*Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.*

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Farewell and Looking Ahead

Yesterday I posted my last review of the Crew year. Whew!

We have had a lot of family things going on lately, and I know that my last few reviews have not been the best, but I managed to get them done, and I feel relieved.

This year has been a whirlwind for sure. I have learned so much about myself.

It has been a huge blessing to me to be part of the Crew. I love The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and I never thought I would have an opportunity to actually review products for part of the Magazine! How awesome is that? lol

I have reviewed some amazing products this year, and I can't wait to see what comes our way next year!

I want to thank all of my Crew Mates for the wonderful friendships made this year. I have made some really great friendships that I know will continue.

I want to say goodbye to my friends, and fellow Crew mates who are not returning next year. I know that some of you are leaving by choice, but for those of you who are not, I want to say a special goodbye.

I know how hard it must be, and I will miss you. But I also know that God has a plan for you, and that you will find out soon what it is.

Well, I have posted my last review for TOS this year, but I will be back with more reviews from TOS in June/July.

Until then, I will still be posting other reviews of the great new products we are using this year, and many other things.

We are about to complete The Mystery of History, and I can't wait to show you our timeline!

I will still be here, but I am going to start taking a little more time for my family. I am realizing how important this is, and my family will always come first.

Farewell to everyone that I may not see on board anymore, but let's stay in touch through our blogs, and pages, and I know you have great things coming your way.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wordy Qwerty/ TOS Review


  • Wordy Qwerty is actually a sequel program to Read, Write & Type, from Talking Fingers.

  • Once your child completes Read, Write & Type, they move on to Wordy Qwerty. 
    "Wordy Qwerty – Foundations for Reading and Writing Fluency, takes 7-9 year olds through the next steps of reading and writing fluency, and picks up where our award-winning software, the Read, Write & Type Learning System leaves off."

    You may go ahead and use Wordy Qwerty by itself, however. 
    You can read my review of Read, Write & Type, here.
    OK, so back to Wordy Qwerty. 
    Wordy Qwerty teaches reading through spelling rules.
    • "Wordy Qwerty has 20 lessons, with six activities per lesson, that present the following foundations for fluency: 
    • Some sounds can be represented in several different ways.
    • Most words follow about 20 easy spelling rules.
    • There are many word families, (words that sound the same, or rhyme). By changing the first letter(s), you can make hundreds of words.
    • Some words are "outlaws". They don't follow the rules. They must be recognized quickly and automatically.
    • Writing to dictation develops vocabulary, comprehension and fluency as well as spelling skills.
    • Reading (and filling in missing words) develops vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency skills."

     

    20 LESSONS IN WORDY QWERTY (SPELLING RULES)

    1. Silent E
    2. Sounds of C
    3. Sounds of G
    4. J or DGE
    5. W or WH
    6. C or K
    7. CK or K
    8. CKS or X
    9. CH or TCH
    10. LL, SS, FF, ZZ
    11. OI or OY
    12. VE Words      
                                                                              
    1. Open Syllables
    2. Double Consonants
    3. Doubling rule
    4. ER, IR, OR, UR, EAR
    5. I Before E
    6. Plurals: Add ES
    7. Plurals: Y to IES
    8. Plurals: F to VES

















    Wordy Qwerty is a very fun way for your child to learn to read/spell.



    There are 6 steps to reading and writing fluency with Wordy Qwerty.

    Step 1 is the Patterns.

     1. Patterns
    "Children generate two lists of words by typing the names of pictures and sorting the words by a given characteristic. They are directed to notice the patterns," or spelling rules, by comparing the two lists. If they can't sound out the words or spell them correctly, the Helping Hands will assist them. Qwerty and Midi talk about the differences between the two lists and derive the 20 spelling rules which then are woven into the lyrics of delightful songs."

    Your child will love to play the games.


     Step 2 is Karaoke.
     2. Karaoke
    "Rhymes and songs are memorable and fun. There is a catchy song about each of the 20 spelling rules. Children read the lyrics on the screen and can sing along if they want. Often the lyrics contain examples of the words that reflect the spelling rule. Children are motivated to read the words while the song is playing, or while they are singing it themselves."

     

    Step 3 is Recycler. 

