Sunday, October 24, 2021

LightSail for Homeschoolers Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We recently had the opportunity to review LightSail for Homeschoolers.  What a fun way to improve reading skills in students.

LightSail for Homeschoolers is an adaptive homeschool reading curriculum.  Their program is designed for ages 8-18 (grades 3-12).  They do offer a Young Learners package also, but that is separate.  LightSail offers the choice of a standard or premium subscription.  The premium subscription offers more content.

The program focuses on reading, writing, vocabulary, and fluency, which helps not only give you a complete language arts program, but also helps those who may be struggling in the reading/writing area of their studies.  Kids continue to build on their reading and comprehension skills.

Parents can assign their student the books/areas that they want them to work on.  Students can login independently or you can easily sit with them to provide help as needed.  It's very versatile and offers a wide variety of reading materials.  

The one-year Premium subscription that I received gave us access to over 12,000 books, 51,000+encyclopedia articles, 150+unit studies, and more.  We had no lack of materials to choose from during the review period.

The interface is very user friendly.  Each child has their own login for the site.  They can check books out from the library.  For struggling readers, you can listen to the books also. 

You can find reading levels for all ages and abilities.  

As you are working your way through the program, if you are unsure about how a section works, there are plenty of videos uploaded for help.  The video shot below happens to be from a section in Writing that is coming soon.  But it explains what is coming.

There are studies in reading, writing, and vocabulary.  All of these areas intertwine.  

LightSail for Homeschoolers Premium subscription really does a great job keeping everything that families need in one location to complete reading/writing/vocabulary literature program.  You can even try it for a 7 day trial to see if it will be a good fit for your family.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review this program with their families.  Click on the link below to see how they used this product in their homes, and how well it worked for them.

Improve Reading Skills with LightSail for Homeschoolers 



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Teach Sunday School - Bible Breakdowns

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We recently had the opportunity to review Bible Breakdowns published by Teach Sunday School.  We were able to use the Old Testament and New Testament over the last few weeks.  These have been a great addition to our Bible studies.

You can purchase Bible Breakdowns in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Each page breaks down the title of the book and a brief 

They are super easy to download from Teach Sunday School in a PDF format.  You can choose to print them all at once, or one at a time.  

Each page for each book of the Bible includes:
  • Brief summary of the book
  • How many chapters
  • Who wrote the book
  • Type of book
  • when it was written
  • time period that was covered during the book

At the lower part of the book, the read information really begins.  In the breakdown section, each chapter of the book is broken down into verses and gives information about events that took place.  It really allows both children and adults to take a look at each verse and how they work together.

As you see below, the chapters and verses are broken down to allow the study of what is in each verse.  

Also included are rankings for popularity of Bible verses.

These pages are great to include in a 3 ring binder with notepages for study notes.  You could also keep the PDF downloaded on your device and refer to it as you are studying.  We chose to keep them in a 3 ring binder to use along with our weekly Bible reading.   These have been a great addition to our Bible studies.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the Bible Breakdowns in Teach Sunday School.  Click on the link below to see how they used these pages in their homes and what they felt about them.

Boob-by-Book Bible Study Printable Breakdowns


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Critical Thinking Co. - Understanding Fractions Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We recently had the opportunity to review Understanding Fractions published by The Critical Thinking Co.  The workbook has provided a lot of extra help for the girls as they are working to conquer these math skills.

Understanding Fractions was written by Robert Femiano.  This book of roughly 50 pages of fraction practice, was written to be used by students in grades 2-4.  

Inside of this title, students will be practicing:

  • The Meaning of fractions
  • Writing and using fractions
  • Finding common denominators
  • Simple adding and subtracting of fractions
Using fraction circles cut-outs, students can truly "see" how fractions work.  These pages can be cut out and colored by students, or even laminated or added to card stock to make them last longer.  For those students in the very early stages of fractions, these are a great addition to mastering their fractions.

Inside the front cover of the book, suggestions are given on how to students can reach their full success while using this book.  It is encouraged for students to work along with their teacher through the pages.  

Each page contains many practice examples, including story problems.  

Understanding Fractions is not meant as a stand alone curriculum.  But as practice to mastery.  That is how we have been using it.  As the student works with their teacher, the teacher is available to answer questions.  Included in the back of the book are the answers, just in case they need a little help themselves.  

