Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UberSmart Software Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #mathreview

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UberSmart Math Facts Review

     Do you and your kids like flashcards? Whether you Love them or Hate them I have a product for you!! UberSmart Software has a math review program for your kids. It is called UberSmart Math Facts. Geared for kids in K-6 and selling for a $24.95 for up to 8 children and additional options available for more kids than that.This is for Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista only, it is not available for iPads or Android tablets. It is not a subscription it is a license to the software, so you own it forever it will not expire like other programs at the end of your school year.

  My kids have a love/hate relationship with flashcards and review in general but my youngest struggles with Math fact memorization and we continue to plug along and try anything that comes our way to help remedy that problem. He was a little apprehensive about trying yet another program and especially when he read that it is for up to 6th graders, he is in 10th and he then feels like he is behind. and he really is not it's just a memorization issue. Once he realized that it could truly help anyone of any age and that it was a review program to help with memorizing his math facts he settled in a bit more, I assured him that this was not to be our sole math program and we were not going backwards in Math just seeking some extra help and drill practice. Sometimes you just need to know how to speak your kids language.

UberSmart Math Facts Review
There are several areas as you can see by the graphic above. Learn, Practice, Test, Compete and Report as well as Maintain. This gives the ability to review and practice Math facts several different ways. My son struggles particularly with timed test so the one of the sections Compete deals with having to beat the clock or competitor. I am hoping that with time this will help him fare better with standardized tests and not have so much test anxiety. I like that it has adjustable time limits on the tests, so that you can slowly decrease the amount of time given as the student becomes more confident. It also weeds out the problems that the child or adult in my case has already mastered alleviating the boring redundancy of other programs and math helpers.   The report function allows you to see how many problems were answered and how many were correct or not. This helps to see what areas the child is still struggling with. This definitely helps to see what we still need to work on and then areas where they have already mastered. 
UberSmart Math Facts Review
The progress window at the bottom of the screen as shown above helps the child to see how much farther they need to go to complete the session, this was a definite helpful attribute to help my visual learner son. 
UberSmart Math Facts Review

UberSmart Math Facts Review

            My son liked that there were different versions of learning like dominoes verses traditional flashcard style, so if he got bored one way he could change it up and it also helps with being able to count objects quickly. For instance at the fruit market, picking fruit and multiplying to make sure you have enough of what you need. Visually and quickly. This has definitely been a struggle for him.

  So to get started you simply need to visit UberSmart Software and then head to UberSmart Math Facts and buy your software download for just $24.95 and you and your kids can begin your journey to Math Fact memorization today. You simply need to make your purchase and then create your account add your users and then get started. You can use it right along with your kids, I know I sure am. Who doesn't need a little help with their memory these days. I know my mind is not what it used to be.  You need to train your brain to stay sharp. I know it has helped me and my son  with just 3 days a week and we will continue to use it at this pace and I know it can help you and your kids too, but if you don't want to take my word for it then head over the the Crew Blog by clicking the banner below and read what everyone is saying about UberSmart Math Facts. You won't regret it and for $24.95 you can hardly deny it is a great value and valuable learning tool.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #homeschoolbible