    3. Recycler
    "Lots of words that rhyme can be made just by changing the first letter or letters of the word. Some words sound the same, or rhyme, but use a different combination of letters to represent the same sound. In this game, chidren learn different vowel combinations that can make the long vowel sound. They watch the RECYCLER drum whirl as it changes the first letter(s) of two rhyming words. They learn to quickly distinguish real words from non-words. The non-words are vacuumed away. Players that score less than 90% on the first try are asked to study the list of real words. If any are not familiar, they can click on the word and hear it used in a sentence. Then they are asked to play the game again.
    "


    Step 4 is Pop a Word.
    4. Pop-a-Word
    "Outlaw" words are best memorized by learning to recognize them quickly. In this arcade-type game, children find words in a 4 word phrase as each word appears briefly, along with non-target words, in a cluster of colorful balloons. As children click on the correct balloons, they "pop". The faster they recognize the correct words, the more points they make."
     

     Step 5 is Write Stories.

    5. Write Stories
    "In these cleverly illustrated 8-line rhymes, children hear and see the first line, and have to type out the second line after it is dictated. They can see and hear the dictated line as often as they need, but get more points if they remember the sentence and try to spell the words correctly. These little stories are full of words that require using the spelling rule just presented."




    Step 6 is Read Stories.

    6. Read Stories
    "Here are some short, engaging stories that develop comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. Every so often, there is a word missing, and children have to choose among three possible words, the word that best fits the meaning of the sentence. These stories also include words that utilize the spelling rule, or the "outlaw" words learned in that lesson."


    Even my 13 year old daughter loves Wordy Qwerty. When we got this program, she just took off on her own, and got started with the program. I probably should have had her write this review, as she has used it much more than I have. She just worked through it so fast that I didn't even really have a chance to watch her.
    She is on level 15. She said that while she knew how to spell a lot of words, she didn't know why they were spelled that way.
    Wordy Qwerty has helped her to understand the why of spelling.
    If your child struggles with spelling, I think this is a great program. Even if they are older, you can use it for a brush up on spelling rules, instead of a reading program.

    My son is still working on Read, Write, and Type, but we are looking forward to when he can use Wordy Qwerty as well. 

    If you are interested in Wordy Qwerty, you can purchase a subscription, or a CD. All subscriptions are for 5 years.
    Here is the subscription price chart. 

    Wordy Qwerty - Online Edition - 1 user $25.00
    Wordy Qwerty - Online Edition - 2 users $40.00
    Wordy Qwerty - Online Edition - 3 users $52.50
    Wordy Qwerty - Online Edition - 4 users $60.00
    Wordy Qwerty - Online Edition - 5 users $71.25

    If you would prefer a CD, you can purchase one for $35.00.

    My daughter highly recommends Wordy Qwerty, and so do I.

     
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    *I have received an online subscription to Wordy Qwerty, free, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, in return for my honest opinion.
    No other compensation has been given to me.*


Monday, May 23, 2011

TOS Review/ Pearson enVision Math Grade 1

  • For one of my last reviews of the year, I was given the opportunity to review a first grade math program from Pearson, called enVisionMATH.
I was very excited to get this math program, as my son had just finished his kindergarten math book, and we would soon be needing a first grade math book.

I must say that from the get go,  I was very frustrated with this math program.

I don't usually start off a review like this, but this is probably the most frustrating product I have ever reviewed.
 
Let me tell you a little about this product before I get into why I am frustrated by it. Sometimes the reasons why someone else doesn't like a program may be just the reason someone else does like it, so stick with me, and make your own evaluation.

"Daily Problem-Based Interactive Math Learning followed by Visual Learning strategies deepen conceptual understanding by making meaningful connections for students and delivering strong, sequential visual/verbal connections through the Visual Learning Bridge in every lesson. Ongoing Diagnosis & Intervention and daily Data-Driven Differentiation ensure that enVisionMATH gives every student the opportunity to succeed." (Taken from the Pearson Website. )


Unfortunately there is not a lot of information on their website about their products.

I think this is partly because this program is intended for public schools. If you are a public school teacher, you can get access to samples, and training, that would help you to understand this program better.

I tried to find more information myself, but everything I found was geared towards public school teachers, and how to use your teacher materials, of which we received none.

