4th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic, Homeschool, Reviews, Science

The Critical Thinking Co.™: Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles Review!

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

We are a science loving family, This year we took science to a new level and we are using an box curriculum and the Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles from The Critical Thinking Co.™ is the perfect extra fun we needed.

We were sent the Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles hard copy book for us to review. I have always been a fan of crossword puzzles myself and my son recently has taken a liking to them. Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles are a great way to combine science and critical thinking skills in one. What I love about these puzzles is that they cover topics that we are studying about this year.

Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles cover the the following areas of study:

  • Living Things
  • Earth’s Land, Water, and Resources
  • Weather
  • Our Solar System
  • Matter, Energy, and Forces
  • The Human Body
  • Science and Scientist
  • Inventions and Discoveries

There are 25 puzzles that will help your students learn or review science vocabulary. The book is designed for grades 4-6th and covers basic science knowledge for those grades. You will find that some vocabulary terms your student may know and some they may need to review.

We used the Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles according to what we are studying in our science curriculum. I was really happy to see how well he retained his lessons because he was blazing through the vocabulary. The words he didn’t know the definitions I made note of them and we looked them up later.

Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles include a vocabulary list and answer key in the back of the book. The book is paperback with perforated pages. The company does offer ebook version of the book you can make copies of the pages for your own family use only. I definitely took advantage of this option because will be using this book again another year.

We are taking our time using Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles because I am lining it up with his science curriculum. We are working our way through the animal and mammal currently puzzles. He is really enjoying them and so am I.

The Critical Thinking Co.™ is a wonderful company we have had many of their books in our home and we several we are using also this school year along with the Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles.

Be sure to check out the other crew’s of the different The Critical Thinking Co.™ books they are reading by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCriticalThinkingCo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/criticalthinks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecriticalthinkingco/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/criticalthinks/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsVEVNa6UpVqXxo_t5sbb7Q

Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Family, Geography, Parenting, Reviews

World Watch Review!

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

We have been watching WORLD Watch videos on Fridays as part of our current events. WORLD Watch was given to us to review with the crew. We received a six-month subscription for the whole family.

WORLD Watch is a online news program meant for families. WORLD Watch provides news coverage of current events. Events are updated throughout the week. You can watch video coverage of these events.

“WORLD Watch is a video current events program designed for students that develops critical thinking, biblical discernment, and news literacy.”

We watched videos about the Olympics and most recently we watched a video about hurricane Ida outage. It was nice to see a nice of variety of news coverage around the world. There are some political coverage in the videos. My son was intrigued by the triceratops coverage in Paris France and this is from a kiddo that isn’t a huge dinosaur fan.

WORLD Watch videos average about 5-10 mins and they cover single topics or variety of news coverage. We did see videos that offered viewpoints from christian prospective. I personally prefer not to see religion mixed with news. I would have also liked to have seen news reporters that were diverse especially those who are covering more ethnic regions.

WORLD Watch not only covers current events there are also topics that are historical. My son also found interesting the coverage of Nairobi, Kenya about the issues that the hearing and death community having issues with masking wearing that doesn’t allow them to read mouths.

WORLD Watch does have bloopers at the end of the videos that we found to be funny. If you are looking for a clean current events news outlet that allows for the entire family to watch this is a good option. The religious focus isn’t heavily present in the videos but you will hear and see some mentions.

Be sure to check out the other crew’s reviews of WORLD Watch by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldwatchshow
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/worldwatchnews/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLhlnq_RLfpSdQ8Fm6VEEjw

4th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Family, Homeschool, Language Arts, Morning Basket, Uncategorized, Writing

The Fallacy Detective Review!

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

My son is very inquisitive and we have make a point for him to always search for the truth of the world around him. We are also continuing to incorporate logical thinking skills in our home school lesson. One thing that has been helping us the last few weeks to help feed his need to search for the truth of events and improving his critical thinking skills/logic is the Fallacy Detective .

