{Review} Enlivenze LLC ~ FlipStir Solar System Puzzle

FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
Do you have a puzzle fan in the house?  Are you tired of pulling out puzzles only to find you are missing some pieces?  Are you looking for a puzzle that you can take with you while traveling?  Then I have a puzzle for you to try!  My family had the pleasure of getting to try one of the FlipStir Puzzles by Enlivenze LLC.  We received the Solar System FlipStir Puzzle to review.

FlipStir Puzzles ReviewsThe Solar System puzzle, for ages 7 & older, has ten 3D pieces that are sealed in a durable container.  No need to worry about trying to find that lost puzzle piece!  They will not come out!  The instructions are very simple!  Shake. Stir. Solve.  That is right!  Shake!  Stir!  Solve!  There is a metal wand with a plastic foot to help you maneuver the pieces around inside of the container or to hold the completed pieces together.  A sticker of the completed puzzle is located on the bottom of the container if you need to take a peek at what goes next.  Shake and stir again to enjoy the puzzle another time.

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When our FlipStir Puzzle arrived, my hubby took it and had the puzzle completed in just a couple of minutes.  It took me about 15 minutes to complete and it kept the girls occupied for much longer.  I love that we can take it along with us and not have to worry about losing any pieces.  No more lost puzzle pieces with a FlipStir Puzzle!  This is an awesome product!

For more information you can find the FlipStir Puzzle on Facebook and Twitter and you can find Enlivenze LLC on Facebook and Twitter.

There are a total of four FlipStir Puzzles being reviewed by crew members.  Please click on the banner below to read reviews for the Rainbow PencilsTyrannosaurus RexSolar System, and Statue of Liberty FlipStir Puzzles!

FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

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{Review} Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

Are you looking for a fun and engaging Spanish program?  My family had the pleasure of reviewing the Starter Set 1 by Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.

 

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids ReviewMy family received:

  • DVD with videos for Levels 1-3
  • Three Parent-Teacher Guides
  • Flashcards and Card Games for Levels 1 to 3
  • Workbooks for Levels 1-3
  • Stickers for Levels 1-3
  • Go Squish Card Game

Flight 101: Basketballs Aren’t for Breakfast starts off in the morning with three boys and their mom getting ready for breakfast.  Then you follow the family throughout their day.  You watch segments of the video during every lesson and will watch the segments multiple times for the repetition.  The kids and I accidently watched the entire video for Level 1 the first time we played it.  We were enjoying it so much that I completely forgot about having to stop the video at the time marker for lesson 1.  (There is no marker on the DVD to let you know to stop the video).  At the conclusion of the video it left the girls and I wanting to watch more.

The Guide for Teachers and Parents has everything laid out for you!  It makes it easy for those who have had no prior knowledge of the Spanish language.  There are vocabulary word banks in the guide that include the English translation  of the words.  During every lesson you will watch either a portion of or the entire segment of the video and then there a few activities, including games, to do.  You will repeat the lessons multiple times and it is very flexible in fitting the needs of your family.  You can complete this program at the pace that works best for your family!

The flash cards are colored coded by level.  Blue for level 1, green for level 2, and red for level 3.  There is a set of picture cards, word cards, and word bank cards.  The word cards are all in Spanish and they match the picture cards.  Every picture card is numbered so you can quickly glance at the word bank cards for the answer.  The cards are used in the Go Squish Card Game and other activities that are found in the teacher’s guide.  They are open ended so you can design your own game or activity as well.

All of the very bright and colorful pages of the student workbooks are printed on quality paper.  The workbooks are designed for upper elementary students.  In the workbooks there are various activities to be completed by the students.  If you have younger students you can complete the workbook together.  The activities include a word search, a cross word, decoding words, and answering questions.  If needed, the answers are provided in the back of the book.