I did find a site that gave a few samples of the interactive part of this program. The interactive part is synchronized with the student book. Unfortunately, we did not receive the digital part.

Here is a link to what I did find that may help you to understand the program a little better. 

I am having a hard time writing this review because I feel like I only got part of a complete program, and it is hard to tell you about a program when I only have one part of it.



As you can tell from the description, and the link above, this is an interactive program, but the only part that I received was the student workbook.

So I am going to tell you about the student workbook as the basis for my review.

The student workbook is a very beautiful workbook.

The workbook is HUGE!!! It is 14 x 11 inches!

What you do is tear out the large page, fold it in half, and it then becomes a four page booklet.

Because of it's size, it is really inconvenient.  It is almost impossible to take with you anywhere. It is very hard to store, and I am sorry, but it is just a big ol' pain.

So, what I have done is to tear out a couple of chapters worth, and go ahead and fold them into their booklets, so we don't have to tote around that big workbook everyday.

OK, on to the content of the workbook pages.

The first page of every booklet is an Interactive-Learning page.

There is no way, as the parent, to know what you are supposed to do on this page without the interactive part, or at least a Teachers Manual.

But since we did not receive the interactive part, we just have to skip this page.

I thought I could just look at it and figure out something to do there, but on some of the pages I can't tell what it is supposed to be about, and on the ones that I can figure out, it is just too much trouble.

So we just move on the next page.

The two inside pages, are similar to a typical math book.

The first page is guided practice, and the second is independent practice.

The back page is the Problem solving page. Almost like a little review of the booklet.

There are a lot more word problems in this math program than the typical math book.

I can see the benefit in having word problems, as we use a lot of math word problems in daily life.

This program uses a lot of manipulatives, of which we also did not receive, but my son does not like using manipulatives anyways, so he wouldn't have liked that part.

There are a lot of problems that ask the child to draw the manipulatives.

We just skip these, because my son and I feel they are redundant. They already use a lot of manipulates, why make them draw them too?

You know, I find we are skipping a lot in this program.

It is a lot of repetition of what we already learned in kindergarten.

There are 647 pages in this math book!

It would take you 2 years to to finish this book if you were to do one booklet, 4 pages, a day.

If you wanted to finish this book in one year, you would need to do two booklets, or 8 pages a day, or pick and choose certain pages to do.

There is a lot of good math, but also a lot of repetition.

I know this is made for public schools, and they don't finish the whole book, so I guess we could just do every other lesson or something.

I hate to have it just go to waste, but I also don't know if it is too behind where my son is.

It seems a little behind compared to the math programs I have seen.

On the other hand it is very important to have enough review in the early years so that they have a strong foundation.

I know that this review is probably not all that helpful, but I am just being honest, and honestly I am confused on some of this.

If I were to have had the complete program, it may have been better, but there are still too many pages to complete this program in a year, and the size of the book is a big problem.

I think, honestly, that this program is not suited for homeschoolers.

I also know that there may be some of you who may like some of the things that I see as a problem.

If you have a student that you have recently pulled out of school, this may be a great option for you, as your child would be used to this type of program.  You would need the Teachers Manual though.

There are 19 other ladies from the Crew who also reviewed this math book, so I urge you to read their reviews as well to see what they thought of this program. I am just one opinion, and I know my opinion on this program has not been all that favorable. So please read the rest of the reviews to get a more well rounded idea of the program.

If you think this might be a good fit for your child, you can purchase the Student Edition with Digital Access,  is $34.47.

Be sure to check out what my fellow Crew Mates thought of enVision math, and the other Pearson products.

 
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*I have received a student math workbook from Pearson, free, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, in return for my honest opinion.
No other compensation has been given to me.*

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mad Dog Math/ TOS Review


Do you have children who struggle with memorizing their math facts?

Would you like to find a fun, and easy program that would help them with their facts?

Mad Dog Math may be just what you need.

I recently had the opportunity to review this program, and I have to say, I am really impressed with it.

It is very simple to use, but it has a lot more options than you typically find in a math facts program.

Mad Dog Math has 3 different levels to choose from, plus a challenge level.


Levels one and two cover Addition and Subtraction. Level 3 covers Multiplication and Division.

The challenge level is a fun way for your child to practice everything they have learned.

