Archive for February, 2014

Science4Us.com Review

27
Feb

When I started homeschooling Hailey this past fall I had no idea that her favorite subject would be science.   The curriculum we were using included science, but it was very light and only a couple of times each week.  Hailey was begging to do science every day and wanting it to last longer than just a couple of minutes.  I started doing some unit studies with her, but it was very time consuming to research everything and come up with activities and experiments.  Plus, science was definitely never my strong subject. So, when I was given the chance to review Science4Us.com I was so excited!

Science4Us Review

I was able to review the Science4Us.com Online Subscription.  This program is intended to be used with children in kindergarten through second grade.  Older children can use it as a review of things they have probably already learned.  A monthly subscription to Science4Us.com is $7.95 per child.  This is an online program, so you will need a computer with internet access to use it.

There are 2 different accounts set up- one is for the parent/teacher and one is for the child.  The parent/teacher can decide which topic to cover- there are 4 different sciences: physical, inquiry, life and earth/space.  Within those topics there are many different sub-topics.  For example in the physical science you can choose to study matter, energy or force and motion.  Once you decide what you want to cover, you will see a page like this:

Science4Us Review
From here, you look through the daily sessions that your child will be doing.  There is an option to watch exactly what they are going to do.  You can also look over the teacher’s guide for the grade you are using (kindergarten, first or second).  Then there are offline materials- activities for the kids to do either before or after the actual online lesson.  Some of these are things you will need to print in order for your child to do the activity, so access to a printer is a plus, but not necessary as you do not have to do the extra offline activities.  As the parent/teacher you can also give your child various assignments that they have to complete.  You will also be able to view reports of the status of the assignments or any evaluations your child takes.
Science4Us Review
When your child logs on, Science4Us.com will look like the picture above.  Your child is free to look around and see what is interesting to him or her.  And of course, they can also click on the assignments you have given them to do.
So, what did we think of Science4Us.com?
I used Science4Us.com with Hailey, age 7, for a second grade science curriculum.  You can start anywhere you want and with any topic that is interesting to your child.  Hailey had been begging to learn about magnets, so when we saw there was a unit about magnets she decided she wanted to do that first.

Science4Us

Hailey is waiting for one of her assignments to load.  The assignments all loaded very quickly for us, so there was no unnecessary waiting.

Science4Us

This is one of the activities she did and we discussed the answer.

Science4Us

Of course, we had to have a little bit of hands-on fun when learning about magnets!

Science4Us

This is one of the offline activities that came with the magnet unit.

Science4Us

Hailey really enjoyed the magnet unit and loved every online activity she did.

Science4Us

The units are also tied in with some language arts, and there were language arts activities related to magnets (or whatever the particular topic of study happens to be).

Science4Us

This is just one more example of some of the offline work.  Hailey had to take different words and put them together so that they stated one of the facts she had learned about magnets.

We did the space unit as well, which was also a lot of fun.

Science4Us

Hailey had to write or draw a picture of what she would need to get to space.

Science4Us

She also did a little report about the different parts of space she had learned about.

Science4Us

She created a book about the different parts in the universe.

Science4Us

One of the pages in her universe book.

Science4Us

This was one of her favorite offline activities- she pretended she met an alien on her journey to space and had to draw a picture of what it looked like.  This actually got her creative juices going and she decided she wanted to write an entire story about her alien.

As you can see there is a lot to Science4Us.com.  There wasn’t much work at all on my part.  I looked everything over before Hailey did it, and printed out some of the offline activities, but for the most part the program did all of the work.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about using an online program for school, especially for science where I think there should be a lot of hands-on activities.  But, I really feel that Science4Us.com provides a lot of opportunities for hands-on learning, especially if you use the offline work.  Hailey absolutely loved Science4Us.com.  She begged to do “just one more assignment” every time!  Some of them are short, so I let her do a few at a time on some days.  It’s wonderful to have your child begging to do more science.

So, here is what is boils down to for me:

Pros:
Very easy for me to implement.
Hailey loved it and begged to do more.
The lessons were very interesting and educational.

Cons:
The only thing I did not like was during the assessment at the end of the unit- Hailey was taking her test and accidentally clicked on the wrong answer.  She had just told me the correct answer, so I knew she knew the information.  But, her answer was automatically submitted, so she missed one on her test… and because of her personality she insisted on taking the entire test over so she could get 100%.  I think maybe it should be set up so the child selects an answer and then clicks submit, to take away the chance of accidentally picking the wrong choice.  This was definitely not a huge deal for us though.

I highly recommend Science4Us.com- we really loved this program!!

Want to see some more of Science4Us.com?  Check them out here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Science4UsSays
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/science4us/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Science4Us
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/112259351657747584252/

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KinderBach Review

25
Feb

I took several years of piano lessons when I was young.  Every week my mom took me and my brothers to our piano lesson and then we would practice all week at home to go back to our lesson the next week.  I can still play the piano a little bit, but I never had that natural talent I wished that I had.  Anyway, last fall Hailey started showing an interest in taking piano lessons, so I asked some friends on Facebook for some recommendations of a good piano teacher.  There were a few that I thought might work out, until I started looking over our schedule.  We had somewhere to be every afternoon or evening of the week.  I knew it would just be too much to add another activity that took us out of the house, so I decided not to have her take lessons this year.

As you may know, I was recently selected to be a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, where I am able to review a variety of homeschool materials.  Last month I was given the chance to review KinderBach- online piano lessons.  So, of course I jumped at the chance!  I was excited at the thought that Hailey could learn to play the piano and we would not have to leave for another activity outside of the house. I was able to check out The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner.  This membership normally costs $130 per year.  If you sign up now you can get a special limited time offer of $95.88 for the year, which works out to $7.99 per month. Since I looked into piano lessons last fall, I tell you that is considerably cheaper than what you would expect to pay.