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Sheets of stickers with vocabulary words are provided to be placed around the house to aid in helping the students remember the vocabulary that they have learned.  I didn’t want to encourage my kids to stick stickers on things around the house so Sweet Pea and I brainstormed on how we could use them.  Sweet Pea decided to place the stickers on colored card stock and cut around the edges.  As you can see in the photo below she added a design to the edges while she was cutting them out.

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The Go Squish card game is similar to ‘Go Fish’.  The game is designed for 2-4 four players but with additional cards (either using the cards from the other levels or buying an additional set of cards) you can play with more children.  It is suggested to have a second set of cards if you have non readers playing so you will have two sets of the picture cards.  The object of the game is to get enough miles for Squisher to go visit his friend through matching the pairs together.

I think this beginner Spanish set is a great way to introduce Spanish to children!  It is designed to teach to the various learning styles and it keeps the kids engaged.  The girls want to continue using Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids along with the program that they have been using.
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Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
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{Review} Talking Fingers Inc.: Talking Shapes

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}Peanut and I were blessed with the opportunity of reviewing Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy by Talking Fingers Inc.   We received a one year subscription.

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
{The link in this review is for the app but Peanut and I reviewed the online program and we used our computer to access the program.}

Talking Shapes takes seven stories and introduces all forty phonemes in the English language as well as introduces the alphabet to young children.  Every story builds upon what the child has learned in the previous books.

To access Talking Shapes, you log in through an internet browser.  It may take a few minutes to load so please be patient!

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Once loaded you will see a scene with seven books in it.  The completed books will be filled in and the uncompleted books will be grayed out.  The books must be completed in order.  There are four sections in each of the books; Story, Letters, Spell, and Read.

Patrissa & Natalia, who their friends call Pat and Nat, and living in the ancient world and love to tell stories about the letters and alphabet that they have invented.  While students listen to the entire story they learn the alphabet, their sounds, and how to blend CVC words.

 

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}

Students are given fun ways to remember how to write the letters.  The students trace the letter a few times and then move on to blending them together with other letters they have already learned in the prior books.  When blending they trace the letters, connect them together and when the letters are connected they hear the blended sound.  Peanut did have a bit of trouble connecting the tiles together using a trackpad mouse and will ask for my help with dragging and dropping.  If your child is able to drag and drop with a trackpad mouse then they should not have any problems with this task.

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The students work on spelling CVC words such as hat, cat, pan, man.  Each book has three games for students to do.  In Game 1 the students work on spelling the words by draw the letters inside the picture.  In Game 2 the students work on the same set of words but they now draw the letters inside the guidelines.  Then in Game 3 they work on the same set of words but this time they draw the letters inside the picture without any guides.

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
Before the student finishes the book they listen to the story one more time.  The word that is currently spoken is lit up so the student sees it on the screen as well.  After the paragraph is read the CVC words scroll across the screen on balloons and the students work on filling in the blanks of the paragraph, one sentence at a time.  If the student needs assistance they can click on the lips and the sentence will be read back to them.  When they select the correct answer the balloon pops and the word appears on the blank.

 

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
Peanut loves talking shapes and asks daily to play it!  I think it is a nice program overall.  Talking Shapes has kept Peanut engaged and she asks to use it regularly.  It has a lot of opportunities to practice tracing the letters and blending as well as learning the sounds.

Social Media Links:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TalkingFingers/
YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/user/talkingfingersvideo
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ReadWriteType/with_replies

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{Review} CTCMath

CTCMath Review

 

We received a one-year CTCMath Homeschool Membership by CTCMath to review.  With the membership we have received unlimited access to all lessons for every grade and can access it from anywhere that there is an internet connection.  CTCMath is great for large families!  The CTCMath Homeschool Membership allows up to 10 students!