There are two sections under challenge. Mutt Math is the first one. Here, your child will play with mixed up facts. They will practice their facts from Addition all the way through Division.


The second section is called Kennel Trouble. Here, your child will get an extra minute added to their time because this section is a little harder. They will have to add first, then multiply by a given number. In this example the number is 9.


On each level you have the option to choose from the time allowed, and the fact family that you want to practice.


Under the time allowed, you can choose from 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds, or no time limit.

It is suggested that you start with no time limit at first to let your child get a feel for the program, then move down in time from 2 minutes to 30 seconds.

In order for your child's work to be saved, they must be under a time limit. While they are practicing with no time limit, it will not save their progress.


To see your child's progress, you simply click on the yellow dog bone that says progress.


Once your child masters one section in under thirty seconds, it will mark that section off in their progress chart. You can see here that my son has mastered the 0-3 facts. He is only 6, so he can't get too far yet in under thirty seconds. Eventually he will.

As your child moves through the levels, they are only allowed to miss two or less to move on. 

As your child completes a certain number of levels, they will earn a club sticker. I do not know what that looks like though because my son isn't very far yet.

Over all, I really like this math facts program. However, my children feel differently than I do.
They find it boring, and my son says, "It is too hard to find the keys that fast".

So we are torn on this one. I actually really like it, and recommend it, but my kids would not, if they were asked.

One of my favorite aspects of this program is the fact that your child does not have to use the mouse, or click enter after each problem. It automatically moves to the next problem for your child. They can get through the lesson much faster this way.

While this program is geared towards children in grades K-5, I think that an older child who needs help memorizing their facts can definitely use this program as well.

I definitely encourage you to check out what my fellow Crew Mates have to say about Mad Dog Math, and get multiple opinions.

Have fun, and let me know if you have any more questions about this program.

If you are interested in purchasing Mad Dog Math, you have two main options:

1. CD-ROM Home School Mastery Program - $69.99

2. The Software Download Option - $19.99-$39.99


There is also a Homeschool Mastery Binder option. This is a workbook style version of the program I reviewed.

There are also a few accessories, if you would like to add them to your program.


 
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*I have received a download copy of Mad Dog Math, free, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, in return for my honest opinion.
No other compensation has been given to me.*

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Experience on the TOS Homeschool Crew.

TOS Homeschool Crew
Being on the TOS Homeschool Crew has definitely been an experience. An awesome experience!

Serving on the Crew has been just as fun as I thought it would be, but also harder than I thought it would be.

It is definitely a lot of responsibility, but even more of a blessing.

I have been blessed with some really great friendships this year, as well as some really great curriculum.

I want to thank everyone on the Crew for all of their hard work, and for the amazing products I have received.

Some of the greatest blessings I have received curriculum wise are:

1. IEW's Student Writing Intensive
2. Nutrition 101: Choose Life!
3. Kinderbach
4. Artistic Pursuits
5. I See Sam Readers

There are many more, but these are my top 5. If you haven't read my reviews of these products, I urge you to do so. They are truly wonderful products. 

God really had a hand in the products that came our way. There were very few products that didn't work for us, or that I wanted, but didn't get. 

Curriculum wise, the Crew has been a huge blessing for us this year. I hardly had to buy any extra curriculum this year.

I am so grateful for everything I received this year.

I also want to extend a warm welcome to all of the new Crew members for the upcoming year. WELCOME!

I hope you all will enjoy the Crew just as much as I do!

What I really appreciate about TOS

The Old Schoolhouse magazine is celebrating their 10th anniversary, and they are having a Blog Hop to celebrate!

I thought I would join in and let you know what I most appreciate about TOS.

Many years ago, probably about 8 or so, I was told about TOS magazine. I heard about it from my sister-in-laws mother.

It hasn't been until more recently that I have been able to afford a subscription. Well, I probably could have gotten one a lot sooner if I had known about all of their specials.

I really appreciate their magazine. It is such a great help to homeschoolers, and I love the fact that it is biblical too.

That is what makes it the best magazine for me. You know that what is said in the magazine is going to be backed up with biblical principles.

Anyhow, I have known about TOS for a long time, but it wasn't until recently that I really got to know this company.

