Time Travelers World War II Review

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.

Products like the Time Travelers U.S. History World War II Study from Home School in the Woods makes it easy to add hands-on history to our studies.  I was very excited to use this study with two of my boys.  Keep reading to see how it went.

What are Time Travelers U.S. History Studies

First, what is Home School in the Woods Time Traveler study?  Each study is a series of pdf’s that can be used for your history study of a particular time period or activities to supplement your history curriculum.  There are two basic activities that are provided with the study – A notebook and a Lapbook.  The notebook provides craft activities, copywork, a timeline, and short snippets of history in the study.  Most of the pdfs will require you to print out however there are also pdf lesson texts to go along with each lesson.  In total, the study I reviewed, World War II, had 25 lessons.

While we reviewed the World War II study, Home School in the woods has many other studies like Colonial life, Civil War that cover the standard US history periods. In addition to Time Travelers U.S. History Studies, there are numerous other studies available from Home School in the Woods.  For instance, now would be a great time to check out the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak which is studies the US elections which allows your student to follow along with the upcoming elections.

How we used Time Travelers U.S. History Studies

I was so excited to be able to review World War II study with my boys since they have been begging me to study World War II.  I also enjoy learning about World War II so it was also exciting for me.

There are numerous projects you can do with your students.  You can do as many or a few as you like.  We used the study as a unit study for World War II.  I really like the variety of projects provided by Home School in the Woods.  There were variations you could do that involve different amounts of work.  Since we are still working on cursive I chose to have my boys do the cursive copywork that was tracing as shown in the picture below.

Most of the projects involved printing and cutting out paper.  Your students can color the projects or you can just use colored paper when you print out the projects.  The timeline is especially helpful as you study different events.

Use on the iPad.

Initially, I was going to put all the lesson texts on the iPad so I could just read them from the iPad instead of my computer or printing off.  So I added some of the pdfs to my iBook library.

Then I could access the pdf’s from my iPad since my books are on iCloud.  (You may need to have later versions of iOS for this to work.)

I found out due to the iPad screen size and my eyesight getting worse that the texts were not as easy to read on the iPad.  This was due to not being able to increase the font size on the pdf.  It would have been nice if there was an iBook for all the text that could utilize increasing the text size.  What I did find worked well on the iPad was to put all the instructions for the projects on the iPad.  Then I could just pull up the instructions on the iPad for reference while my boys were working on the projects.  The picture below shows what one fo the project instructions looked like on the iPad.

Overall my boys and I loved the Time Travelers World War II study from Home School in the Woods.  We loved the projects and the lesson texts that you read for each lesson.  The only thing I didn’t like was all the different pdf documents but all the content and projects were excellent.  (The advantage to individual pdf’s is that you only need to download what you need to the iPad to minimize storage issues since there are a lot of pdfs with the study.) All the lessons were well organized so you could easily find what you needed for each lesson.  If you are looking for a History curriculum or projects to supplement your history curriculum I would highly recommend the time travelers series from Home School in the woods.

We reviewed the World War II study but others reviewed different Home School in the Woods studies. Click on the link below to read more Home School in the Woods reviews.

Election Lap-Pak, Benjamin Franklin, Timeline Collection, Time Travelers U.S.History and Make-A-State Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

CTCMath Family Membership Review

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.

We are so excited to be able to use the 12-month Family membership from CTCMath. We school all year long so it’s nice to be able to add additional students if they need some additional help.  Keep reading below to see what CTCMath is all about.

What is CTCMath

CTCMath is a full math curriculum that covers all the math topics your child will need all the way threw high school.  The program is an online subscription that has lesson videos and review problems.  I reviewed the Family membership which lets you set up all your children in whatever grade they are in.  You can give assignments to each child and due dates or you can select what lessons you want them to work on.

As a parent or teacher, you can see all your children/students and see what progress they are making.  The picture below shows what the teacher screen looks like where you can see the child’s progress and what lessons are coming up.  It is also where you can assign tasks.

