Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Family, Games and Apps, Homeschool Family

SmartGames: IQ Six Pro Review

I received IQ Six Pro from Timberdoodle Co. in exchange for my fair and honest review.

This year as part of our electives I am making more of an effort to work on critical thinking and logic skills. I am so serious about us spending more time working on logic I have made it a family affair. We were given the opportunity to review SmartGames IQ Six Pro to review. Smart Games IQ Six Pro is included in the 2022 Ninth-Grade Curriculum Kit Timberdoodle Co. and rightfully so because this game is great for younger and older students.

SmartGames

SmartGames is award-winning company, that creates educational and inspiring games for kids for all ages. We are no strangers to this company we have owned several of their games when my son was younger. SmartGames work on providing games that children and adults will play and learn. SmartGames target the following areas:

  • Cognitive Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Language Skills
  • Build Confidence

At SmartGames we believe Learning through Play is one of the most important concepts in childhood development. Through play children can learn cognitive, social and language skills, and build the self-confidence needed to navigate challenges in life.

SmartGames

IQ SIX PRO

IQ Six Pro is a compact game, but just because it is small doesn’t mean that it is not mighty. The game comes with game board with a clear lid. Inside the little box you will find the 12 game pieces and instructional manual. The game is for ages eight years and older and includes 120 puzzles and their solutions. There are four levels of gameplay starter, junior, expert, master, and wizard. The game can be played 2D (inside box and on back on the back of box) and 3D. I am personally still working out the kinks with the 3D version. The 2D gameplay has been fabulous for us to play as a family. The instructions are easy to follow, and you will find yourself having to really think about the solutions and the outcomes before placing your pieces.

The gameplay simple your goal is to place the pieces as the challenges tells you and then fit the remaining pieces into the original challenge. Sounds easy right? Well, that’s where the critical thinking comes into play because there is only 1 solution. IQ Six Pro is like a handheld interactive Tetris game and but better.

So, this is how my family used IQ Six Pro Wednesday nights is family logic game night. Like I said previously we are longtime users of SmartGames so we own a few of their compact games. I set our games out and we all grab a game and start playing, but because IQ Six Pro was new, we all wanted to jump in a play. So we set a timer and each person got 3 mins to try to solve the puzzle then we would switch and sometimes we would play the one challenge together taking turns trying. My husband who was super confident he had this in the bag quickly finish challenges we told him he had to do a wizard level. Sure, enough he got stumped and spent a lot of time working the challenge.

My son uses IQ Six Pro as part of his brain breaks and logic learning rotations. He prefers the interactive games over any book logic work. He has worked his way up to the master level. I have noticed he will do previously challenges over and will time himself. We have taken IQ Six Pro on car rides; vacation and he even took it to his summer camp and introduced it to his friends.

We really like IQ Six Pro and I plan to give my mother one for her birthday and send a set to my sister for the holidays. It makes a great stocking stuffer and fits well in a morning basket. Just a few minutes a day your student can work on their critical thinking skills and have fun. What really like about IQ Six Pro is that it is screen free and he really has to work to get the solution.

Smart Games IQ Six Pro is a great compact game for the entire family. We plan to invest in many more of these compact games over the next few months to add to our collection. You can also get your own Smart Games IQ Six Pro from Timberdoodle Co. and it is also included in the 2022 Ninth-Grade Curriculum Kit. I would like to thank Timberdoodle Co. for sending this great game to add to our collection.

Until the Next,

Mom and J

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic

The Critical Thinking Co. Building Thinking Skills Level 2

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

The Critical Thinking Co. is definitely a familiar name in this house, my son has been using their products since he was 3 years old. Every year we add at least 1-2 books to our homeschooling year and sometimes books stretch into the next year. We were super happy to be able to add Building Thinking Skills Level 2 for grades 4- 6 to our upcoming school year.

Like most resources from The Critical Thinking Co., the concentration is to build logic skills. Building Thinking Skills Level 2 is a paperback book with 412 pages including the answer key. The pages can be reproduced for your personal use only. You can purchase the physical or the ebook for $36.99. We were sent the physical book for our use, I will probably end up removing the pages we use and photocopying for my son and have the book end cut off and the book coiled bound.

Building Thinking Skills Level 2 has ten chapters of higher-order thinking activities that include:

  • Logical Thinking
  • Sequences and Classifications
  • Analogies
  • Antonyms & Synonyms
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Similarities & Differences
  • Following & Writing Directions
  • Map Reading and much more

Building Thinking Skills Level 2 activities help your students to develop figural partial and verbal skills. The skills are in a sequence and highly recommend you go in order and monitor your student’s progress. What I really enjoy about the Building Thinking Skills Level 2 students will use math, reading, writing, and vocabulary as they work.