I had no idea that TOS had such great products. I have fallen in live with their Curiosity Files, the WannaBe series, and the TOS Planners

A few years ago, I had met a few ladies from listening to some of Cindy Rushton's seminars, and my daughter became pen pals with one of these ladies daughters.

They met through doing Felice Gerwitz's Creation Classes. Funny how all this works. lol

Anyhow, this one lady that I had met, and that we keep in touch sometimes, because our daughters had become pen pals, she was on the TOS Crew the year before last, and that is how I heard of the TOS Crew.

Whew, that was windy.

Anyhow, it is funny though because if it weren't for Cindy, then Felice, then my friend, I wouldn't have know about TOS.

God really does put you in the right place at the right time, and has a plan for you, even if you have no clue what it might be.

Because of all of that, I tried out for the Crew last year, and was accepted.  I was thrilled!

I has been great! I have been so blessed by the Crew. Not only in curriculum, but also in friendships.

I think the idea for the Crew was a brilliant idea. I mean, what do we homeschoolers ask most often?

"What curriculum do you use?", Right?

Well, now there is one place that everyone can go to, and get opinions on hundreds of different homeschool products.

I think it is a very helpful resource to the homeschool community. I have been very blessed to be a part of it, and I have been doubly blessed by being allowed to come back next year.

I thank TOS, and everyone involved for the time and effort it takes to put something like this together. It is a lot of hard work, but when God puts something in motion, HE will work it out.

Thanks TOS! 

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Hate Grade Levels

Why must we have grade levels?

I wish we could just do away with them.

We start our school year in January, therefore we don't switch grades when most people do.

This drives my oldest child crazy.

My 6 year old doesn't know too much about it, but does know what grade of math work he is doing. (sigh)

Is there any way to get around this? I don't want my son to grow up concerned about grade level like my daughter did.

I just don't think they are fair. Every child is different, and learns at different paces. And how do you determine what grade they are in when they are doing multiple grade levels of work at once?

I believe that your whole life you are learning, and that homeschooling is a lifestyle. (We do use curriculum though. We are not unschoolers. lol)

I have been trying really hard to only use curriculum that is not grade specific. 

Just like we don't do grades for our work, I wish we could not do grade levels too.

How do you all handle this?

Part of me wants to start my son off telling him that we don't do grade levels, but then, what if someone asks him what grade he is in, and it makes him upset because he doesn't know?

I think part of what upsets me the most is that I wish I had waited one more year to technically put my daughter in Kindergarten.

Because she really is better suited to be a grade behind where she would be in public school. But I can't tell her she has to stay in that grade for one more year. It would make her really upset.

My solution to that has been to start our year in January, so technically she will be in this grade for longer, and won't officially start the next grade until several months behind the public schools, but then that makes her upset too. She wants to switch grades when everyone else does.

But I think she really doesn't need to be going into 9th grade this year, but she is excited about going into high school.

What to do? (sigh)

Honestly, should I even worry about it? In the next few years, she may mature to where she seems to match her grade level. She just seems much too young to be going into high school.

Have any of you dealt with this?

Luckily my son's birthday falls to where he started Kindergarten later, but with all of my future kids, I will not officially start Kindergarten until later anyways.

I am a little stressed out about this situation. I honestly hate grade level, and don't want it, but how do you get around it?

Any advice? Any solutions?

Friday, May 13, 2011

TOS Dollar Store

Say Goodbye to these Good Buys at the Homeschool Dollar Store!
Say goodbye to these 5 great bargains! 
On the 15th of the month, these items get changed out
so hurry and get your deals.

Start Shopping Now! 
Have you purchased your $1 curriculum bargains yet? Don't hit the snooze button on great savings.  

This is your last chance to grab this month's eye-popping selection of educational products at super affordable prices.   

 Adios, Ciao. Au revoir. So long. 

Check back on the 15th of each month for

all the new $1 deals including these . . .

Sneak peek at what's coming in on the 15th.  
Don't let these prices squeak by!
HomeschoolDollarStore.com

IEW’s Student Writing Intensive/ TOS Review

SID_B.gif

Let me start this review off by saying…I absolutely love IEW. I am now absolutely 100% sure that I will be continuing to use their products. I have even bought a few more already! lol

This review is going to be hard, because I don’t know if I can keep myself from gushing all over this company, and their products. lol

This has been my absolute favorite product that I have reviewed this entire year. I really want you to know how much I have loved this product up front so that you will continue to read about this program. I don’t want what has happened to me in the past to happen to you.

