We are testing out science kits for the upcoming school year. Generation Genius Home Kits are at the top of our list. This fun-filled box has everything. My son loved it!
If you aren’t familiar with Generation Genius are online science platform for grades K-8 grade. They follow almost 100% of all the state standards. The company is also partnered with National Science Teaching Association.
The online video platform covers topics for science and math depending on your subscription choice. Subscription also includes
Test and Quizzes
New Home Kits
The company recently released its own Generation Genius Home Kits to be delivered to your house once a month for ages 9-14. This is a separate subscription available monthly or yearly. Each kit contains 3 high-quality experiments with all the supplies you need. Experiments are fun and comprehensive. Your student will engage with Jeff as he walks your student step by step through what they are doing including safety precautions and self-pausing in the video so your students can gather supplies and complete each step. The videos also include an explanation of the science topic covered.
We are long time customers of Generation Genius since they first launched. My son has always loved their videos and they were a great supplement when we were still trying to figure out the science curriculum in our early days of homeschooling. I was surprised when opened the box at the quality of the materials. My son instantly started pulling things out of the box and was ready to work.
It was close to dinner time and I didn’t want my son on a screen so I told him to grab the box and work on an experiment. While I cooked dinner he set up like Steve instructed and he only needed my help with putting his gloves on. Well, I was nosey and I wanted to see what the box was about because my son started saying “This is cool” and “Wow”. So I turned off the tacos and went sat in and watched. Umm, I was totally JEALOUS I wanted to do the experiment too.
My son worked on experiment #1 in the kit and wanted to do the next one. I encourage him to pace himself and do another one the following week. He agreed but not before I promised that we would get the Generation Genius Home Kits monthly. I happily agreed because the cleanup was fast and simple and Jeff even walked them through cleaning up. The one experiment had 3 activities for my son to do. In my honest opinion if we can do 3 activities from 1 experiment the cost is well worth it.
Generation Genius Home Kits start at $49 and the online platforms start at $95. Right now at the time of this review, you can get your first kit free just pay to ship.
I highly recommend this kit if you are looking for a quality science kit. The materials are quality and your kids will be amazed at the experiments.
Complimentary product received from Fun to Learn Books.
I am honored that I am able to review Mrs. Melainie Wilson’s newest release SuperNova. You see after my son finished his 1st-grade language arts curriculum we decided to take a trip to Grammar Galaxy and use Volume 1 Nebula. My son really enjoyed meeting the King of Grammar Galaxy and his family. My son embarked on many fun learning adventures fighting the Gremlin.
As the years have gone on and we have taken many trips to Grammar Galaxy using Volumes 2-5. We took a little break from Grammar Galaxy and we were happy to see the newest Volume 7SuperNova . Over the years my son has really shown giftedness in grammar so after looking over the concepts in Volume 6 Nova, I knew right away SuperNova was the perfect placement for him.
How does Grammar Galaxy Work?
Grammar Galaxy teaches children grammar through a story. The kids meet the Grammar Galaxy family and they go on a mission as the guardians to fight against the Gremlin. The Gremlin is notorious for creating mayhem in the galaxy and it’s up to the guardians to keep harmony in the galaxy.
Each chapter includes:
Ten-minute reading for parent or child to read
3 Step Mission that takes as little as 15 minutes to complete
End of the unit challenge questions
It is very notable that the author of the Grammar Galaxy series is a fellow homeschool mother with 6 children. I love investing in curricula that are written by a fellow homeschool mother because she understands the need to create resources that are fun and don’t mimic traditional learning. Fun to Learn Books provides a placement quiz, scope, and sequence.
SuperNova is for grades 8 and up and follows the same layout as the previous levels. Students will learn:
Writing and Public Speaking
There are 4 units with 36 missions with:
2 Literature Challanges
2 Spelling & Vocabulary Challenges
2 Grammar Challenges
2 SuperNova Challenges
Short, comical stories teach concepts in a memorable way. Students discover the havoc that ensues when the evil Gremlin tampers with the English language. Satire get mistaken for news. Dependent clauses and phrases demand their independence. Citizens are asked to stop writing because planet Composition is running out of storage space.
-Grammar Galaxy SuperNova Volume 7
How We Use Grammar Galaxy
We typically use the program after we have finished our spine curriculum, but we also use it when we need to shake things up. What I like about the SuperNova is the introduction to public speaking and writing, both of these concepts are one we need to work on. I would recommend you do the missions in order, but if your child has a strong background in grammar you may be able to extract the lessons you would like to review with your student. With the vocabulary words in each mission, he will write the definition of the word in a notebook and a sentence for each word. Supernova is available as a digital and I plan to purchase the digital reader and cut out the grammar lessons and he glues them in his grammar notebook for reference. We will go back and work on the lessons over the course of the upcoming school year.