When your child logs in with his name he can work on the tasks you assigned or you can help them select a specific lesson or unit you want them to work on.  Each lesson has videos your child can watch and then there are questions for them to work on after they watch the video.  The questions are all answered online but you can also print out questions if you would like.  Once the question is answered, the correct answer is shown if they got it wrong.  The student then clicks on a button to go to the next question.

You can also have your child take a diagnostic test on the subject. The picture below shows one of the diagnostic tests for second grade.

Lesson results are easy to see as shown in the picture below.

 

What did we think

I was really impressed with CTCMath video lessons and my kids liked them also.  I thought the explanation and the graphics used to explain the lesson were really good.  I wasn’t planning on using CTCMath with my high school daughter for her Algebra but after watching some of the lessons I decided I would use them for her also.  There are so many different topics so you can easily find any topic your child might be struggling with to review.

I didn’t really like the option of giving assignments.  I preferred just selecting a lesson for my sons and letting them work on that instead of assigning him work.  It just works better for us that way.  I feel like I know what math topics my son needs to work on so I can just have him select those lessons to work on.  Maybe if your child is self-motivated you could assign tasks and just let them work on the assigned lessons.  Whatever works best for you if you are looking for a comprehensive online math curriculum then I would recommend CTCMath.

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of CTCMath.

From Kindy to Calculus CTCMath 12-month Family membership {CTCMath Reviews}

Progeny Press Review

Status

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.

Progeny Press makes earning High School Literature credits easy with high school level study guides such as My Side of the Mountain Study Guide and Animal Farm  Study Guide.  The guide suggests that one study guide is worth 1/4 of high school credit.  So if your high schooler does two different books you can use the guide for a half-semester credit.

I was excited to see Progeny Press has a study guide for My Side fo the Mountain.  When I was a boy, My side of the Mountain was one of my favorite books.  I was initially going to read the book out loud to my boys but after reviewing the My Side of the Mountain Study Guide I decided to assign reading it to my older boys for school.  The guides I reviewed in my opinion seemed to be High school level of work.  Even though the guides are for older kids there are still activities in the guides that you can use with younger children if you are reading the book out loud.  For example, there are Prereading activities you can do with younger kids like suggested field trips related to the book.  Like in the My Side of the Mountain Reading Guide one of the activities mentioned was to go on a fishing field trip which is always a hit with my boys.

The reading guides are in pdf format so I can use it over again.  The pdf actually allows you to type answers in right in the pdf.  You can have your student work on the computer and save it or you can just print it out and have them write out the answers. Each pdf has a Synopsis of the book and information about the author.  The guides also have a section for additional resources for you.  Each section of the book is covered in the reading guide with a vocabulary section and a set of questions about the chapters. Of course, the answers are provided in a separate pdf.

If you are looking for a study guide for your high schoolers literature then I would recommend you look at what Progeny Press has to offer.

 

 

Other study guides available at the high school level include The Red Badge of Courage, The Yearling, Heart of Darkness, Jane Eyre, Hamlet, Out of the Silent Planet, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Day No Pigs Would Die, The Great Gatsby, and A Tale of Two Cities. Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Progeny Press.

Study Guides for Literature - A New Coat for Anna, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, My Side of the Mountain, Animal Farm & Little Women {Progeny Press Reviews}

MaxScholar Reading Program Review

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.

MaxScholar offers a variety of activities for students to improve reading skills with their MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software. I was provided a six-month membership to use with up to five students.  I used MaxScholar with two of my boys who are learning to read.  Keep reading to see how we used MaxScholar and if the program could help improve your child’s reading skills.

What is MaxScholar?

MaxScholar is an online computer program that focuses on reading using an Orton Gillingham approach.  The program can be used for homeschooling multiple children or used in a classroom setting.  As the teacher, your login has all the settings along with helpful reading material and lesson guides.  The program works with a regular computer and it also worked fine on my iPad.