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Wizzy Gizmo Review

    What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Wizzy Gizmo? I bet it is not Bible curriculum.  When I first heard of this new vendor up for review from the Schoolhouse Review Crew I was intrigued from the start. I was given the choice of several different products, I decided on Audio Drama One: Who Created Everything? One thing we enjoy doing as a family is listening to audio dramas and shows. So I knew this would be something we as a family we would use together.
Wizzy Gizmo Review
This exciting audio drama that takes you all the way back to the days of Creation in the Bible is usually geared for 4-12 year olds but my boys being a bit older at 14 and 16 and the rest of our family enjoyed it very much. We used this as part of our family circle time we listened to the entire 36 minute episode at one time. There was also an additional bit of bonus track lasting just over 20 minutes. 
We like to sit with the lights down low, and close our eyes and picture the story happening. It is always amazing to let the kids imaginations run with an audio drama. Each person's vision of what was happening in the story can turn out completely different. In today's society when you watch a show or movie, the element of imagination is removed because you are seeing what is happening. This is why it is so important to give your kids the love of reading and listening to audio dramas, it puts the use of imagination into play. Do you remember when you were a kid and you use to play make believe? Unfortunately many kids in today's society do not know how to play like that. Programs like the audio dramas from Wizzy Gizmo help keep imaginations alive. You are only hearing what is going on you have to imagine the picture in your mind. 
 We received the first in the series, hopefully there will be more to come.  It sells for 14.99 each. They come in a nice folder with the CD enclosed. There is a little quiz at the end that asks questions about what happened in the story, I did find these were a little too easy for my boys and their ages but it was still fun to listen to and answer the questions. Professor Gizmo kind of reminds me of my son Taylor. So now we call him Professor, he doesn't get it but we do. It was so much fun to hear the story of Creation from the Bible and to imagine God creating our world we live in. It is always nice to get a reminder of how and why we walk this Earth. Why we have seasons and animals and people. If you want a fun way for your family to experience the story of Creation then be sure to order your copy today and maybe some of the other products Wizzy Gizmo has to offer.
Be sure to check out the crew banner below and see what the rest of the crew has to say about the product they chose to review with their family. 
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Nick is off to CMU

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Dogs, Dogs and more Dogs

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Roman Roads Media Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #hshistory

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Roman Roads Media Review

    You mention History in this house and my boys are all ears, especially when it comes to studying or learning about any of the wars in History. Throw in Great Classical Christian curriculum and I am excited too!  So I was super eager to surprise my boys with a new review item from Roman Roads Media, we received Dave Raymond's American History 1  DVD. Movies about History are the favorite because they liked to be part of the action and even though its recreated they feel the emotions of the people they are learning about. Toss in the fact that this counts as a FULL High School History credit when used in conjunction with the History 2 DVD and the corresponding student reader and Teacher's guide and you have a full High School History class without breaking a sweat.

Roman Roads Media Review

     Now these are not just for High School kids, they target audience is actually for 6th grade and up. US HISTORY | PART I 4 DVDs, Student Reader, Teacher's Guide sells currently for $75. Remember though that is for a full semester of materials for History with nothing else needed.

 The topics covered in the Part 1 that we received include the following...

Part 1:

1. Orientation
2. The Banner of the Sun: Meso-America
3. Brave New World: The Early Explorers
4. The Colossus of Empire: The Colonies
5. Stability and Change: The Reformational Colonies
6. A City Upon a Hill: The Puritans
7. A Foreign War at Home: Wars of Control
8. Grace, the Founder of Liberty: The Great Awakening
9. Fathers of Independence: Adams, Franklin, Witherspoon, and Henry
10. Liberty or Death: The Declaration of Independence
11. Awesome Providence I: The War of Independence
12. Awesome Providence II: The War of Independence
13. A More Perfect Union: The Constitution

The idea is that you will cover one lesson for 13 weeks and then continue on with Part 2 for the second semester for an additional 13 weeks. So if you complete the entire course you will have covered 26 weeks of materials and 4 projects. This was right up my alley. all laid out in front of me with little to no prep on my part except for gathering the materials for the projects which most of the items needed we already had on hand since we are a project focused homeschool.

  The DVD has the actual lesson by Video so the boys and I would sit downand watch the lesson and discuss what we had learned, yes I admit I learn right along with my boys, I consider it one of the perks of homeschooling. Then using the student reader and Teacher guide we would continue on about that week's lesson we have been doing this on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  In the Summer we only do school on a few days and usually only work on a couple things per week that are both interesting and fun for us.

