NatureGlo’s eScience MathArt & Science Course 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.

If you favor a relaxed homeschool science approach, you’ll want to check out NatureGlo’s eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle from NatureGlo’s eScience. 

NatureGlo’s eScience is an online E-Science curriculum that has many different unit studies. The videos can be watched on a computer or an iPad. Along with the video there are also online resources to go along with the lesson. For example the lesson my son watched on Leonardo de Vinci had a link to some of his online notebooks that my son could look at and there were also questions to go along with.

The videos are nicely done. The classes we watched were previously recorded live classes. The class video is a presentation and sometimes other videos. The teacher had some interaction with the students so it wasn’t just her. Sometimes she would have the students answer questions which was nice to hear some interactions and not just a lecture. There 31 MathArt and natural courses. Some of the courses are only a few lessons while others are more in-depth and as long as six weeks.

Since the videos and courses can be used on the iPad it is easy to watch the science lessons anywhere.

The only thing I didn’t like about the website was the login was all the way at the bottom of the page. Sometimes it was difficult to get back to the lessons but it might have just missed something.

Overall we enjoyed the courses and watching the lesson videos.  It felt like you were sitting in a laid back class.  My son really enjoyed all the classes about reptiles and bugs. The interactive content that went along with the lessons was also helpful and fun.

Click on the banner link below to see what other homeschooling families thought about NatureGlo’s eScience.

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle { NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}

Institute for Excellence in Writing® Level C 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.

My daughter who loves to write was thrilled with the opportunity to help me review Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C from Institute for Excellence in Writing® (IEW).  Since my Highschool daughter was familiar with IEW I thought she would be perfect to help me review the online version.  Keep reading below to see what we thought of the Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C from IEW®.

From a students perspective (my daughter)

“When I was first introduced to IEW® a few years ago, I thought the program was well done. Now, looking back on all the things that I learned and continue to learn, I think that the program is positively amazing! The skills and methods taught are practical to every aspect of writing and even other academic areas such as reading, thinking, and speaking. I found myself looking forward to each video in the Structure and Style level C. I appreciated how the videos were Insightful and structured, while still being entertaining, especially with Mr. Pudewa. Overall, I believe that users will find the Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C program to be a powerful tool in their writing journey.”

Improvements of the latest version

  • Helpful slides that pop up clarifying page numbers, assignments, and instructions
  • Much better-detailed video and close-ups actually showing students which keep things interesting.

Highlights for Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C

  • Fun material
  • Good source texts to write from
  • Extremely practical tools and tricks/tips for better writing.
  • The teacher, Andrew Pedwua, is funny yet informative and insightful
  • It’s helpful that the teacher reads a paper each week from students.  Better understanding and teachability to learn and see how others did it.
  • Easy to access online streaming.  It is always available to fit your schedule.
  • Very organized binder with all the handouts already printed out. Everything is laid out so you are ready to start the lesson right away.

 From a fathers perspective

As a busy father, I appreciate the minimal prep time required to use Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C.  The lessons are all online videos and basically, all that I need to do is make sure my student watches the lesson and then check their work. Mr. Pedewa is a great teacher.  I even find myself watching some of the lessons.  It’s great that he starts out with a joke all the time! It is also nice that he reads some of the student’s assignments during the class so I know what to expect.

The teacher’s manual is color-coded with helpful gray boxes that provide extra information.  There are also yellow pages/sections covering student handouts and paper management. There are a few handouts that are not mentioned in the video but are mentioned in the Teachers manual.  You can see one of the gray boxes below from the teacher’s manual.

The videos are now online! No more DVDs to lose or get scratched.  The videos show up in your IEW® account. You choose which video you are ready to watch and you can watch them over and over again because they never expire. The videos also work on the iPad if you have internet access! Most lessons are divided into two parts so it is nice that there is a marker in the video where the second part begins. You can see what the screen layout looks like in the picture below from my IEW account page.

If you need a high school composition class I would seriously consider IEW® Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C. You can even download and watch the first three lessons for free.  Click on the banner below to see what other families thought about IEW.

Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level A, B & C {Institute for Excellence in Writing® Reviews}

Simply Coding 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.

As a father who knows enough programming to be dangerous I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Coding for Kids Annual Membership from Simply Coding.  I have always wanted to teach my kids some computer programming skills; however, I never seem to get around to teaching anything formally.  I was excited to have my 12-year-old son try Simply Coding.  He loves technical things but he has not done much on actual computers.  He knows his way around tablets pretty well but Simply Coding gave him a great introduction to computers.

Starting out

To start I sat down with him and we looked at some of the classes offered form Simply coding.  After I showed him some of the lessons he decided he wanted to try the JavaScript Game design class.  I was a little worried it would be too advanced for him but it is turning out to be just about right for him.  He now wants to work on it ALL THE TIME! The JavaScript game design starts off easy with an introduction to keyboard shortcuts like copy and paste.  Since there is a lot of copy and pasting with coding.