Building Thinking Skills Level 2 book is a great resource because it can be stretched over a 2-year period. I love having this option of being able to use a great resource over a period of time. Not only does this create consistency, but also saves money.

The Critical Thinking Co. is such a great company for resources for students and their parents. We have really enjoyed using several of their products throughout the years. We really enjoy receiving their free Math & Critical Thinking Worksheets. At the time of this review, the company is offering some great savings on purchases. If you are interested in reading our other review of The Critical Thinking Co. products feel free to click here.

Be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews on The Critical Thinking Co. by clicking the banner below.

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Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool

Curiosity Chronicles: Volume 2 Early Modern History Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

We love history in our home and focus on the gentle truth of history. We have several history curriculums we pull from and I always check actual true history that is secular. The gracious creators of the Curiosity Chronicles sent us their latest release Early Modern History Volume 2 to review.

We are no strangers to Curiosity Chronicles history curriculum; we actually own the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Vol 1 curriculums. My son has really enjoyed the lessons we have done and I haven’t found any questionable text. Ted and Mona have been long-time friends of ours as we have journeyed our way through history over the years. Curiosity Chronicles is a multi-sensory history curriculum that works for students with different learning styles.

We believe everyone has a place at the table when it comes to telling history.

Curiosity Chronicles

Curiosity Chronicles is not your typical history of the curriculum. Students learn history through snapshots of historical time periods and global events. The curriculum follows Mona Ted through history through dialogues. The students are introduced to the characters then they begin to engage in historical conversations and take your students on adventures learning about artistic, cultural, scientific, and political perspectives in history.

Students learn history from a global perspective. History is never dull when using Curiosity Chronicles kids will engage in meaningful conversation with you and want to learn more. What I like about Curiosity Chronicles is that the lesson is actual snapshots of history topics. I have found that a vast majority of the snapshots in the text are never mentioned in other elementary history curriculums. I am also pleased the company includes so much diversity in the characters, illustrations, and subject matter.

Early Modern History Volume 2 picks up right where Early Modern Vol 1 leaves off and starts the conversations between Ted and Mona discussing Catherine the Great of Russia. Early Modern History Volume 2 has 36 chapters that are divided into 18 sections. Students will study history snapshots from 1550- 1850, with topics such as the Haitian Revolutionary War, Empires in Africa, Bolivarian Revolution, American Revolution, and much more. We received hard and digital copies of Early Modern History Volume 2 curriculum package.

The complete Early Modern History Volume 2 includes:

  • Snapshots of Early Modern History Vol. 2 text
  • Softcover Insrutctor and Student Guide
  • Audiobook Snapshots of Early Modern Vol. 2
  • Digital Ted’s Timeline Kit: Early Modern Vol. 2

In both Vol 1 and Vol 2 we see Ted and Mona’s friends Arthur and Lily in the cultural corners at the end of select chapters as they highlight important artists, writers, scientists, and musicians.

Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 is truly a fun-filled comprehensive curriculum. Students will complete written lessons, mapwork, coloring pages, puzzles, STEM activities, and my son’s favorite Minecraft challenges. Lessons can be done family-style and the company is adding extension activities soon for older students. There are sections in the snapshot that invite students to research more on the historical topic they are studying. Early Modern History Volume 2 breaks important historical events down the curriculum is designed to with the children and not at them. My son enjoys curriculums that he feels are a part of the discussion.

Students will learn to discuss complex ideas, develop critical thinking skills, engage in hands-on learning, and find tangential learning!

Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 comes with a Teds Timeline kit. The Timeline kit comes with templates and pictures for your student to construct a wall timeline (color or black and white) or notebook timeline. We have a history timeline notebook so we will be using this instead of the templates provided. For this review I let my son decide on what area of time he wanted to learn about and he choose Section 31 Empires of Africa Chapter 61 Shaka forges the Zulu. He listened to the audiobook snapshot during breakfast and later during the day we went through the Snapshots of Early Modern History Volume 2 text. We talked about the Zulu, Swazis, Basotho, Xhosa, Boers, and Southern Africa. Through our study, we discussed the different biomes of Africa and the migration of the great people of Africa across the continent. We were introduced to the great Zulu warrior Shaka and his military. My son was intrigued by this chapter he started researching EVERYTHING about the Zulu people. He went to work on his assignments and his Minecraft challenges. He really enjoyed this sneak peek into our history lesson for the Fall, not sure I am going to be able to keep this one on the shelf until September.

I highly recommend Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 as well as all of the other history curriculums published by Curiosity Chronicles. The history is easy to follow and interactive.

Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Language Arts, Vocabulary, Writing

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

This homeschool year has been difficult choosing a language curriculum. I decided to go with the curriculum we had last year, but that was an epic fail. After 3 months of trying to find a new language arts program before our 2nd semester started, I ran across Royal Fireworks Press language arts curricula Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. The Melanated Gold Squad was offered the opportunity to review MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package and I was selected to review it.