Grammar Galaxy is one of those curricula that you can stretch over 2 years, you don’t have to feel pressured to get through an entire book in one year. You can see a full description of the SuperNova on the product page and try out a sample lesson of all 7 volumes.
If you are looking for a relaxed way of teaching grammar I highly recommend trying out the Grammar Galaxy curricula.
Let me start this review with my son LOVES all things Snap Circuits! We have had snap circuits in our home since he was 5, so receiving the Snap Circuit Arcade was a fabulous upgrade from his Snap Circuit Pro Kit. What are Snap Circuits? Snap circuits are these cool hands-on designing and electrical circuits that snap onto a snap board. All the snaps fit together on a snap board and they work together to make these awesome projects such as radios, alarms, light shows, and much more. Each kit comes with a manual with colorful instructions with tons of projects for your kids to explore. Kids can also include build their own projects and continue to learn how circuits work.
Elenco Snap Circuit Arcade
Elenco Snap Circuit Arcade is for students ages 8-10 years they will learn about electricity, engineering and complete over 200 projects. The kit comes with 30 snap modules, a word fan, a dual-LED display, and a microcontroller. My son instantly went to work on the many projects. When he was younger we put a black piece of paper under his snap board to make it easier for him to see the grid on the board. He set out all his snaps and spent 2 hours building and playing with his projects. When dad got home from work he was eager to give him a light show with the word fan. His dad was really impressed with his projects and repeatedly ask him did he build these himself. My son was proud of himself for doing 10 of the projects without any assistance from myself as a matter of fact he forbade me to help him.
Snap Circuits Explore Coding (My son is begging for this one)
We love Elenco Snap Circuit Arcade and the products we already have from Elenco. I love the companies motto “Learn by doing”, I agree kids learn better by doing. Elenco Snap Circuits products provide a safe way for kids to learn about electrical circuits, engineering, coding, and much more. We will continue to use it in our homeschool as a learning tool and just for fun.
Complimentary product received from Turning Tumble.
My son is a gamer he loves video games, but we are very cautious about what games he can play. We stick to the Lego games and a few classic games we played as kids on Nintendo.
But what if there was video game that was truly hands on, graphic novel, and computer programming. This game also didn’t require batteries, cords, multiple games and best of all NO SCREENS!!!
Let me introduced you to @turningtumbles a marble-powered computer game. The game is for ages 8 to adult. Players will build a mechanical computers while reading a fun filled graphic novel and solve the logic puzzle missions in order to have their marble-powered computer work.
This sounds easy right? Let me just tell you before I gave the game to my son I was stumped on the first mission. I was almost positive I had it right because all the gears turned correctly and all the marbles reached the bottom without a an issue. I flipped to the back of the book to check my answers and guess what WRONG like my programming was way off!!
Ok, so now it was my son’s turn to have at @turningtumbles. He was immediately captivate by the graphic novel, then he saw the mission objective at the end and he went to work. I literally watched him work the marbled-powdered computer with ease. He tried several different combinations studying where he put the gears until he got it just right. Once he was ready to do the final release we did a countdown and RELEASE!!! Watching that colored marble as it went down ramps, crossovers, bits, interceptors, gears, and gears bits just sent him into pure excitement. When he found out he had it right on the first try he was bragging to his dad how he got on the first try.
The @turningtumbles game comes with comic book with 60 puzzles where your students will join forces with Alia Space engineer to help her get rescued from a deserted planet.
Complimentary product received from RightStart Mathematics!
This year has been a bit of a struggle with finding the right math curriculum. The Melanated Gold Review Squad was given the opportunity to review RightStart Mathematics Level F . I have always had my eye on RightStart Mathematics it comes highly recommended in the Montessori Homeschooler circles. With my son having a strong Montessori background I am still trying to figure out why we didn’t go this route from the start. I am glad I finally had the opportunity to review a RightStart Mathematics curriculum.
Our math frustration began this past Spring when we found out our previous curriculum hadn’t updated their 4th-grade math book like they had grades 1st-3rd. My son was having a really hard time with the realization that the curriculum that he loved wouldn’t be updated and he would have to use the older edition. I know for some this may not be a big deal but for him, this was a huge deal. You see my son thrives on consistency, he is a visual learner and he doesn’t do well when things are changed up abruptly. We have been using another curriculum but he has been so unhappy with it. I made some modifications to the curriculum and I thought we were okay until last month when the power struggle began again.
