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 through the Melanated Gold Review Squad, in exchange for my honest review.
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 previously 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 tells 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 those pages 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 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 subtractions problems. Then I pondered behind the fact that he can solve them didn’t mean he could visually solve them. I hope that make 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 lesson are merely review.
After looking through the RightStart Mathematics Level F upper lessons and some of the review lessons it hit me 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 fabulous homeschool mom names Rhonda and when I tell you this mom answered all my questions and concerns. She agreed with me that even though he 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 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 briefly review during the first few lesson of the previous level and then the jump right in to 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. I know what your 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 are zillion of supplemental options. Please don’t get all bent out 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 everyday now! In my finally thoughts about RightStart Mathematics Level F I think we have found our new math curriculum 😉.
Be sure to check out the other Melanated Gold Review Squads reviews of RightStart Mathematics by clicking the banner below.
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!
We were sent the Shiftu Oorbot Globe for our honest review. The Oorbot Globe is an interactive globe and app. That is available on IOS and Android and is free to download. The Oorbot Globe is recommended for ages 4 -9 years.
The globe is colorful and lightweight and medium sized. Included in the box is a passport, stamp and stickers. These items are for your student to track their progress as they play. You will need at least 1 GB on your iPhone or iPad if not more in order for the app to work. If you don’t have enough memory for the app you will receive a screen that will notify you.
Even the box says he works for Android you will not be able to use this on a Kindle Fire device…this may include Kids Kindle but since we don’t have Kids Kindle I won’t be able to test this but we did test it on our Kindle Fire and it didn’t work. The company has since disclosed this issue on their profile since we received ours. Android other devices will need at least 3GB in order to use it.
The app has over The interactive component of the globe is to bring to life the special areas on the globe once they are lined up with Star on the globe and tablet. It’s what the company calls “Augmentative Reality” …children can touch the onscreen image and it becomes 3D like and they can learn important information about that region. Not all countries on the continents have interactive ability but there are internal app interactive abilities. The app allows students to go on adventures and solve mysteries, puzzles and travel around the world interactively.
Here is my breakdown:
This is a cute globe for learning about the continents, animals and landmarks. While I think the app would be all that you need in order to learn with because there is an option to use with globe or without globe. My son enjoyed the games and interactive ability.
I was little put off by the memory storage it needs to run successfully on your tablet/iPad. We did experience a lot of app crashes while using it on our iPad, iPhone . We freed up over 2GB of memory just in case and we still had crashes that made my son a little frustrated. As a parent I would have preferred it to able to use on all platform devices especially those designated for children.
I think it is a cute globe and kids will enjoy it. I gave it 3 stars on Amazon because it has a lot of valuable information in the app, I feel like the app needs some bugs worked out. The stamp that is included I don’t think it will survive the life of product. It is a no boarders globe so you will need to open app to see borders. I think it would make a good globe for information while using it along side a traditional globe.
If you are looking for an interactive globe this could be a choice. I would recommend you download the Oorbot Globe app onto your device before purchasing the globe to make sure it will run efficiently on your device. The retail cost of the globe is $49.99 and can be purchased on Amazon and the Shiftu website.
I think that a lot people people believe that African-Americans home-school solely because of the fear that our children will encounter racism within the school systems. This assumption is the farthest from truth. The majority of us do it because we feel it’s in the best interest of our families. Every family has their own reasons for deciding to home-school, and for our family we had several reasons why we made the decision.
We both attended public schools and private schools growing up. My experience in public school was horrible, I was so lost in math that it wasn’t until I attended a private high school and took the entrance exam that I got the help I needed to get caught up. I had to work super hard and attend summer school classes for 3 years to get caught up. My husband was also lost in his academics and he also had to work hard to keep up. These experiences led us both to the conclusion that any future children we had would be homeschooled.
When my son was born, I knew I had to get things together for Operation Homeschool. I did tons of research, so when the time came we would be ready. Early on, we realized our son loved to learn, He showed an interest in music and letters when he was 9 months old. We followed his interests and began to do Montessori at home with him. By 12 months old, he knew his letters and sounds. At 18 months he fell in love with the Trombone and could name and categorize all the instruments in an orchestra. We knew trying to find a preschool to cultivate his love for both music and learning was going to come with an expensive price tag if decided to rethink our decision to homeschool. Besides we were confident we could give him what he needed at home.
Homeschooling for us meant we could encourage his interests and follow his lead and not have to worry about anyone stifling his learning process. Furthermore, we could let him be himself and learn best at his learning style. We also wanted to instill our families values and his ancestry within his education. Homeschooling also allowed us to work on his strengths and zero in on weaknesses.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are some great schools and teachers. I honestly know teachers have their hands full with the pressures of test scores, paperwork, over-crowded classrooms and behavior issues that it can be difficult for them to reach every student. We just didn’t want to have to deal with all that and expose him to certain behaviors and situations.
Now as almost 6 years old and a first grader, he is thriving. He is a confident trombone player and making strides in his learning. He attends homeschool activities with other students, is an avid chapter book reader, is conquering math facts and continues to learn about his African-Latin heritage. He loves all things science and is free to follow his interests which at the moment happens to be coding. His lessons are a combination of hands on and curriculum based learning. He is an auditory and kinesthetic learner, so I make sure his lessons cover both of these learning styles.
We ask him often if he wants to go to traditional school. His response is always, “Why? I like our homeschool.”So when people ask me why we homeschool, I tell them because we did what we knew was in the best interest for our son. I don’t ever regret our decision because I know a traditional school wouldn’t have been able to give him what he needed.
In conclusion, we are homeschooling and loving it. We have met a lot of people and continue to learn what he needs. We are solid in our decision and look forward to this journey. We homeschool year-round, but things are lighter in the summer. Homeschooling, in my opinion, is a way of life and takes dedication and patience. We love this life we have created, and when he wants to make a change, that’s when we will. Until then, we are schooling in PJ’s 😊!