My son is newly turned 9 and he loves grammar, we noticed early on he was gifted in this area of his homeschool studies. Finding a grammar curriculum that was both rigorous and amusing has become arduous. This year alone we have set aside 3 curriculums and decided on multiple review books. Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town has been the curriculum we needed to feed his ferocious grammar inclinations.

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is for students ages 9-11 in grades 4-5. Grammar Town picks up where Grammar Island leaves off with the continued practice of the “4 grammar analysis of (1) parts of speech, (2) parts of the sentence, (3) phrases, and (4) clauses.” No worries if you haven’t done the previous level as long as your student has a strong understanding of grammar they will be alright with starting level 2, but I wouldn’t recommend jumping into level 3 without previously doing level 3. Even though the curriculum is presented for children who are gifted/dyslexic I have found that children who are able to read fluently and have strong reading comprehension will find this curriculum gratifying.

Level 2 : Grammar Town Layout

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is beautifully designed with simple distinctive vibrant illustrations. The curriculum covers 5 strands Grammar (Grammar Practice), Vocabulary, Writing, Poetics, and Literature. The complete homeschool package comes with a lesson guide, student books, and teacher’s manuals (this includes the readers) for each of the MCT sections. The program in my opinion is designed to be conversational. MCT is not like your typical language arts curriculums you will not find the typical question and answer busy work. The lessons are intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking. I found myself relearning and grasping a better understanding of grammar. My son instantly took to the Grammar Town book, he repeatedly would point out how he better understood grammar concepts.

There are 30 weekly lessons of MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town the lessons are designed to gradually include the other textbooks included in the MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package. Students should work at their own pace and make sure they have a complete mastery of the Grammar Town book before moving on to the next book. There are assessment pages in the books, but you can also download the assessment pages from a link provided by Royal Fireworks Press inside the book. The assessment pages are there to make sure your student is mastering the materials before moving on to the next section in the book. These assessment pages are not the same as Practice Town.

The very first-week students are to read the Grammar Town book on their own. I was amazed to see how intrigued my son was by the illustrations and the story. Several times he came to me and asked questions and wanted to discuss the stories. On the days we didn’t do lessons he requested MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his other language arts books.

Today lesson was intellectually restorative….Learning about the complexity of sentence structure and how all the the words we use in sentences are reflective of the 8 parts of speech that make a sentence cohesive. Thinking about it from that point of view makes sense into why a sentence must a have a subject and verb.

J

Caesar’s English is the vocabulary section students will embark on a historical language journey. Students will learn Latin roots, history, and word origins. Again students are exposed to wonderful visual and practice pages. Students will also see a brief intro to Latin roots in Grammar Town on the first pages. Practice Town includes 100 sentences of practice for students on the skills learned in Grammar Town and writing. Paragraph Town is another fun-filled narrative about learning paragraph fundamentals and punctuation. The poetry book Building Poems is metaphoric it is written to teach students poetry terms as if they are constructing a building. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town includes the literature books:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • The Wind in the Willows

Each book is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael’s “language illustrations”—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies

Royal Fireworks Press

How We Used MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town

For the first 3 weeks, we used the curriculum as the implementation guide suggests. I made little tweaks here in there. My son was introduced to some Latin roots and I wrote these roots on index cards for him. I also wrote out grammar cards for him of all of the parts of speech components. We also put together a vocabulary journal for words we were instructed to define. My son enjoyed the assignments on select pages, some of these we did in his notebook, and some we did on a dry erase board. The lessons are short we spent time in meaningful discussions.

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town was used daily for the first 3 weeks and I added in some supplemental resources just to ensure mastery. After week 3 we went to a 3-day-a-week schedule and 2 days a week supplemental materials. I was sure to use supplemental material that would complement MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. Overall my son prefers MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his previous language arts curriculum and I have shelved what we were using prior. We are in week 6 of the suggested implementation lesson guide and have begun using Caesar’s English I, Classical Education Color Edition.

Wrap up

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is a rigorous and complete language arts program. If you are looking for a new way to introduce grammar to your student I highly recommend this curriculum. The curriculum does require parent involvement in my opinion wasn’t intense and I welcomed it. I enjoyed having conversations with him and seeing his face light up. The curriculum is designed for mastery and it is suggested you don’t move on until your student has mastered each section.

While the literature part I thought was going to be monotonous. I understand why the books were selected and remastered to complement the curriculum. I do hope in the future the company would consider adding some optional remastered diverse readers.

Would I buy Level 3 in the Fall absolutely! I again caution against not jumping into level 3 without going through level 2. You can get away with not doing Level 1, but making that jump into level 3 is not advisable. The levels don’t coordinate with the grade levels so please take note of this. If you are the type of homeschooler that needs tons of worksheets after each lesson this is not the curriculum for you. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is in a class by itself rigor without the complexity of busywork, this was more of relaxed conversational language arts. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town takes its time to ensure students really understand language and how they work together. I learned so much in the last 6 weeks reviewing MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town.