  Since we were only using this 3 days per week on average it is taking us a little longer than the expected 13 weeks, but since we have not officially started school yet this will align well with our long Holiday break from Thanksgiving until after the New Year. Nick will be home from college for a month during that time and we will want to spend as much time with him as possible, so I was excited that by following a lighter schedule of this and spanning almost 2 weeks for each lesson we will finish up right on our schedule. The student reader lays out a nice syllabus outlining the course showing what is being covered and talking about the projects and listing the assignment for each lesson. There are 5 lectures to cover for each week so you can see why it is taking us 2 weeks at 3 days a week.

  Everyday that we are working on this we pop in the DVD and watch the days lecture and then spend another half an hour or so working through discussion questions to dive in deeper. There is a lecture and an assignment laid out for you to follow making this an easy on your own class for High School level or independent middle schoolers. I can see my boys taking the reins on this one once we get into the swing of our standard academic year. Since there are 2 of them working on this they could easily discuss between them the questions and I could sit in when I wanted to but it would give me an opportunity to catch up on grading papers or making lunch if I wanted to. There are exams at the end of the 5 lessons for each "week". We have done that independently so that I can actually keep tabs on grades to enter into our grade keeper. This way it is easier for me to give a semester grade for each of them.

  The teacher's guide explains how to use the curriculum and gives the syllabus as well as all of the exam answers to make grading a breeze. It seriously does not get much easier than this. The Teacher's guide explains how to get the student reader which is on the DVD and can be viewed by computer and can easily be downloaded via PDF to print out. The teacher guide also includes grading sheets, I have not used this myself as we use a computer based record keeping system but they do seem handy. There is a portfolio that is kept for the students and worked on each day as well we are using a 3 ring binder system for this. The boys have been enjoying working on them and like to refer back to them often. We are just getting ready to begin our colonial map project now that everyone is home from camp and ready to get busy on some hands on projects other than their portfolio that easily traveled with us making continuing on with our studies easy while we were at our camper the last 2 weeks. I save projects for when we are at home and have access to all of our supplies. I can say the boys are least looking forward to their costumed speech project. They neither like dressing up or giving speeches, maybe it is because I told them I wanted to video them and put them on the blog, do you think that may have something to do with it? Probably!

 The most anticipated project is the end project that will be completed when we have finished the course in November. I will be sure to share our projects in a separate post when they are all completed. I can hardly wait to see what they come up with. They love projects and it is fun to see their unique creativity shine through when they are given the reins to come up with it on their own.
One final perk of this curriculum Compass Classroom has a forum that teacher's can visit to get answers to questions or see how others are using the curriculum, it is a nice feature and I find myself there often just to browse around. So be sure to check it out if you end up using any of their curriculum. Not just the History.

  In conclusion we are really enjoying this curriculum and have been moving right along at our own pace. We will most likely order Volume 2 so that we can record a full credit for History. As usual do not just take my word for it visit the other crew reviews and see what they are saying about many selections that we were given to choose from Roman Roads Media. There is something for everyone. Also be sure to visit the Social Media links below as well for Roman Roads Media.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanRoadsMedia
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RomanRoadsMedia
Pinterst: http://www.pinterest.com/romanroadsmedia/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/115410002124541916147/posts
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/romanroadsmedia/videos
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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday More CAP awards for Alyx

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Mathletics Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsreviews #hsmommas #hsmath

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Mathletics Online Math Review

     Always on the hunt to find computer based Math programs that can help make learning Math fun and interesting for Taylor my one that struggles with Math and Alyx who just needs to keep his skills sharp. Even more so with adding technology into the mix, I love finding companies that offer the opportunity of installing an App to add to learning time for on the go skills. So when offered the opportunity to review Mathletics from 3P Learning, I knew we just had to give it a go! There is something for everyone from K-12 grades.
Mathletics Online Math Review

   I knew we wanted to mainly use this with the free App that is offered for Mathletics for on the go learning, but it is also nice to know the boys can also log in simultaneously from their laptops as well. Getting the boys their own laptops was the best investment we ever made for our homeschooling adventure, Gotta love income tax time. I am starting to see tablets in the boys futures as well for App learning of all kinds.