The program has three parts: MaxPhonics, MaxReading, and MaxWords.  I mostly used MaxPhonics but the MaxWords helps with vocab and syllables while the MaxReading helps reading skills and reading comprehension and also vocabulary.

Here is an example of a text for the MaxReading part.  The student highlights different parts of the text as instructed.

Here is an example of the MaxWords module options. You can see the student can practice spelling rules, learn about Prefixes and suffixes, and learn about Greek and Latin roots for words.  The Clover button allows the student to learn and practice the six types of syllables.

How we used it

So I have two boys learning to read. The older of the two has struggled to read for a while so I looked through the MaxReading and decided he really needed to work on his phonics skills with MaxPhonics. Since I know what level he is at I went into his student settings and enabled the phonics level I wanted him to work on. The picture below shows the different settings I changed.  I turned off the placement test and gave him access to MaxPhonics by selecting override of the placement test.  Then I also selected modules for him to work on blends.

This is what it looks like on his login.  Module 3 Blends is unlocked.

Once I got his student settings right I had him log in to MaxScholar and work on his phonics.  The picture below shows one of the parts of the lesson where the student has to choose which picture starts with the Blend sound being studied.

For the Blends, each lesson presented a new blend and how it sounded.  Then there is practice for writing the blend along with words that use the blend.  There is a video of someone making the sound for each blend and the audio to go along with the sound.  This really helps my son know how to form the sound with his mouth by being able to watch someone else make the sound. At the end of the lesson, there is a quiz to determine if he has mastered the blend. Each module is pretty easy and my son did not get bored or tired of working on the module.  Sometimes I even had him do two different Blends in a day.

My younger boy is at the beginning stage of reading. He knows most of his letter sounds and can read simple words. I initially had him start the placement test (which is the default for MaxPhonics) however after a while I realized he already knew all the test questions and I didn’t see the need for him to keep testing. I went in with the teacher setting and unlocked the phonics stage that I thought he was at. I put his settings on Module 2 which has constants and short vowels. I selected where I thought he should start. Pretty soon the program was having him work on sound blending.

There were also games to play however some of the games my boys were not ready since they were still in the early stages of reading. The only game they could really play without a lot of help was the Memory Game.

Final thoughts

Overall I really like the MaxPhonics part of MaxScholar.  The lessons were not boring and I felt like my son learned the sounds he went through.  I like how the sound blending was presented.  It seemed to make it easier for my son with auditory processing issues.  It was also helpful for my son that each lesson had a video of someone sounding out the new sound/blend and that really helps him connect the auditory sound with lip movements.

I did not feel like my sons were ready for MaxReading.  The initial lessons were just pictures and questions about the pictures and the reading sections seemed like they were for those reading well.  Maybe there were some sections that would have been appropriate but I felt like my sons needed the MaxPhonics practice more than the reading so that’s what we used. The MaxPhonics was what I really wanted to focus on so they will become good readers.

I would recommend using MaxScholar with the iPad over a laptop if possible.  My sons found the letter tracing on the iPad easier than with the trackpad on the laptop.  The iPad is also portable so your child can take it to a quiet part of the house so they can concentrate on the letter sounds.  The only downside to the program with the iPad is that you will need internet access.

We used MaxScholar for my beginning readers, but other families used various levels of MaxScholar so be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read more views.

MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software {MaxScholar Reviews}

Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving book review

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.

The Critical Thinking Co.™ provides fantastic critical thinking resources for students such as Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving. I was provided the physical book Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving to use with my kids.

The Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving book has ten chapters that each cover a different type of Logic/math problem.  For example, there is a chapter on solving Geometry Word problems, and of course, there are chapters for Algebra Word problems.  Thankfully the answers are also in the back so you will not be left wondering what’s the right answer.  The introduction of the book and the beginning of each chapter have hints for solving a particular type of problem.  In the picture below you can see the flowchart suggested.