If you aren’t familiar with the term fallacy “A fallacy is an error in logic – a place where someone has made a mistake in his thinking.” Fallacy Detective is meant to be used with students with students ages 12 and up (but can work with as young as 8 IMO). The books has 38 lessons that are divided up into 5 areas of study.

  • The Inquiring Mind
  • Avoiding the Question
  • Making Assumptions
  • Statistical Fallacies
  • Propaganda

Fallacy Detective starts with a brief introduction about the book and how to use it. Students are given a short passage about the topic of study for that section along with examples of the topic. Students move onto the 1st lesson in that unit and they are given short scenarios and then they have to decide which behavior best fits that scenario. The book have fun illustrations and some are comic strips.

How we used the book!

My son and I do the book together during our table time. I refresh his memory about the unit topic and then I proceed to the lesson with him. The answer key to all the lesson questions are located in the back of the book. What I like about this book is that it provides excellent conversations for him and I. There were times when he felt that the answer key was wrong and he defended his reason why he felt this way. To be honest with you I also found myself thinking the answer to a few of them didn’t fit well. On those days we felt that the answers could have went one way or another I put stars next to the suggested answer and our answers.

I love how this book really got my son to thinking and asking more questions. He also took a lot away from each lessons. I heard him one day tell Francine a character from the cartoon Arthur she wasn’t using an inquiring mind. Lesson 2 hit home for him and I it was about “Love to listen. Do we struggle in this area in our home absolutely….LISTENING IS A DAILY STRUGGLE FRIENDS…. We read the exercise and he said mom this kinda sorts sound a little like how I do things sometimes. I reassured him and that even adults struggle with listening and we all need to continue practicing this skill. I was very happy to see him make the connections to real life situation.

Final word!

The Fallacy Detective in my opinion is a book best done along side a small group and family. The lessons are great conversation starters and I feel like they can lead to further deep discussions. The unit topics can be applied to everyday life happenings. The book really encourages the student to us their critical thinking skills. It also teaches student to look at situations from a different prospective.

I really like Fallacy Detective it will be in rotation for our table time activities. The cost of the book at the time of this review is $9.99 plus taxes/shipping. Be sure to check out the other crew’s reviews by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fallacydetective
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hansbluedorn/

Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, dyslexia, Homeschool, Orton-Gillingham, Reviews

Dyslexia Gold Review !

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

It it that time of year in which parents are looking for supplements to add to their students learning. One the programs we are review for the crew is Dyslexia Gold . Some of you may remember we reviewed this online platform last year. We were happy to review it again over the summer and continue to use it this upcoming school year.

Speaking of assessments that one of the great things about Dyslexia Gold student are able to take an assessment when they first log into the Dyslexia Gold student profile. Dyslexia Gold scan for reading, spelling, and fluency. There is also a dyslexia screener for students 6+ this screener is designed to screen for dyslexia indicators. The dyslexic screener is not to replace a professional screening , but it is a starting place if you may suspect your student may be dyslexic.

The parent dashboard gives you a detail report of the assessment as well as recommendations of what programs for your student to use. Dyslexia Gold is for ages 6-16. While older students can us the program the reading age test will only assess up to 11 yrs 6 months, the spelling test assess up to 16 years.

The programs within the Dyslexia Gold platform include:

  • Vision Training (Engaging Eyes and fun visual games)
  • Fluency Builder ( phonological awareness, reading fluency, and sight words)
  • Spelling Tutor ( dictation and grammar practice)
  • Times Table Tutor (flash cards, grouping, and story problems

My son enjoyed playing the visual games. I personally like these games because my son has what is called “slight lazy eye” and this program is great for him and strengthening his eye muscle. We will be using this program on a regular basis. He used the times table tutor a few times but he is pretty fluent with his multiplication so he didn’t use it as much, but I will have him hop on it once a week. Dyslexia Gold recommends students log in 2-5 times a week for 20 minutes.

The fluency builder was a nice review for phonics and reading fluency practice. My son did a few struggle with understanding word builder when needing to change words to different words. The nice thing about the spelling tutor is that it has some great educational passages for the kids to read, students are given and opportunity to read the passage non-timed and then the next screen times them when they are ready to start reading. The fluency teaches students new vocabulary words and definitions. At the end of the lessons student will review the previous lesson which I think is great because it keeps the students practicing what they have already learned.