   So what is Mathletics and how does it work. First off you need to purchase an account. The normal price for 1 student for a full year is $99.00 and for 2 children which is what I received is $179.00 but for a limited time they offering a special $59.00. Mathletics is brought to you by the same company 3P Learning that created Reading Eggs and other fun learning programs.

 Mathletics covers the following key points in a Math journey.
Engage: Attract the user and keep them engaged, using rewards and gaming to keep child motivated

Target: Over 1200 adaptive processes covered for all grades K-12 including pre and post testing

Diagnose: assessments can be done in certain grades where you can then log into the parent portal and see where your child has strengths and weaknesses so you can see where they excel and where they may need some additional help.

Assess: You can assign an assessment test for your child, your child will be tested and graded and the results emailed to you along with suggested activities that may help your child improve in their areas of weakness.

Report: Reports in Mathletics are real time so you may see where your child is struggling or excelling and what they have accomplished at any given time.

Fluency: Mathletics helps your child learn to express Math easily to others and lets them put this skill to action in live competitions with kids from all over the world. (This was my son Taylor's favorite, he loves competition.)

Mobile: Logon to the Mathletics content using the free mobile App device, this takes learning on the go and all homework and Mathletics content downloads to the mobile App. This makes a seamless transition from computer to tablet with ease. The App is available for iOS and Android devices. We used this on our iPad and laptops.

   So after your purchase your account for your student/students you are all set to set them up with their login and get going. For us we were sent a username and a temporary password. The user name cannot be changed but we could without difficulty change the password to something they can easily remember.

  Alyx used the program mainly to sharpen his already fluent skills in Math, this subject comes easily to him, but he likes to keep his mind sharp by brushing up and drilling Math facts. So for him I just kind of let him have free range of the site to explore as he wanted and practice where he felt needed the most work. He used the ipad but mostly his laptop. He is in 10th grade just getting ready to start 11th.

  Alyx also liked to use the printable workbooks that are available for all areas in your parent portal in your Mathletics account. They are printable pdf workbooks that can easily be 3 hole punched and put into a 3 ring binder for organizational purposes.

  Taylor who is in 9th grade getting ready to enter 10th when we begin school, is a tad behind, he has caught up a ton since we began homeschooling, because we have had the opportunity to use many supplemental Math programs such as Mathletics to help practice skills he has already mastered and practice, practice and practice the skills he has continued to struggle such as Pre-Algebra and Algebra. For Taylor I like to start out low to boost his confidence while he whizzes through easy problems and slowly ease into harder and harder problems. If Taylor becomes frustrated he will give up, I try to avoid his frustration at all cost, especially in the Summer. Taylor found that he liked the Mathletics program best on the iPad, and that he liked how he could have competitions for speed and accuracy in live in events with kids from all over the world. He did well in the lower levels but struggled with speed and accuracy combined when he got to some of the higher levels.  We chose to use this as a chance to drill basic math facts which Taylor doesn't struggle with completing but often has issues performing under timed pressure. The competition element added some a needed element to make Taylor become successful in rapidly answering the questions with a minute time clock and others answering questions at the same time. He took pride when he rose to the number 1 spot and helped boost his confidence. Something I have struggled to find to help him with in the Math dept. So I give Mathletics and A+ in the confidence boost department.

   Taylor has done well with the Mathletics program and we will continue to use it as a supplemental Math program throughout our new upcoming school year which is set to start the first week of September. Mathletics is not meant to be a stand alone program, you will want to use this as an add-on for your current choice of Math curriculum. As an add-on program I think Mathletics gives you everything you need to help make your child have a successful year of Math and then some. Be sure to stay up to date with all things Mathletics related by clicking on the social media links below and also please click on the crew banner below to see what all of the Mathletics reviews from the schoolhouse review crew and their families had to say about their Mathletics Journey.

Mathletics Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mathleticsglobal
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mathletics_usa

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