Caty has struggled with fractions for a while now.  Each page usually took roughly 20 minutes, depending on our struggles.  These pages can definitely be used by anyone who may be struggling with these skills, no matter what education style they are working through at the moment.  There are even more challenging questions that are marked with a star.  

The extra practice has helped her a lot.  Using Understanding Fractions has saved me time from hunting down extra worksheets and money from printing a bunch of items also.  It is definitely worth the using Understanding Fractions in your schooling.  It can be used with both public school and homeschool students.  

We have used several of the publications from The Critical Thinking Co. for various subjects in our studies.  We have always been impressed and have enjoyed the help in working to mastery.  I encourage you to check out all they have to offer in boosting your student's critical thinking skills.

Several members of the homeschool review crew were given the opportunity to try out several products from The Critical Thinking Co.  Click on the banner below to see what they tried out and how they felt about them.

Critical Thinking Co. Reviews 



Thursday, September 30, 2021

Math Essentials - Basic Math Skills Rescue Parts 1 & 2 Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We recently had the opportunity to review new new books written by Richard W. Fisher, Basic Math Skills Rescue Part 1 and Part 2 published by Math Essentials.  These are an excellent addition to our routine for skills practice in areas where Caty has been struggling.

There are just some critical math skills that many students struggle to master.  These skills really are required for success in higher math levels.  So if students have not mastered basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division at the upper elementary levels, they will struggle through high school and even into college.  One way to master these skills is through videos and practice.

That is where Math Skills Rescue comes into to help students.  These workbooks can be used along with video based instruction that is available to stream online.

I have been using Book 1 with Caty.  She struggles with Executive Processing Disorder.  With this learning struggle one of her struggles is with keeping steps in order.  Math Essentials - Basic Math Skills Rescue is set up to encourage your student to succeed.  There is plenty of practice in the over 200 page book.

I do like that each book is set up in a "testing" style.  Instead of regular worksheet style.  This helps to prepare students for those upper grade level activities.  This was confusing to Caty at first.  It does require more steps in her mind, so she struggled a bit there.  She did need extra paper to work on problems as we have been using this book.  She writes rather large, so there was not enough room on the page for her to work out all of the problems each day.

But having extra paper on hand allows the student to also work out the problems along with the videos. This gives them extra practice as they work alongside the instruction and really gives them a step-by-step guide.  I had Caty keep these examples to refer to as she worked through problems on the pages. 

Book 1 of the Basic Math Skills Rescue series includes problems practicing whole numbers & integers, fractions, and decimals and percents.  This is math work that works with students from Grades 3 and on.  It is really meant as extra practice to mastery.  You can use these along with whatever math program you are using.  We actually stepped away from regular math and have been using Basic Math Rescue daily as practice to mastery for Caty.  

Each page does have Helpful Hints to help students remember how to solve problems on that page.  This includes hints or even examples to remember how to borrow in subtraction.

We did not get into Basic Math Skills Rescue Part 2 book yet.  This book covers Middle school level math skills.  She is not quite to that point yet.  I do like the amount of story problems included in this book.  Story problems really are "real world" math.  How many times are you just given a list of number problems to solve?  Almost never.  But you are given a problem with several numbers involved and you need to decide what information is important.  We will definitely be continuing into Part 2 soon.  This is an area where Caty needs to work on eliminating unnecessary information in order to solve problems.  

Basic Math Skills Rescue Part 2 includes topics of Geometry, Problem Solving, and Pre-Algebra.

We have used other books from the Math Essentials series that was written by Richard W. Fisher.  Lydia has benefited also from the Mastering Series.  I'm glad that we were introduced to the Basic Math Skills Rescue series so that Caty can benefit from more practice to mastery.

If you have a student who just needs more practice, even a little help to get them to mastery, then you need to check out the Basic Math Skills Rescue series from Math Essentials.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the Basic Math Skills Rescue Parts 1 & 2 in their homes.  Click on the link below to see how they used these and what they felt about this series.

Ensure Success in Algebra 1 with Math Essentials


Thursday, September 9, 2021

WORLD Watch 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.

We recently had the opportunity to review the WORLD Watch online subscription.  This has been a great way for the kids to keep up on the world news with explanations on their level.

