Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Albert Whitman & Company- A 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.

One of my all time favorite books growing up was The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. My imagination ran wild as I dreamed of what it would be like to live in an actual boxcar, wash my dishes in the stream, and pick wild blueberries! As a family we have shared this book together a few times, always begging for one more chapter. Now that my kiddos are becoming independent readers, they want the ability to read this and other favorites on their own. I always let them try if they liked, but knew that it was above their current reading levels. Recently, we were given the chance to review The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set by Albert Whitman & Company. My sweet daughter was thrilled that now she could read these books all by herself! 

We received 4 book in this set: The Boxcar Children, Surprise Island, The Yellow House Mystery, and Mystery Ranch. These Early Readers follow the same order as the original books and the story lines are the same, which made Emy that much happier to know that she was reading the 'real story' on her level! My sweet girl poured over these book over and over again! 

Of course, the boys wanted to see what all the excitement was about too! We all loved looking at the fun pictures and comparing them to what we had imagined that the children and the boxcar looked like when we read the original book. It was fun to hear how our imaginations differed from that of the illustrator. 

To say that these books were a hit would be an understatement! I am sure these will see a lot of love and reading time over the next few years as the kiddos gain more confidence in their reading ability, and what better way for them to gain that confidence than with classics like these!

You can connect with Albert Whitman & Company online:

Other members of the Crew received copies of these books as well! You can read all about how their children enjoyed them by clicking the link below:

The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set {Albert Whitman & Company Reviews}

Friday, March 6, 2020

PRIDE Reading Program- A 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 have been around the blog for any length of time, you know that my kiddos are gifted with dyslexia. While we view that as a blessing, because their minds work in unique ways, it can make reading or learning to read extra difficult. We have used several different methods hoping to find something that would help each specific child. Daemen is the one who still seems to be struggling. Imagine my surprise when I found out that we were going to get a chance to review PRIDE Reading Program! Because of his struggles we were encouraged to start with PRIDE Yellow Book Program Kit- Level 1
PRIDE Reading Program can work for any child. It's multi-sensory approach through Ortho-Gillingham method which makes it especially helpful for children with learning struggles like dyslexia. 

The Kit that we received included:

The Student Workbook- This is a spiral bound workbook that contains pages needed for the many activities in the program from reading and dictation, games in the back, even the back cover is utilized during the week.

Sound Cards- These are the phonetic flash cards with both single and blended sounds represented on them.
Letter Tiles- (and a handy bag to keep them in) This are thick cardboard squares that represent the same phonetic sounds as the sound card and are utilized in several different activities. They come in a sheet and you have to punch them out. **I want to insert a piece of advise here. I allowed Daemen to just punch them all out while I looked through the rest of the materials. I wish I would have waited and only punched out the ones that I needed immediately. Even though there is a bag to keep them all in, I ended up putting the currently used tiles in a ziplock inside that bag. When I need new tiles I have to dig through the bag. Just would have made things easier on myself.**

Also included are a personal size white board with red and black markers and an eraser, a reading tracker, ink pen, a game dice, and a carrying bag for all of it to store in nicely. 

Also my favorite part is the online teacher's guide with script that walked me through each lesson step-by-step.

I wish I could have had access to this program with all 3 of my kiddos as they were learning to read! It is such a well rounded way of teaching. Daemen has had a major jump in memory of sounds that were a struggle for him before. The repetition and multi-sensory learning had him enjoying reading lessons!

We worked through 3 units a week together which allowed us to accomplish one lesson per week. The one thing that I did find was that there were times that I had to split up the units for Daemen. There were times that he was tired and easily distracted by the time we got to the dictation pages. When I split them up, he was better able to focus and his handwriting was much neater. 

Daemen's favorite part: He loves the time that we get to spend one-on-one together each day! It has actually become pretty special to us both. His favorite activities ware the games that we play in the back of the student workbook. They help make the learning fun! He also enjoys building the words with letter tiles (which he also turns into a game).

My favorite part: I love so many things about this program! Of course, I love getting special time with Daemen each day. I also love the way that I can keep it all together neatly. I really appreciated the scripted teacher's guide that made my part so much easier! I am thrilled at the progress that my sweet boy is finally making in reading. It has always been so difficult for him and he wanted to learn so badly. To finally have a program that is working for him and helping him gain confidence is priceless! 

You can connect with PRIDE Reading Program online:


Other members of the crew received different levels of this program as well. You can read all about their experiences and and the other levels by clicking the link below:

PRIDE Reading Program Level Kit. {PRIDE Reading Program Reviews}

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Let's Go Geography- A 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.

I am always looking for fun new ways to learn with my kiddos. When we found out we were getting the chance to review Let's Go Geography, I knew that we were going to love it! Let's Go Geography Year 2 is a fun, interactive way to learn geography. This 32 week program had my creative kiddos excited "explore" different countries around the world!
Let's Go Geography is an online homeschool geography curriculum for K-4. (However, my almost 6th grader enjoyed it almost as much, if not more, than my younger 2). The lessons are in PDF format that you download and use from your computer. These lessons are neatly organized to take all the 'work' out of learning with your kids.

Each lesson takes about an hour to complete. We chose to split the lessons into 2 days to be able to focus better and allow for ample time to be creative. The lessons are split into 6 chapters that include:

Chapter 1: Map It! 
This is where we identified which continent we were visiting and then which country. We colored our maps and learned which countries touched the one we were studying, it's capital, and if there are any oceans or important waterways connected to it. 

Chapter 2: The Flag
In this chapter we learn the flag of our current country, color our flag, and then attach it to the "Flags of..." page that coincides with the continent that we are currently studying.

Chapter 3: The Music
This is where you will find links to the national anthem of the country being studied and other songs that are part of that culture.

Chapter 4:Let's Explore
This turned into one of our favorites and was one of the reasons we chose to split our lessons into 2 days. My kiddos loved getting to virtually explore, though linked videos and pictures, the country we were studying. It is filled with interesting and fun facts.
There are also links to read more online, Dewey decimal number to find books on your country at the library, atlas reading from DK's Geography of the World Atlas, and a journal prompt. This chapter is also how I made this curriculum adaptable for my older student!

Chapter 5:Create
This would be the other reason we had to split into 2 days! My creative children LOVED this part. It included coloring pages (sometimes with videos) and a craft with step-by-step instructions.

Chapter 6: Printables
This is where you will find flags, coloring pages, notebooking pages, and any printables needed to complete the craft for your lesson.

My favorite part:
I actually have 2 favorites on this review! First, all the leg work is done for me! This was a huge time saver for an already busy mom trying to juggle homeschooling 3 kiddos! Second, Organization! Seriously, the entire first lesson is making a notebook to keep all the maps, flags, color sheets, and crafts and organizing it. There are dividers for each continent that are color coded. The best part, each child made their own! My husband and I loved seeing the kids' personalities come out in their notebook covers and dividers!

Let's Go Geography has a 3-year schedule. Each year starts in North America and then moves through countries in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and finally, Antarctica exploring new countries each year. The kiddos loved that they were going to study every continent every year. I think it helped to keep their attention and make learning more fun. Year 1 and 2 are both currently available with Year 3 in production! You can choose between either 2-year access or lifetime access. 

You can connect with Let's Go Geography online:
Other reviewers also tried Let's Go Geography with their families. You can read about their experiences by clicking the link below:
Geography for Kids - Year 2 {Let's Go Geography Reviews}