Phonics for Beginners {Homeschool Review Crew}

Phonics for Beginners

Homeschool Review Crew

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}
Our most recent review with the Homeschool Review Crew came from Spencer Learning.  We received the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program for download and review.  It’s a great phonics for beginners program as well as for anyone struggling with phonics or reading.

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}
We were given access to this phonics for beginners program via email.  It’s a download and can be used on all computers in the home.  A fun thing about this program is that anyone can use it within your household.  It’s not limited to one child or one computer which makes using it easier.  There are certain tech requirements for using the program.  If you have Windows you will need Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP.  Mac users need OSX 10.5.8 or higher.

I have several beginning type schoolers still so this program sounded like a great fit for us.  Specifically, I have a five and a six year old who were eager to begin using this phonics for beginners curriculum.  My five year old has already done some phonics work and is doing simple word reading.  She loves school and excels at it.  Really she was forcing us to let her do school as a four year old, I just tried to keep it very simple and basic.  She’s taught herself how to read at the level she is at already!  Our six year old is somewhat developmentally delayed and hasn’t done any “formal” schooling yet.  She has had some access to some fun review products this year from the Homeschool Review Crew but is still at a level I would call beginner.

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}

So, how do you use this thing?  

It’s really very simple to use.  The first step is downloading the product from the email you’re sent.  This went very easily which was great because I’m not that computer savvy.  Simply follow the prompts and tada it’s done!!   Next you’re going to want to use the curriculum.  This company, Spencer Learning, has been very helpful and sends lots of fun and interesting emails to help make sure we’re getting the most out of the product.  

Phonics for Beginners {Homeschool Review Crew}

If your child is not a beginning reader but rather a weak or struggling reader, you can use this product too.  It’s also designed to strengthen a child’s reading ability as well as spelling.  Phonics for beginners can also be called phonics for the struggling reader or phonics for students struggling with English as a second language.  Lots of children can benefit from this curriculum so make sure you check out all the ways it can be used.  

It’s also recommended for children with autism and dyslexia.  I have to confess that we’re not a huge fan of online or computer curriculum because of the fact that we only have two computers and there are 12 of us here in the house.  That’s a lot of people sharing the same equipment.  But this program is one that I make the time for my two girls to use.  Sometimes they use it together with one being the primary user and the other watching.  My three year old even likes to watch and learn with her siblings.

It only takes a few minutes a day to use the program.  Phonics for beginners is simple to use and doesn’t require a lot of parental help which is great. This means that my girls can use it while I’m working on school with the older kids.  It helps to keep them occupied.  Though it’s a good thing it doesn’t take much time, the girls wish their lessons lasted longer!!!

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}
Interested in what others thought of this fun phonics for beginners program?  Check out the linkup on the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog.  You can also find Spencer Learning on facebook and twitter.  

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Early Grammar with Jolly Phonics {TOS Crew Review}

Early Grammar

A TOS Crew Review of Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
Grammar is something I’ve been focusing on in our homeschool lately.  Early grammar to be precise.  My five year old is dying to learn to read and already knew how to sound out all her letters before we started Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar from jollyliteracy.com.  Jollyliteracy.com is a part of just2ducks LLC.  

 

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

 What We Received

We received physical product for this review.  What we received in our box:

  • The Jolly Phonics teacher’s book in print letters
  • Jolly Phonics student books 1, 2, 3 
  • The Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher’s book in print letters
  • One Jolly Grammar 1 Student Book
  • Jolly Songs in print letters

In correlation with this review we are also using Can Do Cubes which I’ll share more about tomorrow.  They work wonderfully with the Jolly Grammar and Jolly Phonics to help the student learn.

 

Early Grammar {TOS Crew Review}

About the Program

Jolly Phonics is a beginning phonics program for your child.  It can also be used for someone learning English as a second language.  It shows that it’s for elementary, but the child really should have little to no prior phonics experience for it not to be boring.  For instance, my five year old has done other phonics books and already knows all her letter names and sounds.  Starting her off in book 1 would have just made her really bored and possibly turned her off on learning.

Jolly Grammar is for after Jolly Phonics has been completed.  They calculate Jolly Phonics taking about a year to complete.  Jolly Grammar helps to develop good early grammar habits.  It focuses on spelling rules, beginning grammar rules, and punctuation.  This is done through fun activities like unscrambling words.  There are also spelling tests and more fun to be had.

 

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
 

The other aspect of the products we received is the Jolly Songs.  This is a CD and book that allow children to sing about what they’re learning.  I have long held the belief that singing and doing things in rhyme or to a rhythm will help children and even adults remember things better and longer.  I still remember the times tables that I was taught to a rhythm as well as the Books of the Bible!

How We Used It

I started the review out by putting my 6 year old in Jolly Phonics book 1.  She has no prior early grammar or phonics knowledge really as she is a bit developmentally behind for her age.  Because of her being behind I haven’t pushed her to learn before she’s ready.  We decided to give school a try with her this year.  

 

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
 

The work is not long which is great for the short attention span she has.  Just one page a day and you can see she’s making progress.  She loves it because it’s school!  Plus, she loves that she can show daddy that she did something at the end of the day.  Whereas when we were just working on learning our letters and numbers I mostly used a wipe off board with her so there was nothing completed at the end of the day for her to show off.

Something that really encouraged her and made her so excited was that in the first few weeks of doing one page a day five days a week she was able to sound out a few small words.  This was huge.  In a child’s mind once they sound out their first two or three letter word, they’re reading.  It’s immensely gratifying to them to be able to do that.