See, I have heard about the Institute for Excellence in Writing before. I have even looked at their catalogs, but every time I have, I didn’t see anything all that thrilling, and thought the prices were too steep.

I had to actually use their products to see what they are all about. Now that I have actually used some of their products, I wish I had known how amazing their products really were before now. I wouldn’t have wasted all these years using other, sub par programs.

OK, now that I have you intrigued, and wondering what could be so awesome about a writing product, let me give you the details.

There are 3 main components to this program.

The students have their own notebook to keep all of their writing in.

This is a really nice quality binder that comes with pre-labeled dividers.


The parent has a packet of handouts that you can put in your own binder, or envelope, to keep track of them. These lay out for you exactly what to do each day. They are simple to understand, and you don’t have to worry if you are doing something wrong.

You can’t mess up with this program.

In the parents package are also the handouts that you will need to give your child each day.

The Student Writing Intensive Level B, which is the one I received, comes with 4 DVD’s.

The DVD’s are the heart of the program.

You simply place the DVD into your DVD player, and watch away.

Andrew Pudewa is so funny, and really keeps the kids interest. That is hard to do in a writing program.
He is a fabulous teacher. He teaches writing in such a way that you will actually remember what you have learned.

Andrew will take your child through 9 units. 

1-2. Notes and Outlines
3. Story Sequence Model
4. Summarizing References
5. Writing From Pictures
6. Library Research
7. Creative Writing
8. Essay Model
9. Critique Writing


I also received a DVD called the Structure and Style Overview DVD.

This walks you, the parent, through all nine units, and how to teach them. I highly recommend this.

There is a complete teachers program that goes into more detail of how to teach the 9 units, if you are interested in that. It is called Teaching Writing: Structure and Style.

I also received what is called the Portable Wall.

 
I love this. It is like a folder that opens into 3 sections, forming a "wall". 
It is super handy as it contains lot's of good information to have at a glance. 

It lists, and describes, the 9 units, has a huge list of "-ly" Adverbs, a very large list of Synonyms for "said",
"-ly" Imposters, and much more.

I can’t recommend this program enough. It is awesome!

Be sure to check out their website for even more details about their programs. 

 Here is an introduction to the Student Writing Intensive.
Here is an excerpt from the Student Writing Intensive Level B

We have tried so many different writing programs, and none of them have stuck. I am throwing them all out the window, and am only keeping this writing program.

My 13 year old daughter really likes the fact that Andrew is funny, and the he makes writing interesting.

Even my 6 year old son sits in and watches the videos sometimes.

It is really funny to see him trying to figure out “ly” words, or verbs. lol

I will use IEW’s writing programs with all of my children through all of their grades.

I hope you will try this program for yourself. I honestly don’t think you will be at all disappointed.

Remember that I too had looked at this program, and didn’t’ see the value in it. Don’t let that happen to you.

The Institute for Excellence in Writing guarantees your satisfaction. If you are not satisfied with any of their products, they will give you a full refund within 30 days.

So, go ahead and try them out, and then let me know what you think.


If you are interested in purchasing any of the Student Writing Intensive’s, they are all $99 apiece.

There are also Student Intensive Continuation Courses. These are what you would move into after completing a Student Writing Intensive.

For example, after we finish the Student Writing Intensive Level B, we would not go onto the Student Writing Intensive level C. We would go into the Student Intensive Continuation Course Level B.

 It would be the same for levels A and C as well.

Here is an introduction to the Student Intensive Continuation Courses.

Here is an excerpt from the Student Intensive Continuation Course Level B. (What we will be doing next.)

I would also like to mention a couple of other products that IEW carries.

I just purchased the Primary Arts of Language Reading program.


I just received this last week, so we are not that far into it, but so far we love it!

It is a combined phonics, and sight word program. It uses a lot of file folder games for the reinforcement that our children need. I just love it.

I won’t spend a lot of time on this product since this is not my review item, but I wanted to let you know about it. 
 


There is also an accompanying Writing Program that goes along with the Reading Program, but you can do them independently as well. I did not purchase this part, but I wanted to let you know it is here.