CTCMath Review

Parent Area of CTCMath:

In the parent’s area, I can manage and create tasks, manage my kid’s information, and view weekly reports.  In the parent’s area I loved having the ability to schedule tasks in advance! Creating tasks is simple.  I choose the date and time that I want the assignments completed, a title (up to 100 words) and description (up to 200 words) are entered, add the lessons, add diagnostic tests, and assign students to the task.  The other options that are available are that I can have the task report automatically emailed to me when the task falls due, I can require that the lessons and diagnostic test be completed in a specific order, and I can hide the year level of the lessons and diagnostic tests from my children.  Lessons & diagnostic tests are not available to my children until the date and time that are entered.  If needed the dates and times can be changed on every task.  The weekly reports are emailed to me every week.  In the weekly reports, I receive a pdf attachment that contains the weekly activity log and the overall performance of my kids (how many assignments that have been completed on time, late, and incomplete, the average grade, and how many lessons that have been completed.  The weekly reports are also available on the CTCMath website for up to three months.

Lessons are a great length for my young children!  The lessons are video lessons for my girls the videos have been less than 5 minutes in duration and then my children answer a series of questions.  They receive immediate feedback if they answered the questions correct or not.  At the end of every lesson I have an option of printing a copy (More about that later.) of the questions that my girls have completed.  The lessons take about 15 minutes total to be completed.

Student Area of CTCMath:

Every child has their own log-in information to access the student area.  The student menu contains lessons, tasks, results, settings, and history.  The girls have access to every lesson from Kindergarten to Trigonometry.  While it is a great option to have for student led learning, it would be nice to be able to have an option to disable access to other areas if needed.  All of the asks that have been assigned to the student are accessed from the tasks menu.  The girls are able to view their results for the tasks, diagnostic tests, as well as view detailed reports.  In settings, they are given the option to change the display colors, including making their own choice of colors to pair together.

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Printing from CTCMath:

After every lesson has been completed, CTCMath offers the opportunity to print the completed lesson directly through a print button on their website.  I like having the ability to print a copy of the work that my children have completed.  Sweet Pea has been completing most of her lessons on an iPad.  There are a couple of different ways to print the lesson from the iPad and I printed both ways to compare the way that they print.  The two options I used was printing through the print button on the CTCMath website and printing through the share to printer feature on the iPad.  I did notice a couple of differences.

The pages printed from the website print button:

I like that the pages included the student’s name, the date the lesson was completed, the grade level, the lesson name (Subtraction up to 20) & location (2nd Grade –> Number, Patterns and Algebra –> Subtraction), the score, the number correct, and duration.

On the printed page, I am shown the problems that my girls have completed as shown to them.  Some of the questions are just the questions themselves (IE: 12-4, 10+1, 37-23, etc.) and others had the questions along with the manipulatives they used (ice cream cones, smiley faces, blocks, etc.), the problem, a blank answer box, and a check mark to mark that the problem was answered correctly.  However, it did not have the answer in the answer box.  The formatting of the page is slightly off.  The questions themselves are smushed together and the words are overlapping.

From the iPad share to printer option:

When we printed the completed lesson using the print button on the CTCMath website there is a little more formatting at the header and footer of the page (see the picture).  In between the two it is set up similar to printing through the CTCMath website print option.  However printing through this option, the answers the girls responded with ARE included on the page.  Like printing directly from the CTC print button feature, the formatting is off when printing through the iPad share to printer option.  This time some of the questions, overlapped onto the question to the right of it, or part of the question was cut off completely.

I did find out that there is no way to go back and print a copy of a previously completed lesson so the lessons & tests must be printed at the time of completion.  An option to be able to print the completed pages at a later date or email a pdf copy of the completed lesson to the email on the account would be a wonderful addition!

Below is a picture of Sweet Pea using her Nabi Big Tab to access CTCMath.

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Overall, we enjoyed using the elementary school levels of CTCMath!   When I asked Sweet Pea what she liked the most she told me that she loves everything about CTCMath!  I think it is a great program whether you are looking for a complete program or something to supplement in the elementary school years.