Kinderbach Review
So, what exactly is KinderBach with Teacher Corner?

KinderBach

This is a picture of what Teacher Corner looks like.  There are 6 different levels in the Teacher Corner, although all of the levels are not yet complete.  Basically, you will get all of the printables you need for the lessons in one easy place.  You can get the teacher plan book, the teacher aid book, teacher guide, audio MP3s and the student book.  Right now there are over $400 worth of books in the Teacher Corner, with more being added.

KinderBach

This next picture shows you what the learning center looks like.  This is where you would go to do the actual lessons with your child.  In this picture, you can see what the first level looks like for the teacher.  There are 6 different levels and each level has 10 weeks worth of lessons, with 4 lessons in each week.  You can start from the very beginning, or if your child has a little bit of knowledge about the piano already, you can peek around and find the right place for your family to start.

Once you decide where to start there will be videos to watch, papers to color, dancing to be done, and so much more.

KinderBach

This is a screen shot of a video from week 5, just to give you a little idea of what the videos look like.

A few more details about KinderBach- it is geared for children ages 3-7.  You will need access to a computer, iPad, Android tablet, Kindle Fire or Nook since the lessons are online.  There are PDFs to download for the coloring sheets, story books and song books, so access to a printer is also something you will want to have available.

Kinderbach Review

So, what did we think of KinderBach?

I used KinderBach with Hailey, age 7.  Hunter (age 2) likes to do everything Hailey does, so he participated too.  At first when I showed Hailey what we were going to be doing she said it seemed a little babyish.  I told her she had to give it a chance before making a decision like that and before she knew it, she was loving it.

KinderBach

Hailey and Hunter doing one of the activities from level 1.  They had to stand up high when they heard high music played and then they had to get down low when the music was low.  They both loved it and wanted to do it several times.

Kinderbach

Hailey loves to color, so she really enjoyed the coloring activities that go along with the program.  Here, Hailey and Hunter are coloring Dodi’s house.  Dodi is a donkey and he is one of the characters your child will meet during this program.

Kinderbach

Of course, there was actual piano playing involved too, which Hailey really loved!

KinderBach was really easy for me as the teacher.  Other than printing out the papers ahead of time that went with the lessons, there wasn’t much for me to do.  You do not need any experience in playing the piano to be able to implement KinderBach.  Everything was very clearly laid out from week to week, with no planning involved on my part.

So, here is what it boils down to for me:

Pros
Very easy for me to implement.
Hailey and Hunter both really enjoyed it and didn’t want to stop the lessons.

Cons:
If you print all of the materials in Teacher Corner, it could become rather expensive.
The lessons could be a little longer- some were only a few minutes long and Hailey and Hunter both wanted more.

Want to see some more of KinderBach? Check them out here:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/kinderbach
Facebook for Teachers:  www.facebook.com/classroomkinderbach
Twitter: @KinderBach
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/KinderBach/
YouTube: KinderBach Preschool Piano

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Poppins Book Nook- Presidents

24
Feb

Poppins Book Nook

The Poppins Book Nook theme for this month was presidents.  I asked Hailey which president she wanted to learn more about and she picked George Washington.

Who Was George Washington?

So, we read “Who Was George Washington?”  by Roberta Edwards.  This book is full of information and was so interesting to read!  Both of us learned a lot about George Washington.

Our Crafts N Things

When we finished the book, we made a George Washington wig.  I put a paper bag on Hailey’s head and cut the bag and stapled it the right size.  Then glued cotton balls all over the bag.

Our Crafts N Things

Hailey wrote a speech, pretending that she was George Washington telling all about his life.

Our Crafts N Things

Side view of George Washington

Our Crafts N Things

Of course, Hunter had to be in on the fun and wanted to pretend to be George Washington.

Our Crafts N Things

You can also see more activities that we did about presidents here, here and here.

Giveaway Time!!

So You Want to Be President?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to see the others who are participating in Poppins Book Nook? Check these out:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom3 DinosaursMonsters EdChestnut Grove AcademyGrowing in God’s GraceLife with Moore BabiesTeach Beside MeThe Usual MayhemKathys Cluttered MindAdventures in MommydomEdventures with KidsLearning & Growing the Piwi wayA Gluten Free JourneyPreschool Powol PacketsTo The Moon and Back Our Craft ~N~ ThingsFresh Farm AdventuresAre We There Yet?Afterschool for Smarty PantsHopkins Homeschool

Have a fun activity about presidents to share? Link up here!


Tot School

23
Feb

Hunter is 26 months old.

Tot School

Hunter loves to sing (and to dress himself, ha!).  He stands up on his chair in the classroom, raises his hand, and sings, “I Love You, Lord”

Tot School

He does this most days.  (And picks out his clothes most days, too.)

Tot School

Many days while I am doing school with Hailey, Hunter will play quietly with Hailey’s legos.

Tot School

Hailey learned about George Washington this week.  Hunter listened in to all of our readings about him, and wanted to wear the George Washington wig too.

Tot School

Hunter learned about the letter K this week, and used printables from 1+1+1=1.

Tot School

More letter K practice

Tot School

We made a K is for King.

Tot School

Hunter did some practice with his numbers, also using the printables from 1+1+1=1.

Tot School

Practicing colors.

Stop by 1+1+1=1 to see what the other tots were up to this week.

Be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest so you don’t miss any of our fun activities.

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