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town works on this sequence per their website:

  1. Do grammar first.
  2. Begin the vocabulary text after you finish the parts of speech in the grammar book.
  3. Begin the practice book after the entire text of the grammar book is complete.
  4. Begin the writing text once the four-level analysis is strong, as seen in the practice sentences.
  5. Begin the poetics text after the writing book is complete to develop expertise in controlling the sounds of sentences.
  6. Extend the curriculum with literature.

Royal Fireworks Press provides Overview Chart, Elementary Guide, and Secondary Guide on their website. There are seven levels to the MCT Language Arts program and there are also implementation videos.

The cost of MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package is $290 the company is also converting their books into Kindle format which may help you cut costs. This program is comprehensive and worth the cost. I highly recommend MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town if you are looking for a different way to teach language arts. Be sure to check out the other squad’s reviews of Royal Fireworks Press curriculums.

Until the Next,

Mom and J

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Charlotte Mason, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool, Language Arts, Literature Base, Math, Read Alouds, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M, Science, Writing

The Learn & Live: Mesoamerica Review

Complimentary product received from The Learn & Live Letter!

This post contains affiliate links at no extra charge to you the reader.

As a homeschool mom, I have always been stuck on what part of history to teach in our home and how. There are so many wonderful curricula you can choose from, but if you are looking for true gentle history the choices tend to narrow down immensely. We enjoy unit study learning in our home and at times we just want to step away from traditional textbook history and have fun. I was really happy when The Learn & Live Letter ladies reached out to me to check out their November Mesoamerica unit.

About The Learn & Live Letter

The Learn & Live Letter was created by two homeschool moms who wanted to bring the joy of play-based learning to their children. They created their own homeschools around the philosophy of interested-led and hands-on learning. Cynthia and Justine enlisted the help of several well-known highly qualified contributors in the education and homeschool community to help create monthly themed 4-week play-based learning units. Each unit covers science, history, geography, art, music, math, reading, and writing. The Learn & Live Letter also embraces the Charlotte Mason approach, you won’t find worksheets or busy work in these monthly themed units. If you are wondering about the diversity of The Learn & Live Letter team you will not be disappointed.

Because learning comes naturally to your child’s development. They learn with and by the world around them—and, as parents and caretakers, all we have to do is open that door.

The Learn & Live Letter

The Learn & Live Letter units are designed for the homeschool parent, while non-homeschool families can benefit from this wonderful program, the design is for that homeschool parent. There are 3 levels to choose from level 1 (3 to 5 ), Level 2 (5 to 7), and level 3 (7 to 12). Families can choose to do a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription. The yearly subscription would guarantee you 36 weeks of lessons. Each level is different and provides age-appropriate activities. The units come to you via email and you click the link that will take you to your levels monthly instruction pages. The company also provides you a schedule of when you will receive the next unit’s email which is always a week before the upcoming month. There is also scope and sequence you can look at which is great for pacing and lining up your lessons. The company is still growing so the 2022 lineup is still building.

November Mesoamerica Unit

Mesoamerica Unit !

Our unit to review for you is the Level 3 November Mesoamerica unit. The Mesoamerica unit took us on a journey to Mexico and South America. Each week comes with its own supply list, resources, and embedded links. Everything you need is in your weekly guide you can add to it if you like, but you are fine with just the items they list. We studied about the Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmecs. The Mesoamerica unit captured my son’s interest he was intrigued to learn about these wonderful ancient Indigenous tribes’ culture, history, and contributions to civilization. For 2 weeks he was stuck on learning about the Olmecs and I let him stay in this history as long as he liked. We created terra cotta pottery, tried to play the Mayan game Ulama which gave us all quite a workout, and we built the Temple of Kukulkan out of legos.

November Mesoamerica Unit

Each monthly 4-week unit has 5 lessons each lesson has 2 – 4 activities. What I did notice is that Lesson 1 of each week usually had 2 activities that focused on geography or history for that week. You do not have to do each activity in each lesson. We average 2-3 activities each lesson, but because we plan to do this unit again I left wiggle room for next year. While we worked on the Mesoamerica unit we discovered there were many other ancient indigenous tribes so we will look into these next year. I highly recommend you bookmark the monthly units link on your iPad or tablet. I also printed out each week. The company also provides you with a skills/activity tracker.

The Learn & Live Letter units provide gentle history if you follow me you know I teach gentle truth history in our home. The Learn & Live Letter provides the conversation starter for you and you are free to take it from there. They do use Honest History magazines in their units which are great history resource. So if you don’t have these you will need to invest in them. I found the supply list to be inexpensive and the majority of the items we already had at home. The book resources I found all of them at our local library and were inexpensive on Amazon. The Usborne Encyclopedia World History book is one of the core books but you can use this book or find a World History book that covers your unit’s topics.