 

Social Media Links:
CTCMath (US and Canda)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ctcmath?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ctcmathofficial
Periscope: https://www.periscope.tv/ctcmathofficial
Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/ctcmath/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWn5e6974bpIEAe46VnovZw

Maths Online (Australia Only)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mathsonline.com.au
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MathsOnlineAU

 

Please click the link below for more CTCMath

CTCMath Review
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{Review Update} MySchoolYear.com

MySchoolYear.com has made some updates!  Please check out the link below for my review as well as what they have added since the review was published!  Have a blessed rest of the weekend!

https://lifeofahomeschoolmomma.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/review-myschoolyear-com

{Review} ABeCeDarian

ABeCeDarian Interactive Reviews

Recently my family had the opportunity to review ABeCeDarian Interactive A Workbook by ABeCeDarian Company.

 

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Quoted from the ABeCeDarian website:

The ABeCeDarian Reading Program helps students quickly become fluent and accomplished readers with a set of engaging, easy-to-use, and affordable materials.

When children use ABeCeDarian, they learn to read quickly because:

  • it focuses only on essential skills and knowledge
  • it provides the right kind and right amount of practice
  • it provides precise and productive error correction

ABeCeDarian Interactive Reviews

ABeCeDarian Interactive Reviews

 

The teacher’s manual is packed full with information and the lessons themselves.  Please do set aside time to read the manual before beginning your first lesson.  There are a lot of important information in the first 50+ pages of the manual.  You can find the PDF Teacher’s Manual here for free.  There are a total of 48 lessons available for Level A and ABeCeDarian offers a placement assessment to determine which program is the best fit for your child.

The lessons are open and go and are designed to be done one on one.  I know having the lesson scripted out is a bonus for some homeschool moms.  The scripts for the parents are in bold and is easy to find what needs to be said next.  There are instructions and what the student’s responses *should be* are in between.  We all know that we get unexpected answers from our children when asked questions.  So far the lessons haven’t taken us longer than around 15 minutes to complete.  The interactive student workbook is used during the lesson.  It does take the workbook a few minutes to load, so please be patient while it is loading.  Since the workbook is interactive through a web browser it can be used on any device such as a laptop with a trackpad or a touchscreen monitor, Kindle, iPad, or other tablet.  It works on any device that has a browser!

ABeCeDarian keeps the interactive workbook very simple.  There is no sound, fancy pictures, and minimal color.  This helps keep distractions down to a bare minimum.  It is great if you have a child that is easily distracted by all of the fancy artwork, multicolor display, and sounds that is found in most children’s programs.  I found it to be a nice change in scenery and helped us stay focused on the assignment that we were working on.

Some of the activities that are a part of the interactive workbook include tap and say, reading words, spelling practice, spelling and reading chains, word puzzles  and spelling tests.   Sweet Pea enjoyed the activities like the puzzles and tap and say.  She did find writing a bit challenging using the touch pad on the computer.  However, using the touch pad gave her practice using it!

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We came across one minor technical issue that I could not get it to duplicate again afterwards.  In one of the lessons when Sweet Pea was working on spelling words, the mouse wouldn’t get go of the letter A so she could select another letter.  I tried to see if I could get it to release and eventually it released but then immediately another letter was attached to the mouse pointer and wouldn’t let go.  None of the other screens that were opened had mouse problems.  I had to close the browser and reopen it to get this to stop and all was fine again.

We had an unexpected change in plans when we first received ABeCeDarian.  Originally, the plan was to have Lil’ Bit and Peanut review this program.  Right around the time we received access to the program they both decided they didn’t want to do any more online school work.  It was in their best interest to allow them to take their requested break from computer work.  Sweet Pea wanted to do the review.  She is still a fairly new reader herself and it was the perfect time to take a break from what she has been working on to do this review.  She was able to review and reinforce what she has been working on all year.  I am glad that I had her review ABeCeDarian.  This is helping her build her confidence in both reading and spelling.  I would like to try ABeCeDarian with Peanut and Lil’ Bit when they are both ready to resume work on the computer.  While Little Man  is not ready for anything formal at this time, maybe in another 6-9 months when he is closer to 5 years old he will be.  I think this will be great for him since it is set up so simple and non-distracting.