All the required tools and code are provided as links in the lesson.  There are links to the programming editor and links to the code that will be edited for the lessons. There are also instructions (along with videos) on how to install the tools. Since my son was learning JavaScript all you need to run the game is a web browser.

Each lesson has a video that is basically the same as in the lesson text.  The instructor is in a window on the top right while the rest of the screen shows his computer screen and what you need to do for the lesson. My son mostly watched the videos but if your child would rather just read the lesson they can do that as well.

I started out sitting down with my son for the first few lessons and helping him where needed.  The lessons are pretty easy for an adult who is a little familiar with computers to understand.  You do not need to have programming experience just a knowledge of how to download and install programs and other basic computer skills.

Lesson structure

There is a lesson menu on the left side of the screen where you can select the lesson you are ready for.  You can go through previous lessons also. You need to finish the quiz before advancing to the next lesson.

Once you are in the lesson there is a link for the instructional video to watch.  There are gray arrows to go to the next lesson.  Each lesson usually has some instructions and then an activity to go along with the lesson which usually involves modifying computer code.  At the end of the lesson, there is a quiz.

My son was so excited to show me and his family what he did. The picture below is his game that he made.

Once your student is comfortable with coding skills they can try downloading and modifying other programs in the Demo area. There you can watch other game demos and get the code so your kid can make or edit games others made.

There is also a competition your student can participate in.  Even though we missed the summer competition all the information is there so your student can try to code his own game using the resources.  The competition below had some instructions on how to make your own game sprite.

Other classes

Computer coding is not the only classes available with your subscription. Some of the other classes offered are Photography, videography, adobe, gimp, Computer intro, Microsoft products such as Excel and Word, Intro to electronics, kids keyboarding, and many other courses.  The picture below shows some of the basic computer courses.  If you feel that the javascript simply coding class is too difficult I would recommend first starting with some of the Simply Tech4Kids classes like Scratch.

I highly recommend you check out Simply Coding!  Even if you can teach programming to your child yourself, Simply Coding makes it easy for you.  All the resources are included along with easy to follow directions and videos on how to use them.  Once you get your child started he can work on it on his own.

Other families used this product too so be sure to check out their reviews by clicking on the banner below.

Coding for Kids Annual Membership {Simply Coding Reviews}

My Teaching Library 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.

If you are looking for educational resources to add to your homeschool, be sure to check out the Download Club from My Teaching Library.  As a busy father, it always seems to take too long to find resources and worksheets for our studies. I was thrilled to be able to review My Teaching Library to simplify our homeschool prep time.  Keep reading to see how we used My Teaching Library.

What is  My Teaching Library

My Teaching Library Download Club allows you to download any of the resources found on My Teaching Library website.  The resources available at My Teaching Library are available to purchase individually or you can download any resource as part of the Download Club.

There are many categories of resources beginning at the kindergarten level all the way to the high school level for your school.  You can search for resources by grade level or subject or type of resource. Once you find a resource you are interested in you can preview it or add to your shopping cart to buy or if you are a member of the download club it will go to your download folder.  You will also receive an email with a link to download the resource. You do not have to have a membership to search for resources so I would suggest going to the My Teaching Library website and seeing what resources are available for yourself.

Here is an example of some of the topics available.

You can also just enter a search term in the search box at the top.

All of your downloads are available in your account. Here is an example of some of the downloads that I used and you can see they are in the downloads section of my account.  You can see they will not expire even if your membership time has ended.

There are even resources for teaching.  I even fond downloadable ebooks like McGuffys reader and Pollard’s synthetic speller along with some biographies.

What resources did we use?

Since My Teaching Library has resources for all grades I could choose downloads for each of my children based on what we were working on right now.

Early readers:

I printed out a word-wall-Dolch chart and a phonics chart and put it up in their room as shown in the pictured below:

There were many other sight word bundles for both Fry sight words and Dolch sight words.  Since I am mainly focusing on phonics I did not want to confuse him so we only worked on a few sight words from the bundle. My plan is to work on a few more every week.  There were numerous phonics resources to use for my son.  There are phonics resources based on grade level and there are phonics resources for different levels of phonics.   Along with the phonics poster pictured above, there was also a Mega phonics bundle for blends that I am using. The image below is one of the worksheets my son completed for a sight word we are working on.

Junior High/High school

Next, I needed some work for my junior high and high school-age boys.  At My Teaching Library, I found some unit studies on Weather and the atmosphere. There is also a Constitution lap book that we are going through since I feel it is very important in our country to learn about the constitution.

I was amazed at the wide variety of resources available.  It is more than just a worksheet center.  I would recommend you try out some of the free resources at My Teaching Library to see if it could help in your homeschool.

If you are looking for resources for your homeschool I would recommend you check out  My Teaching Library. Click on the banner link below to see what other homeschooling families thought about  My Teaching Library.

My Teaching Library Download Club {My Teaching Library}

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}