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Friday, March 8, 2013

Lone Star Learning: Your not so ordinary flashcards. Schoolhouse Review Crew Review

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   I am always on the hunt for curriculum add ons that will help aid my visual learners to make their schoolwork not only easier but more enjoyable for them as well. I was intrigued when Lone Star Learning turned up as one of the new vendors we could be chosen to review products for as part of  being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Their products are definitely geared for all learning types but hit the nail on the head for visual learners. My youngest who is in 8th grade especially struggles with putting the components of his schoolwork together without visual help.

   We were sent the Science Vocabulary Pictures, Set 1, 40 cards in each set and there are 5 different sets including the K-2 set and they sell for $29.99. While they are not arranged by grade level they are recommended for grades 3-8.  I was super excited to get these in the mail as we have been struggling with our Science Vocab words this Semester and I was hoping these would be just the trick that might make it click.  Upon getting them in the mail I was pleasantly surprised by the size, these are not your typical small index size flash cards. They are sturdy, full colored coated cards and a whopping 5.5″ x 8.5″. These are meant to be handled and used they are not flimsy and cheaply made in the least bit.  What makes these cards stand apart from traditional flash cards is the definition is built into the actual word. Take the word Pulley from below, You can see that the "P" is the actually pulley mechanism and the rest of the letters in the word are made from the string or rope being used by the pulley.


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  Taylor immediately lit up when he got to use these for the first time, he said "Oh I get it now!" A simple statement that means so much to me, these helped connect the dots for Taylor. He could visualize the meaning of the word just by looking at the card. We use our vocabulary words as part of our spelling list each week, Taylor often struggles to master the words each week and is often left feeling defeated to say the least.

    After just one week of using these cards Taylor had 100% on his mid week practice test for the first time ever. Now I am not saying this will make your child a perfect speller and solve all of their problems in one week, but for my son, he was just missing that visual component that I tried to provide him for so long and was always coming up short. He looks forward to vocabulary and spelling and I will definitely be ordering all of the sets that are offered by Lone Star Learning.


   We were blessed by an unfortunate shipping error on the company's end, we received the Target Vocabulary Pictures, Set 1 cards on accident, instead of having us ship the wrong ones back to them, they let us know that we could go ahead and keep them and if they were not right for us we could give them to a friend to bless. Originally I was going to give them to a friend but after using the Science set that we were originally supposed to review and seeing what an impact they made on Taylor, I decided to keep them for ourselves and use them for help with Math and further spelling tests. Once we are finished with them I will be happy to pass both sets onto my homeschooling friends to use and share.

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   I am hoping my kids will homeschool their kids in the future or let me do it for them, I know it is a long way off but I think about these things all the time, I am sure this is going to be one of those must have items that I will be putting in my tote to keep for the future. I feel that these vocabulary cards are a must have helping hand in any classroom homeschool or traditional school.

   There are only a handful of items that I could honestly say I could not live without in our schoolroom and this is definitely at the top of my list. I am going to have them laminated and I think punch a hole in the corner and put them on a ring and hang them on a hook in our schoolroom for quite a while so they are always handy for Taylor and Alyx both to gain access to.

   All of Lone Star Learning's Vocabulary Picture Cards are intended for grades 3-8, I used them mainly with my 8th grader, although my 9th grader found them helpful as well. I could see using them with younger children as well, but there are cards available for younger kids grades K-2. You get 50-56 cards in each Vocab set and they sell for $29.99 each set. You can look at each set 1-3, as there are many words to chose from and that way you find the set that fits into your studies the best.  You always should use your personal best judgement when purchasing any school aids for your children as you know them and their developmental level the best.

   There are so many unique products offered by Lone Star Learning that I have been making my list and have to be careful as I want it all. I do not know how I had never heard of this company until it was offered to the Schoolhouse Crew. I think everyone should know about these invaluable products that will help all students but especially special needs kids and visual learners.


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