is touted as educational, I didn't see that much education on the actual WW site that my older kids did not already know.  It was easy to click and not read the educational info given.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Critical Thinking Company

We have used some of the Critical thinking Co. products before, so I was very happy to receive from them for review as part of the TOS crew  the book:  Balance Benders Beginnings

Here is what the Critical thinking company says:

Description & Features

Move over Sudoku, here come Balance Benders™! You can use these books as quick, fun logic problems or as stepping stones to success in algebra. Children develop deductive thinking and pre-algebra skills as they solve balance puzzles that are more fun and addictive than Sudoku puzzles! Children must analyze each balance to identify the clues, and then synthesize the information to solve the puzzle. Try one—and then try to stop!

My children found this book on the table and started in on these fun problems before I even introduced them! The problems gets harder as you progress and this just made them try to be "the first" to get the answers!!!  
To give you an idea as to how the problems look here is a sample page..

As you can see a balance is set up and the student has to figure out which of the "equations" below are true based on the top balance. My kids really enjoyed this book. 

There are several levels of Balance Bender books:
Beginning: Grades 2-6
Level 1: Grades 4-12
Level 2: Grades 6-12
Level 3: Grades  8-12
Each book retails for $9.99 and has 48 pages.

If you would like to see what my CREW members have to say please click HERE