November Mesoamerica Unit

The Learn & Live Letter provides so many hands-on and play-based learning opportunities in their units we had so much fun exploring. My son was super excited about learning history and doing the activities he ask for these lessons first during our homeschool day. We finished our Mesoamerica unit feeling confident and happy about our progress. When I asked him what he thought he said this was one of the best units we have done in a long time. With him being happy and I know that everything is planned for me and he loves it we are now working on Ancient China and Medival Level 3 from The Learn & Live Letter. We purchased a year’s subscription and we are both loving it.

Ancient + Medieval China

The Learn & Live Letter is hassle-free learning we were over all the traditional history lessons. We are doing what we love following our interest and back to enjoying our homeschool day.

Ancient + Medieval China

I highly recommend The Learn & Live Letter you will not be disappointed. It was such a sigh of relief to plan something he will both truly enjoy. Each unit is packed with much you can do and not feel overwhelmed. The Learn & Live Letter has excellent customer service and a wondering FAQ on their website. It is always great when homeschool moms create something that really puts the kids first, Bravo Ladies! For my followers, The Learn & Live Letter has provided my readers 10% off any year subscription, be sure to use my promo code DESHAUN10 at checkout.

Until the Next Time,

Mom!

Ancient + Medieval China

Learn and Live Letter Social Media

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1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, dyslexia, Education, Games and Apps, Homeschool, Language Arts, spelling, Vocabulary, Writing

Mrs.Wordsmith Word Tag Review!

Complimentary review through Mrs. Wordsmith!

Are you looking to add some excitement to vocabulary building? Have you ever heard of Mrs. Wordsmith? Well if you haven’t heard about Mrs. Wordsmith what better way to introduce you to this company than telling you about their new app Word Tag.

Mrs. Wordsmith is an award-winning company based originally in the UK. The company was founded in 2015 by Sofia Fenuchell who wanted to create educational materials that actually worked and kids would love it. Using quality animations and game design to improve how kids learned vocabulary, Mrs. Worthsmith was born. Mrs. Wordsmith since their early beginning the company has grown and developed a full line of products for kids ages 4-13. The company has created books, games, curriculums, tons of free resources. We own several of the curriculums, books, and vocabulary sets. Mrs. Wordsmith’s newest addition to their line of literacy and vocabulary materials is the Word Tag app.

We were invited in July to join the team as a tester and my son has loved playing the Word Tag app. The company has taken video games to an entirely new level with fun vocabulary-building adventures. My son loves Hip-Hop culture so the game won him over instantly with the graffiti. The game takes place in Los Angeles, kids will go on a quest of collecting spray cans and spraying words while trying to avoid the street cleaners. Kids will complete daily activities at their paces, challenges, and pop quizzes.

With a methodology designed to teach challenging vocabulary, Word Tag boosts reading comprehension, advances creative and academic writing, and improves exam performance.

Mrs. Wordsmith

Word Tag 3D adventure is visually appealing to players and it encourages them to keep playing and learning new words. The kids are constantly reviewing the words they have learned. Kids will learn up to 1,000 words. Words a present in context to help reinforce their learning. The more words your student’s master more levels open for them to play. Players can earn more coins and unlock materials from the pop quizzes. I love how the words show the kids the definitions, parts of speech, and synonyms. The vocabulary the kids learn is Tier 2 academic words that are frequently used on SSSA. ISEE, SAT, STAR, and MAP exams. Word Tag also will increase your students reading levels.

Word Tag also allows students to connect with other players and their friends if they are using Word Tag to share the gameplay and compete with each other. Word Tag takes your student’s safety seriously and incorporated a safe social player. The program is adaptive and you will have access to player reports. The company also provides a parent guide that includes a sample word list and learning objectives.

So why does Word Tag work :

  • Active engagement
  • Word repetition
  • Learning progressin
  • Self-directed learning
  • Character-based learning

Our Review

I love Word Tag for all the reasons above I mentioned. I am familiar with the company and its products, so their brand is one I trust with my child. Now my son is crazy about Word Tag he was super excited when the Mall level opened for him and he has been playing non-stop. He said the graphics are cool and it is fun to learn the new words. The other great thing is he sees characters from Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary, How to Write a Story, and Reading Comprehension Vocabulary.

I highly recommend you try out Mrs. Wordsmith’s Word Tag it is available on Apple Store and Google Play and is currently a free download.

Until the Next Time,

Mom & J

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3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Charlotte Mason, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, Homeschool, Read Alouds, Reviews

Heritage Mom: Civil Rights Movement

Complimentary product received!