Another program that I am getting, but has not arrived yet, is their Phonetic Zoo.

I am extremely excited about this program as well. It is for older students, so I think it will be a great help to my daughter.

Well, I really hope you have enjoyed my review of IEW’s Student Writing Intensive, and a brief peek of a couple of their other products that I have purchased since trying out their SWI.

I hope you enjoy these products as much as I do, and that you will also share your enthusiasm with others as well.

P.S. Be sure to let me know if you decide to try any of these products!!!

Be sure to check out what my fellow Crew Mates thought of their IEW product also. Some of us had different ones!
 
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*I have received a copy of the Student writing Intensive Level B, free, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, in return for my honest opinion.
No other compensation has been given to me.*

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TOS Review/ Go Trybe




GoTrybe is an online Fitness, Wellness, Nutrition and Motivation program for kids of all ages.

There are 3 different groups available.


My son is in Zoodoos, and my daughter is in Trybe180.

Each day your child logs in, and they do four things.

1. Watch a nutrition video, and answer a question about the video.
2. Watch a motivation video.
3. Watch a wellness video, and answer a question about the video.
4. Customize, and do their workout.




The videos are very short, just a minute or two.

After completing these four things, they can then buy items, such as clothes and accessories for their avatar.

There is also a forum for the kids if they have any questions they would like answered.

On their page is where they can see their avatar, and can post information about themselves, such as their favorite color, favorite song, favorite movie, etc.

They can also have "friends". They can see the avatar and pages of their friends.

It is very reminiscent of Facebook to me. They can even post a "shout" like you can on Facebook.

We did not do this part, as I don't want my kids having a FB page, or anything even similar. 

There are some good things, and some not so good things about this program.

I like the fact that kids are learning healthy tips, and that they can customize their workouts.

My favorite part of this program was the fitness and nutrition tidbits that they learned in the videos.

Although, something I noticed was that the videos and questions did not seem to be age related. Both of my kids seemed to have gotten the same type of questions.

There are some things, however, that I do not care for. .

I really don't like the looks of the older avatars.



In my opinion, the girl especially, is a little to sexy for a kids program. I don't like the body stance at all.
Again, this is only my opinion.

I had my older daughter choose the younger avatar. They seem more appropriate to me.



The younger avatars are the shorter ones. I just don't like the impression the older ones give off.

This is my daughters avatar:


And this is my son's:

I am going to up front and honest in this review. 

I did not use this program as thoroughly as I probably should have, but I will tell you why. 

First off it takes way too much time, in my opinion. Your child gets on the computer to choose his workouts, and that takes forever. At least it does with my kids. It takes them longer to choose from all of the workouts, than it does to do the actual workout. 

They never could seem to make up their minds. It was very frustrating for me. 

Secondly, after doing some of the older workouts with my daughter, and finding some of the dance moves inappropriate, I discontinued her use of the program. I don't know exactly how to explain the dance moves except that they remind me of Salsa type dances. (Sexy hip movement type stuff.)

I did not care for some of the attire that some of the instructors were wearing. There were some very short skirts, and tight tops, and couple that with some of the dance moves they were doing, and it made us very uncomfortable. 

Also, in some of the educational videos, there were several ladies wearing tops that showed quite a bit of cleavage. 

I know that modesty is subjective, and that everyone has their own opinion on what is modest, and what is not, so keep that in mind, and remember that this review is my opinion only. 

But it is enough for me to not want to continue this program. 

My daughter and son both said that the only thing they liked about the program was creating their avatars, and buying accessories for their avatars. 

My daughter also said that the dance moves were too hard to follow.

For us it just didn't fit, but I urge you to check it out for yourself to see if it is something that your family would like. 

I like the idea behind it. I would be cool to have a program that you could customize your own workout everyday. 

It is just not something that works for us right now. 

You can get a one day free trial of Gotrybe when you enter "GETFIT" as your promo code. 

If you decide to continue using gotrybe.com after the free trial period, the cost of a one year membership is $19.95 (regularly $39.95).



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*I have received a trial membership to Gotrybe, free, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, in return for my honest opinion.
No other compensation has been given to me.*

Quotes

"The democracy will cease to exist
when you take away from those who are willing to work
and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson
Martin Luther: b. 1483-1546: "I am very much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."

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