Friday, May 24, 2019

EdAlive - Math Invaders Online Review

We recently had the opportunity to review a fun online math game from EdAlive, Math Invaders Online.  The girls have been having a blast with these fun and easy to use programs.  Shhhh...don't tell them they are learning!

EdAlive is an Australian based online learning company that has received many educational awards for their work in creating excellent teaching games for students of all grade levels and ages.  

Math Invaders Online is an carefully constructed online math game.  It contains several levels that build on each other with unique coding that allow students to master the math questions as they work to save the planets from invaders.  The way the game is programmed, students could answer almost 1,800 questions per hour!  There is not a shortage of practice when it comes to Math Invaders Online.

There is approximately ten years worth of math levels included in the Math Invaders Online game.  Students can start out at Year 1 or take a short test to get them placed at their current level of math.  This Mastery Learning Mode allows students to continue to work with ten levels of Invader questions.  If they are successful they earn a star, and then can choose to either go to the next level of questions or stay in that level and answer questions at a faster speed.  

The teacher can adjust the student's level as needed in their classroom login areas.  But students can use practice mode to choose their own level and stay in that same mode over and over again until they are ready to go into Mastery Learning Mode.

Practice doesn't always have to be online.  Students can print worksheets for levels they are working on if they need to just practice numbers offline.  This is helpful for students who may be struggling a bit with either typing the numbers in or just needs a break from the computer.  Students with learning disabilities can become frustrated easily if they are struggling with math facts in a level, and their invaders keep landing.  You can help them out by printing the worksheets and giving them some practice off screen, and then let them try again.

Students  type the answer to the problem into their space ship and then click on the math problem they are trying to solve.  They take out that invader if they type in the answer correctly.

This makes Math Invaders Online an easy to use math game for all levels of students.

Caty has been playing on Math Invaders Online for several weeks now.   She has struggled with retaining her math facts for a while now, it's part of her learning disabilities.  After just playing a few weeks, she has already started retaining and remembering many of her basic addition and subtraction facts!  She has managed to go through several levels of the Mastery Learning Mode in her basic addition/subtraction facts.  She is still working in slower speeds because she gets frustrated when she cannot type the answers fast enough.  (Another issue due to finger dexterity.)  So I like that she can choose speed to help her out.

Last week I forgot to write Math Invaders Online into her daily to-do list that she gets each day of her schoolwork she needs to complete, and she came to me and asked why she didn't get to play her "math game online".  She was upset with me.  I calmed her and said it was my mistake.  I must have accidentally cleared the line without realizing it before I printed her list.  And assured her she is to play it everyday if she wanted.  That made her happy.  In fact, she actually forgets how long she has been playing and will spend way longer than I planned taking out the invaders!!  

Lydia has been working on Math Invaders Online also.  She is above the basic addition/subtraction facts.  Since she is middle school level math, she can skip the basics and choose the material that she needs extra practice on.  She can choose what topics that she wants to work on that day.

She doesn't struggle with typing as much as Caty.  So she was able to practice at levels much quicker.  Even though she is older, she did not feel that this game was too "kiddie" because she felt like she was playing an arcade game that she would play on her other game systems.  This makes Math Invaders Online a more appealing option for older students needing practice.

Lydia also worked with Typing Tournament Online.  She has been typing for several years now, but not always correctly.  And she struggled with using the Shift key at times.  Typing Tournament Online really teaches students the way I learned how to type 30 years ago.  A tried and true method that has been updated into a more modern style with an online game.  The thing that made me laugh was how Lydia was so literal about the sentences that she was learning how to type.  She said the sentences were non-sense.  I laughed and said there are only so many ways to use the characters you are learning at this point.  Until you master the whole keyboard, the sentences will be

That being said, she has continued to make improvement in her typing.  In fact, I have to make sure that Typing Tournament Online is the last thing that she works on daily.  She has a tendency to want to spend a lot of extra time and keep working through levels.  One day before I realized it, she has already worked for 45 minutes (that is the life of a busy mom losing track while working with others).  

If you are looking for a good old-fashioned typing program for all ages...check out Typing Tournament Online.  It's a great option for all families and learning styles.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Math Invaders Online and Typing Tournament Online from EdAlive.  Click on the link below to read how they used these products with their families and what they felt about them.

Typing Tournament & Maths Invaders Online {EdAlive Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Christian Focus - Elizabeth Prentiss - More Love Book Review

We recently had the opportunity to review a new-to-us book series, the Trail Blazers from Christian Focus Publications.  We read Elizabeth Prentiss - More Love written by Claire Williams.

The Trail Blazers series from Christian Focus Publications features more than 50 heroes and heroines of history that have served God even in the most stressful situations and triumphed over the adversities that were causing stumbling blocks.