If you don’t know who the Heritage Mom is I am super excited to be able to tell you about this wonderful blogger, mom, homeschooler, philanthropist, and Charlotte Mason guru. Okay so I had had the pleasure of meeting Amber O’Neal Johnston and once a member of her Heritage Homeschoolers group in Georgia and I can honestly tell you she is one of the sweetest and kindest people I have met during my homeschooling journey.

When Heritage Mom offered to have the Squad review 3 of her culture guides, I knew had to be part of this opportunity. Let me keep it real I own about 90 % of her culture guides already and we are still working our way through Amazing Africa. We own Schomburg, Heart and Soul, Harlem Ressianance Stomp, and now the Civil Rights Heritage culture guide. All of the culture guides are excellent, Heritage Mom gives you everything you need to use these guidesto teach African and African American history.

The Civil Rights Movement guide is divided into 10 topics of study starting the journey in the 1950s and ending with Civil Rights today. The guide is meant for grades 4-6 but you can review the suggested living books and materials you can stretch to 2nd grade. Civil Rights Movement is 36 weekly lessons now you can stretch to the entire 36 weeks or you can do more lessons a week. We are averaging 3 lessons a week in Amazing Africa, but after looking through the Civil Rights Movement guide we will spend a little more time on our lessons because is one of my son’s favorite areas of history to study. Anyone who says they were able to unpack any of her culture guides in 8 weeks, I can honestly say they didn’t give these carefully planned guides the respect they deserve.

The Civil Rights Heritage Pack is a survey of the brave men and women who risked their reputation, livelihoods, and often their very lives to press towards what they knew to be right.

Heritage Mom

The Civil Rights Movement includes two core books, you need to select one of these books to use with the guide, both reasonably priced. She also includes bonus books and recommends not substituting the core books because those books are impeded throughout the guide. She also has movie suggestions that hyperlinked and inserted disclaimers to prescreen them to make sure they are appropriate for your family. There are additional books used in the lesson plan, they are a nice mixture I love she included picture books and chapter books. Now that my son is reading more chapter books I miss those days of really great picture books. I found all the books listed in the lesson plan at my local library. There are also additional books for older or advanced children but these books are not scheduled in the lesson plans.

The lesson plans are easy to follow, with clickable links that take you to videos and she tells you what book you will be using and pages to read. There are 4 weeks of plans one page. The culture guides are meant to be just that guides, if you are looking for a long-drawn-out lesson plan with tons of writing and worksheets you aren’t going to find it in this guide. Amber O’Neal is a Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschooler and her guides are written in that way of homeschooling. These guides are literature-based and meant to allow you and your student to explore and go down rabbit holes.

Out of respect for her and all her hard work you won’t see pictures of pictures of her hard work in this review. You can literally go on her social media and you will feel the admiration so many people have for these creative works. Each guide of the Heritage Mom packs are filled with so much potential you can stretch these materials for years to come.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool, Language Arts, Math, mindfulness, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M

Know Yourself Adventure Series and Dr. Bonyfide Review!

Complimentary product received from Know Yourself.

I love putting together unit studies, it is just something about gathering all the materials that just makes homeschooling so much fun. My son enjoys our unit studies and he learns so much, but we all know putting together unit studies requires a lot of time and research. Science unit studies are our favorite but it requires a lot of books and external resources. This year I wanted to finally really tackle a solid unit on the human body so while I was researching over the summer I came across the Know Yourself Systems of the Body Adventure Series and that’s when then the fun began.

After browsing the Know Yourself website I realized, that I actually owned one of their Dr. Bonyfide books, but then it happened I previewed the Systems of the Body Adventure Series Book 1 Five Sense and it was a done deal I had to have the entire bundle. I purchased the digital version of the bundle and I was confident I found the answer to my human body unit with just a click of the mouse.

About Know Yourself

The company was created in 2013 by a mom with two girls, she wanted to teach her daughters about the human body and anatomy but have fun doing it. Nancy Howe and her team have created an award-winning books series and have partnered with many companies such as Timberdoodle, Rainbow Resources, and Christian Book just to name a few. If you noticed all 3 of those companies are top-tier and respected homeschool merchants so you know these books have to be quality.

Inspire children to be grounded in the awesomeness of their own self-worth and equip them to make healthy decisions about their minds and bodies. Through a deep sense of self, children are able to better relate to others and contribute to a society with more compassion, love and respect.

Know Yourself

Know Yourself is built on 3 principles as listed on their website:

Self-literacy: A journey to a better self through knowledge of the body and mind that ultimately results in happier, healthier, and less fearful SUPER-AWESOME human beings.

Self-worth: Knowing that your value on this Earth is as great as any other human being on this Earth.

Self-advocacy: Find your voice. Ask questions and speak your truth.

Representation: Acknowledge and represent the diversity of the community that we live in and build appreciation for various human intelligence and learning styles.