The spelling tutor is where we spent a lot of our time. The spelling tutor is a great tool for students correct their sentence structure, spelling and grammar. The way the spelling tutor works is students here the sentence and then they write the sentence. The next screen has the students check their papers with the screen. Students are given a grammar areas of focus on while working in the spelling tutor, we worked on homophones during this review period.

We did run into some snags occasionally the program would glitch in the middle of lessons of game play. I also noticed that the reporting log-ins weren’t accurate. We logged in a few times and it didn’t record the day or it would record the following day’s date instead of the present date.

Overall I think Dyslexia Gold is a great online platform for both dyslexia and non-dyslexia students. It is a great program for reviewing and sharpening skills. Be sure to check out the rest of the crew’s reviews by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links

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

2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Homeschool, Math

Smartick Review!

Let me start this review off by saying WE LOVE SMARTICK!! Words can not express how much my son and I both love this online math program!! Like seriously this math online program from Smartick ranks #1 for this schools years best supplemental math resources. When your student is asking to do his math you know you have found something special.

Smartick is no ordinary app it looks at math from a totally different methodology using problem solving and critical thinking skills to teach children. Smartick is for children ages 4-14 and the company is award winning and delivers results.

Each session is only 15 mins long and students should practice everyday in order to see steady growth. We did occasionally skip a day in between in the beginning but now Smartick is a part of our daily math routine. The program does readjust as your child progresses so if it sees mastery in a skill it will automatically readjust the leveling. I personally was very intrigued by the companies use of logic and reasoning skills to teach math. I love how kids are encourage to look at math in a different way then just using traditional math calculations using this online program.

At first glance my son he wasn’t too sure about it. Smartick starts the kids off with an assessment so it will place them in the correct level. The assessment may take a few sessions if the platform senses the child may be in between levels. Once the proper level is assessed the student begins their practice.

One of the things I really appreciated is that no where on the dashboard area does the child see grade level status. I think this is huge plus for children and parents who have anxiety about grade leveling. When my son first started playing I noticed some skills seemed easy for him but then I also noticed skills that were more difficult. I like this mixed skills because I feel that builds confidence. Can I say THANK YOU Smartick for mental math practice! The mental math practice is so present in Smartick that I could just huge the creators. My son has shown rapid growth in his mental math skills and his recall speed.

The skills sets are broken down into 10 areas and within those areas there are several skills When you click on the each the progress details it breaks down into smaller skill sets within the topic areas and you can see more detail progress. Students work through a series of problems and earn ticks to use to buy items in the their worlds. Students are also given opportunities to go back and correct any questions they may have missed at the end of their session to earn a tick. After the students finish their session they can go work in the Smartick Brain area where all the fun games are located. My sons favorite games were Chameleon and Rush Hour.

Smartick Brain Games are also listed in 4 areas of play:

  • Memory
  • Reasoning
  • Attention
  • Flexibility

The parent dashboard gives you detailed information about your students practice sessions, rewards and skills assessed. You also receive email reminders if your student didn’t complete a daily session. Once a student completes a session an email is generated out detailing exactly how your student performed and what they worked on. Smartick also records the time spent on each session as well as the average speed the student took in each area. Students also earn diplomas as they work through the platform.

There are so many wonderful things I can write about Smartick and how it really works with the child and eases math anxiety and improves math skills. Smartick offers a 15 day free trial and as a follower you can receive an exclusive 25% discount on your first subscription by using our referral code (MAMABR8B7369). The app is available on IOS and has been rated as Apple’s number one educational app for Ipad. This is screen time well spent and I highly recommend.

Be sure to check out the other Crew members review on Smartick by clicking the banner below.

Until the Next Time,


Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Smartick
Twitter: https://twitter.com/smartickmethod?lang=en
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smartick/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD_f6FMb0X1QDp5j7puQh1Q

Crew Disclaimer
Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, S.T.E.A.M, Science

Brain Blox Wooden Buildings Plank Review!