If you aren’t familiar with RightStart Mathematics let me give you a little insight. The curriculum is designed to use hands-on materials and visualizations to help children develop strategies for learning math. The program is centered around learning to use the double-sided AL Abacus to help students visualize and appeal to the kinesthetic learner. Through the use of games and hands-on materials, students develop these visual strategies to help them problem solve.
So let’s dig into how the RightStart Mathematics Level F workbooks and lesson book are set up. The lesson books tell you everything you need for the lessons for that week and the objective. It is assumed you are doing 4-5 lessons a week and it’s recommended that you review the lessons, materials, and games before you are ready to present. Let me back all the way up before we jump into lessons….READ all the pages at the beginning of the book before the first 7 lessons are reviewed and teach students how to use the materials if they are new to RightStart Mathematics. I can’t stress enough that those pages are crucial to being successful in this program. I also recommend you become familiar with those pages and your lessons at least 2 weeks beforestarting to present to your student.
I also found it very helpful to highlight and page mark things you want to remember and make yourself aquatinted with the RighStart Mathematics Youtube channel you will find videos on how to prepare lessons for all the RightStart Mathematics levels. I also joined two groups on Facebook. In one of the groups, the creator has created videos to teach you how to play the games (a small monthly fee but worth it).
You can find a full objective list for RightStart Mathematics Level F here on their sample pages. One of the things I really liked about this program is that the first start of reviewing with the math games and abacus the first few lessons we spent just playing games. My son instantly fell in love with game corners and he just had to show his dad how to play. So now corners have become a Saturday evening after-dinner ritual. The thing with RightStart Mathematics is you have to play the games. The games are there to help your student learn to visualize strategies to do the lessons.
What I found with my son and flipping through the pages of the worksheets is that my son was more than capable of solving the multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction problems. Then I pondered behind the fact that he can solve them didn’t mean he could visually solve them. I hope that makes sense. I did find concepts in the RightStart Mathematics Level F that my son hasn’t been exposed to as of yet, so this will be good for him. Then came my other issue because the RightStart Mathematics Level F is sequential it’s assumed that the student has done the previous level and the first few lessons are merely reviews.
After looking through the RightStart Mathematics Level F upper lessons and some of the review lessons it hit me that even though he is a math whiz when he is loving math. I needed to take him down a level so he would have review lessons mastered. I got on the phone and called RightStart Mathematics and they connected me with a fabulous homeschool mom named Rhonda when I tell you this mom answered all my questions and concerns. She agreed with me that even though he is very advanced already in math and how RightStart Mathematics is set up that she would recommend I take him down to RightStart Mathematics Level E and he would be better prepared for RightStart Mathematics Level F in the Spring. You see RightStart Mathematics as she explained to me runs across more than one grade level and is advanced. So RightStart Mathematics Level E would run across grades 3-5 grade. She also told me the levels on brief review during the first few lessons of the previous level and then then jump right into the higher math. After we talked this made so much sense to me as I flipped through the worksheets and lesson plans of Level F.
RightStart Mathematics does require parent involvement and you will have to supplement for extra practice if your student needs it. I know what you’re thinking why do you have to supplement? Okay, homeschool parents at some point you may need to supplement to add more practice for your kids, there is a zillion of supplemental options. Please don’t get all bent out the shape on this. What I can tell you is that my son is a lot happier with math. I am starting to see his love for math come back and the twinkle in his eyes. He told me mom this math is fun can we do this every day now! In my final thoughts about RightStart Mathematics Level F, I think we have found our new math curriculum 😉.
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
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.
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.
Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible is written from a Christian perspective, the book is broken down into 3 parts. Part 1 You’re the Leader in this section of the book parents will grow their confidence and knowledge in the Bible and how to present its teachings to their children. You’re the Leader also gives parents helpful strategies for time management and problem-solving.
Part 2 Faithful Reading this section is key for those who need encouragement for reading the Bible. This section also inspires parents to really study their Bibles and learn the messages so they can pass this information to their children. This section also helps the reader understand that bible is broken down into what can be called different genres like how books are organized in a library.
Part 3 A Daily Walk the last section in this book drives on families reading the bible together, studying, prayer, and really teaching the student that their faith is a way of life and requires devotion and the continued love.
Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible book is paperback and with medium print. The book is a quick read and can be used as a quick reference book for encouragement. The book offers real-life scenarios examples and how to manage these scenarios. The book offers helpful goal-setting, memorization, and organization techniques. I saw references from bible scriptures, quotes from different pastors, notes for reference, and works consulted.