The company is committed to providing solid foundations while identifying the need to be inclusive and include all diverse characters so your child will see themselves as they learn.

Dr. Bonyfide Series

Now that you know a little about the company let’s talk about the first set of books f Dr. Bonyfide. There are 4 workbooks in the Dr. Bonyfide :

  • Bones of the Hand, Arm, and Shoulder: Book 1
  • Bones of the Foot, Leg, and Pelvis: Book 2
  • Bones of the Rib Cage and Spine: Book 3
  • Bones of the Head, Face, and Neck: Book 4

In each book, students will explore the human skeletal system using 3D x-ray glasses, puzzles, activities, and readings. All of the books are interactive and feature Dr. Bonyfide and his friends. The Dr. Bonyfide series provide students with real pictures and the anatomically correct names for the skeletal system and provides fun ways to help the students remember the names of the body parts. Just to give you the heads up all the friends your kids will meet in the Dr. Bonyfide series you will see them again in the Systems of the Body Adventure Series.

Systems of the Body Adventure Series

If your student loves graphic novels they are going to love the Systems of the Body Adventure Series. There are 12 workbooks in this fabulous series and your students will meet the Loops Crew. Each one of these books includes a graphic novel storyline complete with a ton of activities and takes you and your student on a worldwide adventure to learn about the body systems.

The Systems of the Body Adventure Series is a multi-subject workbook, students will learn about art, culture, geography, music, history, food, growth mindset, and much more. Systems of the Body Adventure Series books are:

Our Review

We love both series of workbooks, when the company reached out to partner I was thrilled my son was super thrilled we would receive a complete set. Know Yourself combines my son’s 2 favorite things graphic novels and science therefore he is hooked. I literally have to hide the books from him because he will read them all. The company sent us the last 4 books just in time for this review and he saw book 10 has the Loops Crew traveling to Tenochtitlan he grabbed and ran with it. So I am guessing that this is the book we are doing for this month along with our Mesoamerica unit study.

In the month of October, we decided to Adventure 2: The Skeletal System (Russia), talk about a breath of fresh air. The workbook has everything we need for a complete unit study. I just needed to check the supply list at the beginning of the book and we were ready. The great thing about the Systems of the Body Adventure Series books they are broken into 4 parts, each part tells you exactly what the student will be learning and the estimated time for each part. In all honesty, there is NO WAY you can get through an entire book in 1 month there is way too much information to cover. You want your kids to enjoy what they are learning and take their time. My recommendation is to do 2 parts a month and spend your time immersed in the geography culture of the book. The recipes included are easy to follow and require limited adult supervision. The book also includes the answer key and review section.

Dr. Bonyfide and Systems of the Body Adventure Series gives you everything you need for a human body and anatomy system unit study. The books are for children ages 8 years and up and can be done independently. I personally really like the books and I really want to be a part of the learning alongside him because I am the first to admit that I don’t know a lot of detail about the human body systems.

The books have cut back on my human unit study planning by 95% and it also included things I would have never included in my own study. You can purchase the books individually or by bundle. The Systems of the Body Adventure Series is available as a digital download and you can use them on a device. Reasonable price, great customer service, and fast free shipping. To save on your purchase be sure to include our referral code: DESHAUN .

I highly recommend you check out both Dr. Bonyfide and Systems of the Body Adventure Series, if you would like to see a complete walkthrough of the books check out our Little Learner and Mom Instagram.

Until the Next Time

Mom & J

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Art, Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Family, Homeschool, mindfulness, Morning Basket, Read Alouds, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M, Writing

Owl Crate Jr: October Box Review!

Complimentary product received from Owl Crate!

We received the October box from Owl Crate Jr if you aren’t familiar with the Owl Crate Jr is a monthly box subscription for middle-grade readers ages 8-12 years. Each box is carefully crafted with a customized book cover sleeve just for Owl Crate Jr subscribers.

Owl Crate Jr October 2021

October’s Owl Crate Jr box theme is the Science is Magic. The book of the month is a signed copy of Amira & Hamza The War to Save the Worlds by Samira Ahmed. Inside this wonderful magical box includes hands-on activities for your reader related to the monthly theme.

On the day of a rare super blue blood moon eclipse, twelve-year-old Amira and her little brother, Hamza, can’t stop their bickering while attending a special exhibit on medieval Islamic astronomy. While stargazer Amira is wowed by the amazing gadgets, a bored Hamza wanders off, stumbling across the mesmerizing and forbidden Box of the Moon. Amira can only watch in horror as Hamza grabs the defunct box and it springs to life, setting off a series of events that could shatter their world—literally.