My son loves to build things with his hands and the Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks Are perfect for him. I love the Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks because they offer open ended play opportunities. The wonderful people at Brain Blox was so gracious to send the Crew a set of the 200 ct Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks .

The planks are smooth and well crafted and I love the wood smell. They are non toxic and made from natural wood. The planks have no stains and dyes they are really beautiful building planks. Kids and play with them indoors or outdoors.

My son loved them because he was able to mix them in with his other toys and let his imagination run wild. He built towers, mazes, marble runs, mazes and a ton of his own creations. Being a STEAM kid he was able to really apply his engineering skills using the planks.

We used the Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks apart of our math lessons with place value and as manipulative for working on multiplication. We used them in our science lesson to study force and motion by building a chain reaction experiment. He also took them out while we were studying the digestive system so he could use them as a model on how food travels through the digestive track. This week we using them to build the Forbidden City in China along side our unit study!

We received the 200 piece kit but the company also has 100 and 300 piece kits. When you go on the companies website they offer free building model ideas. The website is as equally as wonderful as the planks themselves. I found myself going to the website to get build ideas for my son and learning how I could improve his spatial intelligence. There is a wonderful split level level curriculum the the resource section for those early little stem learners.

Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks start at $39.99 for the 100 Ct and 200 and 300 ct price range for $59.99-$79.99. The Brain Blox website currently has a sale going so you can save some money on these great planks. You can purchase them directly from the merchant or Amazon . These planks will make a great holiday present and did I mention they come with this fabulous sturdy storage bag. We definitely love these and they have replaced our current wooden blocks. I highly recommend you grab a set of these for endless amounts of fun.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Crews Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks reviews by clicking the banner below.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mybrainblox
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brainblox
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpUttakNtthj_haX8LwRlwA

Crew Disclaimer
Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Homeschool, Osmos, S.T.E.A.M

Detective Agency Review from Play Osmo’s

We have been huge Osmo’s fans since the launched in 2013. We are pretty strict around here in regards to screen time and we are selective about what he is allowed to watch and play.


On October 25th Osmo launched a new game Detective Agency.  Osmo’s products never disappoint…the moment he saw the box was from Play Osmo’s he was jumping up and down with excitement. We are members of the Osmo’s Social Club and the anticipation of the new Detective Agency has been a huge topic in our household. The new game is for ages 5 and up, I can also see a younger sibling maybe 4 years old teaming up with a parent or sibling to play. In true Osmo tradition the new Detective Agency challenges your students to learn geography, culture and to use their critical thinking skills.


The new game comes in with easy storage case with 5 maps and interactive magnifying glass for your little sleuths to use on their adventures. You will need to have a Osmo Stand in order to play, as well as download the app from iTunes! You can play from your iPhone, iPad and if you own the newly released Kindle Fire Osmo Genius Kit. Your students will be engaged as soon as they load up the game. Children will be asked to solve different cases all over the world. The maps are vibrant and easy to read but challenging, children will be exposed to various cultural aspects of each country.  Kids meet some new Osmo characters along the way and can easily follow the story mode on their own!

I really like this new system especially for the geography aspect, we found ourselves pulling the maps out just to look at them while we were doing our China history lesson. The game is very interactive which is great because it removes the thinking that geography is boring. This is a great new resource for teaching geography Osmos did a great job selecting a country to represent of 6 continents, there is also a world map and Osmo Town.  Overall I give the new system a thumbs up as holiday gift and additional resource for your home school or home for learning geography.

So what does my son have to say about the new Osmos Detective Agency, ….he loves Brazil and wants to go there!  He likes capturing the bad guys and he wants to play all day.


The Detective Agency retails for $39, don’t forget you need the stand in order to play. For those who have Kindle Fire tablets you can purchase the Osmos Genius Kit which comes with the Kindle Fire Stand and you can purchase the Detective Agency kit  and then download the app from the Amazon Store.  For IOS user download from iTunes for free the name in the App Store is Osmo Detective Agency. If you are interested in checking out our youtube review click here.

Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Homeschool, Morning Basket, Parenting, Science

Why We Like Zoey and Sassafras!

I first came across the Zoey and Sassafras series when a good friend of mine started her Melanin Books 4 Melanin Kids  Facebook group she posted about a book that was diverse and told a story about a little girls love for science! I was instantly intrigued and decided to check it out for us.

Over the last several years schools and companies have been focusing on the need for children to study more about S.T.E.AM ( Science,Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). While we love technology in our home we try to find a balance so our son stays up to date, but also enjoys hands on learning.  At the time I was in search of a good read aloud that introduced science to him in a fun way but appealed to his natural curiosity to learn about a topic.

We hit the jackpot when we read the first Zoey and Sassafras book Dragons and Marshmallows he was instantly hooked! There are now 6 books in the series and we have read them all. The books are easy to read and the illustrations are cute. He has learned about the scientific method, journaling and other fun topics. I love how the author uses real science terminology throughout the book that appeals to the child’s understanding.

In this series you will find:

  • Positive Family dynamics
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Clean literature
  • Strong Science Connection
  • Exploration of Nature
  • Fun and Humor
  • The series makes for a great read aloud and can be easily paired with a science unit study!

We were so excited about the newest book release Unicorns and Germs we held giveaway on our Instagram. My son was thrilled about the new book we received it on Tuesday and we finished it on Friday!  All he can talk about is doing the experiment from the book, so we are waiting on his The Magic School Bus: The World of Germs to show up so we can test what we learned from Zoey! If you are looking for a series to help your child learn more about science and how fun it can be I would definitely recommend checking out this series. This also a great series for girls in science and also for the inclusion of more diversity in science.  Zoey is a sweet little girl with some special abilities and your child will grow to love her family and friends!

Be sure to stop by the authors website Fun At Home With Kids to find out more about fun things you and your child can do.

Until Next Time,

Little Learner and Mom


The following post includes affiliate links and I receive a small compensation when you click the links at no additional charge to you!

Chess, Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Homeschool

Story Time Chess Review!

Over the weekend we started playing chess as a family. My son immediately took to the game and also took my Knight in the process…😱!! My husband who is already an excellent chess player was happy to join in and gives us a few lessons along the way.

As new chess player I knew I still needed help to teach myself and my son the game when daddy wasn’t around. So, I enlisted the help of Story Time Chess newly launched at home curriculum. I have been watching this company for over a year now and heard such wonderful things about the program. One of the things that appealed to me was the use of literature based learning of the game.

This is from the Story Time Chess website I don’t own the rights to this picture!

Story Time Chess is about the adventures in Chesslandia. The children are engaged in the story from the start. What immediately caught my son’s attention was the humor and the mention of pizza! The kids learn how to play through reading the story of each chess piece. After the children read each chapter of the story they are able to practice what they have learned. Each lesson is broken down into 3 parts Story, Chesserecises and Gameplay. The way the story line is set up so even the youngest player will learn the game and love it.

Here is what I like about it:

  • Literature Based Learning
  • Diverse Characters in the Storyline
  • Storyline easy to follow and provides humor and relatable situations.
  • Each chess piece is given its opportunity to shine.
  • Wonderful Illustrations !
  • Easy to follow lesson plans!
  • Encourages physical movement of the child.
  • Low cost and variety of payment plans.
  • The ability to play without having the actual Story Time Chess Board.
  • Appeals to children younger than 5 years old.

My son enjoyed the story and has already asked if we can reread it again. Here it is Sunday morning and the chess board is already out and set up.

What my son said he liked about it:

  • Funny!
  • Pizza part!
  • Easy to play!
  • Not boring Mom!
  • Chesserercise are the best part!

If you are interested in trying out Story Time Chess click here to register for a free trial. The actual game board for Story Time Chess is available for pre-order on the website. Story Time Chess is here to stay and we look forward to all the upcoming lessons to come with the curriculum.

Until next time!

Little Learner and Mom

*This is my own review and opinion!