I used this book for research purposes for our world religious studies unit. I did not share my research with my student. This may be a good book for a family looking to start biblical teachings with their students or need to refine their lessons.
Complimentary product received from the Homeschool Review Crew.
Over the last few months I have been teaching art class to some homeschool students virtually. Now that homeschool year is over and my students are enjoying their summers, I miss doing art weekly. When the Crew was presented the opportunity to review Creating A MasterpieceArt History Program I jumped at the opportunity to review the online art program.
Each Creating A Masterpiece topic lessons is divided into easy to follow step by step instructional video. The instructor is friendly and informative, students can stop the video as they need to as they create. The topic lessons come with a supply list and there is also an option for you to purchase what you need directly by clicking the provided link. Creating A MasterpieceArt History Program is for ages 5 thru 13+. The Capstone program is for more advance art students. The Creating A MasterpieceArt History Program is meant to for students to be able to work independently.
I would recommend this program for an artistic family I think they would really get the benefits from this program and add it to what they are learning in history. I would have like to seen more cultural art history. At the time of this review monthly or yearly subscriptions for $29.99/month or $299/year. Be sure to check out the other Crews reviews by clicking the banner below.
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 have always admired beautiful handwriting styles. I have wanted to learn how to do calligraphy for yours but never had the time to research and buy the supplies needed to learn. I also love italic writing as well, so when the crew was offered a chance to review Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting ebook from Everyday Education, LLC here was my chance to learn a new style of writing as part of my self care routine.
I was sent Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting ebook as PDF file now I personally prefer a hardcover book when it comes down to these types of materials. The plus side to the PDF file is you can print a new sheet if you want to do a lesson over or if you have more than one student. The Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting ebook is also available in hardcover for $29.00 plus shipping any applicable taxes. The program is phonics based so it is perfect for those children who are in the early stages of reading and writing.
Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting ebook there are a total of 6 chapters that sequential with early reading skills. Chapter 2 is the alphabet students will receive practice in the upper and lower formation as well guidance of the letter sounds with cute guide pictures. Chapter 3 works on short vowel sounds, blending, magic e, endings and compound words. Chapter 4 and 5 dives deeper into phonics. Chapter 6 is handwriting practice combining all the writing lesson from Chapter 2-5. Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting ebook is nice program if you are looking for a more laid back approach to different handwriting and phonics approach.
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 was growing up I read several of the Boxcar Children’s Chapter books and I enjoyed reading all about their many adventures. Albert Whitman & Company has published The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set which is intended for ages 6-8 these books are a brief introduction to the The Boxcar Children Series written by Gertrude Chandler Warner.
The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set are level 2 readers and intended for readers who still need support reading. Each book is vibrant in color with pictures on every page. The print is big and bold just enough words on the page to hold the young readers interest. The story lines are simple and easy to comprehend. What I like most like about these books is that it gives young readers a look into the classic Boxcar Children series.
We received all 4 for of the new early readers for us to review. Now I know what your thinking why are we reading level 2 readers when clearly my son is beyond level 2 reading level. We read the books during our morning time and at bedtime for a quick read aloud or bedtime story. A few months ago I tried to introduce the original The Boxcar Children to my son and he didn’t seem very interested in the story line but after book one of The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set titled the The Boxcar Children he wants chapter books.
In the The Boxcar Childrenbook you meet the 4 Alden children and learn a little about their circumstance and how they come to meet Grandfather Alden. Children start to instantly get the sense of adventure from the first few pages. One thing I noticed my son showed real empathy for the children, he was very concern about them and was very happy at the end of the book.
The second book in the set is Surprise Islandthe Alden children have settled in with Grandfather Alden and life is good. Its the summertime and Grandfather has given them a great adventure of spending the summer on the families island. Alden children are loving their new freedom and enjoying the summer exploring and meeting a new close friend. The kids also get a little bit of a history lesson while on the island. I love how in this book the Alden children are enjoying nature and letting their imaginations run wild.
The Alden children are back at in The Yellow House Mystery another grand adventure to be had now with their cousin Joe. The kids, Joe and Grandfather are back on Surprise Island this time to solve a mystery of the disappearance of a good friend of Grandfather Alden. With hiking, camping and meeting new friends along the way the kids and their cousin solve a mystery for their Grandfather and reunite the good friends.
Mystery Ranch is the final book in The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set its summer time and the Alden children are headed to Wyoming to meet and visit a relative. The kids get settled in on the ranch and lend a helping hand to get the ranch in shape. While picnicking one day they come across a strange shelter and they begin to wonder who is living on their relatives land and why are they there, so they enlist the help of a friend and get to the bottom of this mystery!