Amazon

Books Goodies

  • Ooze Labs test tube kit from Thames & Kosmos
  • “The Wild Robot” inspired book accessory designed by @shaferbrown
  • His Dark Materials Compass Enamel Pin
  • The Magic School Bus lanyard
  • Science is Magic Monthly Magazine (inlcudes a science exiperiment)
  • Science is Magic monthly collectible sticker
  • Bookplate with letter from the author to your Owl Crate Jr Reader
  • Wrinkle in Time Umbrella

The monthly magazine includes an October box photo challenge, Owl Crate Jr readers can perform 6 challenges in chances they can win 1 of 6 free boxes. They can upload the pictures to their parent’s Instagram accounts and tag @owlcratejr.

Overall Thoughts

We were sent two Owl Crate Jr boxes. The company sent us the January 2021 box that theme was Inner Magic and the book of the month was Amari and the Night Brothers, which we happen to be in the midst of finishing up. The January box encourages healthy self-image-building activities.

Owl Crate Jr box subscriptions are a good way to make reading magical. The themes we received were beautifully crafted with lots of learning opportunities. I also looked over the previous month’s books and discovered they have a diverse collection of book titles each month which is gladly appreciated. However, their social media pages don’t reflect that same diversity of children and families. Owl Crate Jr’s website is inviting and has a community blog for Owl Crate Jr and Owlcrate 14+. You can compare boxes on their website to see which box best works for your reader. I did poke around on the Owl Crate Jr shop I love all the extra book goodies they have. I am going to purchase a few of their teas for our monthly tea and chat times.

One of the things I find unique about Owl Crate Jr is its attention to detail. The Owl Crate Jr boxes make reading an adventure and not just words on pages. If you have a reluctant reader aged 8-12 Owl Crate Jr box is perfect for them. You use the monthly books as read-aloud or an independent read, we happened to be reading the Amari and the Night Brothers book already when the October Owl Crate Jr and my son are completely engulfed in this book and we will be moving on to the Amira & Hamza The War to Save the Worlds book soon. My son saw the “Dragons” in next month’s Owl Crate Jr box he is begging me to get him the November box also! Of course, I said yes because I am thrilled he wants to keep reading more novels.

Owl Crate Jr boxes are $29.99 a month, the company offers several different subscriptions option. The Owl Crate Jr box is for middle-grade readers ages 8-12 years. The boxes ship between the 15th and 20th of the month. You can purchase past Owl Crate Jr boxes in the shop. I have signed me little up for a subscription after receiving these 2 boxes complimentary so be on the lookout for updates on our instagram.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OwlCrate/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/owlcrate/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/37437502-korrina-owlcrate

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M

Genius Games : Periodic: A Game of The Elements Review !

Complimentary product received through the Melanated Gold Review Squad, in exchange for my honest review.

Looking for a fun game that teaches you and your kids the periodic table? I was sent the Periodic: Game of The Elements to review from Genius Games. As a science-loving family and we love any opportunity to game school.

The Periodic: Game of The Elements is a great way to introduce the periodic table to your budding chemist. My son has a little knowledge of the elements but not much and he has recently shown interest in learning them. Periodic: Game of The Elements is for students ages 10+ , 2-5 players, and gameplay is 40-60 mins. The game board is sturdy and the elements are in bright colors. Players will move around the board using 1 of the 5 Erlenmeyer Flask as they research and learn the elements and their atomic numbers.

The goal of the game is to move along the periodic table and collect elements in order to score goal cards. Periodic: Game of The Elements is a strategic game and you have to plan your moves so you can complete goal cards for points. The game has two game movements one is moving your flask around the table and the second movement is moving your microscope around the board and completing your secret agenda cards for extra points. Players also have to decide on how to spend or gain energy to activate trends. The person with the most points wins the game. Periodic: Game of The Elements comes with 172 small pieces, 1 game board, and a rule book.

I really like this game for teaching the elements and their atomic mass. The game offers a great lesson in teaching students about protons and neutrons. The goal cards have different combinations of elements on them and what they become when combined. on the back of the Periodic: Game of The Elements box, you will find a QR scan that makes it easy to retrieve the rules of the game and video of game play.

Periodic: Game of The Elements does has had a lot of moveable parts and does require a certain level of mental play, and logic skills. This game is defiantly for older kiddos I highly recommend it for kids ages 12+. There are a lot of rules to remember and follow to be successful at the game. My son did find it a little confusing as we played the game but, I decided to scale the game back a little for him. We only did the primary movements of the game. Keep in mind my son is just 1 month shy of being 9 years old and he has a strong background in science. He really likes the game board, learning the table as well looking over the goal cards, and researching. We just tweaked the game little for him, I also had a little trouble following the gameplay rules, but the video was very helpful.

I would recommend Periodic: Game of The Elements from Genius Games for students 10+. I wouldn’t recommend to children younger than 9 years. We did enjoy the game and I am sure we will continue to grow into it over the years. At the time of this review the cost of Periodic: Game of The Elements is $39.99 plus taxes and shipping.

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