The Interactive A workbook is very affordable at $14.95 for a one year subscription and each subsequent year is offered for $4.95.  As mentioned above the Teacher’s Manual is available for free in PDF format or you can purchase a print copy directly from ABeCeDarian for $9.95.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ABeCeDarian-Company/190992639173?ref=ts

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ABeCeDarian Interactive Reviews

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{Review} ArtAchieve

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

I have been looking for art classes to do with my girls and being able to review Entire Level I from ArtAchieve was a blessing for our family.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
Level one consists of online lessons and some printouts.  All of the lessons are available on an interface that is very easily navigated.  Each lesson has a drop down menu with everything that is included for the lesson this includes any warm up pages, lesson printouts, and a choice of doing the lesson by video or power point presentation for every lesson but Lesson 1.  In Lesson 1, the lesson is only available in a power point presentation.  Every lesson references the standards from The National Standards for Arts Education: National Standards for Visual Art that are met.  This is nice for the families that want to have this information.

Here is a list of the lessons in Level 1:

  • Simple Lines (Free)
  • Shading Objects That Have Corners (Free)
  • Shading Rounded Objects (Free)
  • The Czech Cat (Free)
  • The Hungarian Insects
  • The Haitian Gecko
  • The Dragonfly from Ecuador
  • The Chinese Dragon
  • The Owl from Bali
  • The Kitenge Tree Wall Hanging from Tanzania
  • The Plate from Nepal
  • Four Suns with Four Faces
  • The Sheep from Whales

Our family chose to do the video lessons.  The videos last approximately 30 minutes.  Students are encouraged to listen to quiet music while drawing.  We listened to the local Christian radio station quietly.  I really like that the kids are encouraged to draw for themselves and for nobody else.  There is no right or wrong way to draw!  If you draw a line or two that you don’t like then draw some more before deciding if it is not turning out the way that you want it to.

Every lesson starts off with a lesson warm-up.  The picture below is a sample of three of the six warm-ups from a warm-up page.  Students practice drawing different portions of the picture that they will be working on in the lesson.  In the video they are led through the first few lines and then the video is paused for the students to finish the warm up page.  My girls did get a bit frustrated that their boxes didn’t look exactly like the sample but I encouraged them to do their best and that is what is important.  Remember there is no right or wrong way to draw!

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After the warm up students are encouraged to do some short relaxing exercises in preparation for drawing.  Then the students are led step by step through the drawing.  The video can be paused when needed for the students to finish the portion that they are working on. Then after the drawing is completed the students will color in the picture how they want to, including using the space around the picture.  Then the students are asked to reflect on what they worked on.  It is all kept in a positive light.  For example, how did the artist design the background and how did they the background or how did they make something different than how the bug is found in nature.

The following two pictures are screen shots from two lessons.

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Samples of the girl’s completed drawings from one of the lessons.

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The supply list for Level 1 is not long.  You need colored markers, black fine tipped Sharpie, paint pens, glitter paint, water colors, oil pastels, crayons, and acrylic paint to complete the lessons.  If you have multiple students taking the course, some things you can share while others, you will want them to have their own.

ArtAchieve offers a few lesson from Level 1 at no charge.  This will give your family the opportunity to try the lessons out.  The remaining lessons are affordable and available individually for $4 a piece or can purchased in a bundle for $36.00 (25% savings).

The girls and I have enjoyed the lessons so far and look forward to finishing the lessons in Level 1!  These completed pages are a great addition to their scrapbooks.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Artachieve
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/artchieve  @artachieve
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/artachieve/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+artachieve
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnahofland/

 

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