When I watch the news, it can be hard for the kids to understand.  WORLD Watch has been created from a Christian view and at a level that the whole family is able to understand.  

During the week, there is a daily episode and also a newscast that always feature current world information.  Each episode is under ten minutes, so it makes for a short watch, but packed full of information.  The stories are meant for the entire family.

There is also a summary included for the student to watch.  The Newscast segments are roughly 5 minutes each.

Information is presented from a Christian viewpoint, so scriptural text is included.  The scriptural text is provided in some of the Featured Stories, but not in a sermon style.  It simply is presented in a way to show that Bible prophecy is alive in the world that we are living in.

The WORLD Watch website is very easy to use.  When you log into your account, at the top of the page is the Daily Newscast, but also a Feature Story.  You can choose to click and watch that episode, or you can choose from the featured stories from the previous days.

But you can also go back and watch in the archives also.

You can pause each episode or increase the size of the screen if there will be more than one viewing it.  My kids hate when I try to watch something on the computer with them and I do not make it full screen.  So this is an option.

I really liked that the material is always top stories of my regular news stations that week.  As you can see some of the news stories from August include stories on the census, the evacuation of Afghanistan, drought in the West, COVID vaccine boosters, and even in immigration.

Between the Daily newscast and the Featured Story, the news is presented in roughly ten minutes each day.

WORLD Watch does make sure that you are able to use their program and do include a tech page so that you can easily use this program with whatever streaming option that your family uses.  We simply used a laptop, but there are options with many televisions to stream on the big screen.  

You can also read a biography about each of the reporters and employees that make WORLD Watch possible on their website.

We have used several different kids news story options for the kids through the years.  WORLD Watch is one of my favorite to use.  The information is presented in a non-biased way.  This allows for open discussions with the kids about the various topics and what they truly think with the information that was presented.  We will be continuing using WORLD Watch in our home for the girls during the week.

Several families from the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review WORLD Watch in their homes.  Click on the link below to see how they used this product with their families and what they felt.

World News That Builds Biblical Discernment 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

ACT Mom - ACT Mom Online Class 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.

We had the opportunity to review the ACT Mom Online Class from ACT Mom.  What a great option to prepare your students for taking those upcoming college tests.

Keith and Kati Johnson had spent five years prepping their son for his ACT tests, and he scored in the upper 98% of students that take this test.  So she decided to take these classes and tips to the public.  They were offering in-person classes, but then COVID brought the in-person classes to a halt.  The idea to offer the same classes came them.  This not only allowed students to continue their classes, but also gave them the opportunity to even offer to more students who could not attend live classes because of location.  

Why the ACT?  The ACT scores that students earn can open up thousands of dollars in scholarship and grant money at many different universities.  The higher the score, the more funds.  But higher score require a lot of prep and studying on the part of your student.  That is where the ACT MOM Online class comes in.  

The ACT Mom Online class includes courses in English, Reading, Science, and Math.  There is a binder with graphing paper and ACT practice tests that you will also receive.  There is also an answer key and scoring instructions included so that you as the parent can score their tests to see the progress your student is making.

Each subject's videos are presented in a lecture style.  Students are expected to watch the videos and take notes as they go.  There is a practice test at the end of each course.  Using the videos though, students who need to watch the information again, can easily do that.  There are also quizzes as they go through the course information.  The ability to rewatch videos, quizzes, and then of course the test at the end of each section really does allow the student and parent to see how much is being absorbed and where students will need some extra help.

ACT Mom does offer individual course study also, if you feel your student only needs help in specific areas of study.

The format of study includes the lecture style, with an emphasis on notes.  If you student is struggling in this area, it is a great way to reinforce the importance of note taking.  This style will only help your student as they advance into college.  

She has even provided some free resources for families to help them out.  The ACT Mom really does want to see students succeed.  This program that they have created has shown success.  Lydia is not quite ready for the ACT yet, but using this program will definitely prep both of us for the areas that she will need to work harder in before she makes her first attempts at the actual test.  This would be a great program for the visual based learner with learning disabilities.  Lots of extra practice and tips to succeed.  

Click on the link below to see what other families from The Homeschool Review Crew felt about this product.

Test Prep with The ACT Mom