Elizabeth Prentiss suffered a major loss as a young child.  The death of her father had a deep effect on her.  He was a minister though and had started at a young age to instill the love of God in his children.  So as Elizabeth was mourning, she was able to rely on God for strength.  She did struggle with her faith as she entered her teenage years and young adulthood.  

But as she grew older, she knew she needed to take marriage seriously.  She knew marriage took much sacrifice and she would only marry a man that she knew she could be completely devoted too.  Elizabeth thought that just marrying for convenience and because you should was not a good enough reason to get married.  She wanted to get married to a man that she adored.  Fortunately she was proposed to by a man that she adored and she said yes.  

The very happy couple had children, and unfortunately faced major pain and heartache.  Their son Eddy was dying from meningitis.  Elizabeth stay by his side and encouraged him to trust and have faith in God.  Unfortunately tragedy struck another blow to the young family, when just a few months later they lost their new baby suddenly and without warning.  

Elizabeth grieved deeply.  She also became strength to other grieving parents.  She wrote a book titled, How Sorrow was Changed into Sympathy.  It was shared with people who had experience the same kind of loss.  

She wrote more and even hymns.  One of her most famous was More Love to Him.  Her suffering through her tragic loss of her children, caused her to to really develop a steadfast and true faith in God.

The story Elizabeth Prentiss - More Love written by Claire Williams was written for roughly upper elementary through middle school levels, but easily could be used for a high school project.  A couple extras that the Trail Blazers series book Elizabeth Prentiss - More Love features are a timeline of Elizabeth's life, and also Thinking Further Topics.  These are not just comprehension questions, but questions that make you think.  The questions (or Challenges) refer to various parts of Elizabeth's life and draw the student to look deep inside and see how they can apply the principles that Elizabeth lived by in their own lives.

Even though we do not share all the same beliefs as Elizabeth Prentiss, the girls and I enjoyed this title as a read-aloud during relaxing times.  This title is very manageable for a wide range of reading skill levels and will not cause your child to feel overwhelmed.  It would make a great addition for an elementary/middle school level Bible-based reading project or youth group, especially with the Thinking Further Topics.  I can't wait to dig into other books in the Trail Blazers series to go with our history lessons.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review other titles from Christian Focus.  Click on the link below to see what they thought of both Elizabeth Prentiss - More Love and the other titles below.

Big Bible Science, Elizabeth Prentiss, God is Better than Princesses,  God is Better than Trucks. {Christian Focus Reviews}

Friday, May 17, 2019

On the Go and Getting Science Fair completed .... Horse Riding

We didn't have much recovery time after Joey's party.  The day after his party, we had a wedding to go to.  It was a fun trip to see everyone in Joe's family.

The turtles were sunning on the rocks.

Lydia had an appointment the next day with her naturopath doctor.   She also missed her sea turtle class on Outschool.  Fortunately we were able to watch the recording on our way to the dr.  It was very informative, and we both learned new things about this species.

When we got home, she got started on her science project.  Her science fair project is studying the effects of pollution on eggs - thinking of the problems that sea turtle eggs could face.  She took 8 bowls and filled them with sand and various pollutants you can find on the beach.  Think about the trash that people leave behind....sunscreen, medicine, food garbage, motor oil (from jet skis, boats and even driving on the beach). 

She watered them daily to keep the sand moist, just like crashing waves would do.  But one she left in a "drought" state.

She kept her glasses on from Dyslexia Gold when she was doing her math.

Brayden made pumpkin muffins and oatmeal cookies for his 4H projects.

Lydia had a game this week on top of practices.  She is really enjoying volleyball!

In her Dr. Who class they made t-shirts.  Lydia is working on hers here. 

Our chicks outgrew their little area in our living room.  So I had to rush around and get their outside area ready.

Caty made mini-SF pudding pies for everyone.  She made chocolate for herself and her siblings.  And pistachio for Joe.

I converted the rabbit hutch into a mini-coop for the chicks.

This was priceless...I had to get it on film!

This is the start of Caty's science fair project.  She wanted to know if ants preferred salty or sweet treats.

Then Lydia, my aunt and I headed to Columbus for Lydia's riding competition.  This is her 4th year competing in the All American Youth Show.

Practicing on Friday night.

Relaxing at the hotel.

Wearing her sponsor shirt while out and about at the fairgrounds.

She did really well.

2nd place in Showmanship

1st place in Horsemanship - Independent.

It was definitely a busy week.  Joe was feeling under the weather half the week, so I was super busy balancing everyone's schedules and needs.  I was exhausted by the time we got home on Saturday.  But that's another day in the life of a mom!