Master Logic and Math problems?  How about enjoying Math word problems?  That’s exactly what the book is for.  The book says the goal is to “have students approach all types of problems with a sense of fun anticipation and confidence.” The book has general problem-solving strategies, a flow chart, and tips for all the different types of problems.  I thought that there were a good number of examples to follow.  I always like examples and I thought the Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving book had just the right amount of example problems.

I let my son pick out what problems he thought looked interesting and then I gave him some that corresponded with his math level.  He really likes puzzles so he really enjoyed the book. You can see in the picture below one of the problems he worked out.  As you can see many of the problems have a diagram to help you draw out the problem

Here is another example of how the book leads you through an algebra story problem. You can see how it makes it easier to figure out using the provided table to fill in. I would definitely recommend it for your child if they are having problems figuring out Algebra story problems.

My problem-solving boys loved just picking up the book and trying their hand at different problems. Even my 18 year old would try some of the problems.  My boys really enjoyed the different problems.  I would suggest making sure the problems are at their level and that they don’t cheat and look at the answers in the back before they try it.  The book says grades 6 -9 and I would agree however even higher level high schoolers will enjoy the challenges.  I would recommend Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving if you have a junior high or high schooler who is not thrilled with word problems as a supplement to your math curriculum.  I would also recommend it if your child enjoys solving problems!

We used Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving, but other families used various books from The Critical Thinking Co.™ so be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read more views.

Creative Problem Solving, Dare to Compare Math, Mastering Logic & Math and Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

Math Shed and Spelling Shed Review

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.

Spelling is not my specialty so we were excited to receive 12 months of access to both Math Shed and Spelling Shed.  If you are looking to add some spelling and math digital learning to your homeschool, let me tell you about Math Shed and Spelling Shed.

What is Math Shed and Spelling Shed?

Math Shed and Spelling Shed are part of EdShed.  The programs are designed to help your student improve their math and spelling proficiency.  Math Shed and Spelling shed are an online subscription. The program is web-based so it works on both a computer and also on the iPad.

Spelling Shed – Spelling Shed is a full Spelling curriculum program.  There are six levels (called Stages) plus a beginner level for phonics.  Each level has spelling lists that focus on a particular spelling rule.  For example, Stage 3 has a list for Long /a/ sound words. You can assign your student a Stage and even a specific Spelling word list.

You set up students and give them assignments in the “Teacher Hub”. You can also set the password for your student there or keep the recommended one.

They can work on spelling lists or play a game called”buzz” where they try to make different words with letters on the screen.

There are three kinds of game:

  •  Play – This is the main game type and use used for assignments
  • Bee Keeper – Can you guess your words by choosing letters.
  • Buzz Words – Make words using random letter tiles.

 

MathShed – MathShed is a web-based program with games to help your child learn different math facts.

The math games have a question and three answers to choose from.  There is catchy music and sound effects.  This is what the gameplay looks like.

Both games allow you to earn honeypots to buy different accessories for the avatar.  That is the main motivation for the student. There are also points so you can have a competition between students.  If you have two computers you can also set up a head to head competition by creating what’s called a Hive.  The teacher or the student can set up a hive competition game.  I tried it with my boys however we had issues with the iPad not showing the keyboard so we were not able to fully try that level.

What we thought

Math Shed and Spelling Shed were definitely helpful for my children working on spelling and math facts.  The boys enjoyed the games and were challenged.  I usually set up the game difficulty level for them depending on what I thought their level.  The Easy level shows all the letters that are used in the spelling word but the most difficult level does not give any help.  The instructions say not to worry about it using the easy level and to use the hard levels towards the end of the week.

One of the other nice features I liked about Spelling Shed was the curriculum guide.  There is a pdf and PowerPoint that you can use to teach the new spelling list.  I thought it was very helpful to see all the spelling words and the instructions on. how to teach and use the program.  Each week has a lesson plan, activities and printable practice/homework sheets with answers

I hope you consider EdShed to help your child spell better and build math mastery!

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Math Shed and Spelling Shed.

Spelling Shed & Math Shed {Education Shed Reviews}