We used the Jolly Grammar curriculum as well.  One of the great things with having a large family is that I have a child at almost every stage of learning.  My just turned 8 year old son used Jolly Grammar.  He has finished his normal phonics program and is reading on a solid beginner level so I thought it would be a great fit.  

He loved the ease of the program though he really didn’t care much for the spelling tests.  This was his first encounter with them.  I have seen an improvement in both his reading and his writing which I attribute to Jolly Grammar and the early grammar learning he’s getting.

 

Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

Read More

Ready to hear what other members of the Crew thought?  Check out the Main Blog Page where all the reviews are linked up.  You can also find Jolly Grammar and Jolly Phonics on facebook, twitter, and pinterest

 

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Letter Sounds and Shapes {TOS Crew Review}

I have a three-year old and a just turned six-year-old who are learning their letter sounds and shapes.  The six-year-old is behind developmentally and is close to the three-year old level so I decided to start them both doing preschool together this year.  We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Talking Fingers Inc. was a vendor on the TOS Crew list this year.  The product we are reviewing from them is a one year online subscription to Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy

 

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
Obviously, most wouldn’t consider a six-year-old on the early literacy scale, but my three-year old fits in.  Actually, Talking Shapes is written and recommended for preschool and kindergarten students.  So even though my six-year-old is considered behind for her age she does fit into the recommended age range for this product.  I also have a five-year old who fits into the age range, but she’s already done a year of kindergarten and knows all her letter sounds and shapes.  She in fact is reading small words and phrases on her own now. 

While your child is learning letter sounds and shapes they are also having fun with Talking Shapes.  They’re learning to read but in a way that is fun and engaging.  The program is all online.  With one computer my two girls didn’t get to use this as much as we would have liked.  Instead of doing it individually we did it together.  I would sit in the computer chair with a girl on each knee and we’d go through some of the program.

 

Letter Sounds and Shapes

 

There are a total of seven stories to work through.  Once done with the program all 40 phonograms have been learned and the beginning stages of reading met.  The stories are engaging for the age level they’re directed at and tell the story of how the alphabet was invented by two sisters a long long time ago.  

What makes this program unique is that the letters aren’t just written letters on a page.  Instead, my children see the letters as pictures.  The letters are inside of or embedded into the pictures which helps cement in their brains the letter sounds and shapes in correlation with where they are. 

 

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
 

This would be a great program to use with a touch screen computer or tablet.  Our computer is very old and is the only one we have in our house.  Because of this I did have to do the entire program with my girls as neither of them can work the computer mouse correctly yet.  While I didn’t mind this, it did limit when they could be working on their program and for what length of time.

I have seen great improvements in both girls with letter sounds and shapes recognition.  We were on a bit of a drive or road trip(we call them field trips) yesterday and my three-year old was able to tell me some of the highway names when they were letters.  It’s great to be able to see that our children are learning.

This is a four step program.  First we listen.  Then we draw.  Next we play games.  Finally we read.  By doing all the steps the learning of the letter sounds and shapes is cemented.  Each of the seven stories introduces at least six new phonemes.  While learning children sound out and spell three-letter words while they are playing games.  Not only is learning taking place but having fun as well.  Learning should always be fun. 

 

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
 

We approve of Talking Shapes and learning letter sounds and shapes with their program.  My girls thought it was fun and were always begging to read the story on the computer.  They’re going to continue to have great fun and learn for the rest of our subscription.  Here’s hoping for more computers soon or a touch screen so they can do it all on their own!!

If you’d like to hear what other Crew members thought of the program hop on over to the Main TOS Crew blog and see all the reviews.  You can also find Talking Fingers Inc. on facebook, youtube, and twitter to learn more about their company and products.  

 

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Preschool for Three’s {TOS Crew Review}

Most people know I have a large family.  It’s no secret we have nine children.  What most people don’t know though is that I don’t normally do a structured preschool with my kids.  I don’t plan out lessons or make plans for what they must do to learn their colors or listen to books be read.  It’s just normal everyday stuff that we do, it’s not school.  

 

Alpha Omega Review
 

When we got the chance to review a product from Alpha Omega Publications it was a really hard choice for me to make.  We already use their Horizons math(which was a choice) but I was really curious about their preschool materials.  We chose to receive their Horizons Preschool for Three’s Curriculum Set to review.  I was eager to see how structured it would make our days!  I am not using it with a three-year old though.  I’m using it with a five-year old who has some learning delays.  My four-year old is doing kindergarten materials this year(per her choice) and is doing really well.  My two-year old is also using this preschool for three’s set a bit when she chooses.  Again, I’m not a parent who is pressuring for school to be done before they hit the age of requirement which is 7 in our state.

 

Preschool for Three's

 

First came the unboxing!  My girls were all excited(well we are all always excited when boxes come) and once we got the box out of the box they were in love with the colorful box.  Then we got out the books.  I had to grab them quickly as they were being made off with.  I think my kids were going to go play school with them before I even got a chance to look at them.  

If you’re not familiar with Horizons, it is a subset of Alpha Omega Publications.  AOP(Alpha Omega Publications) brings you such fun homeschool as LifePacs!  While LifePacs are student led, Horizons is teacher led.  They offer complete subject packages or complete grade packages.  We fell in love with their Horizons math as it works for ALL of my children whether they are advanced, normal for age, or delayed.  I’m sure you’ve all experienced the joy of a curriculum that just clicks for you too!  So now you can see why I was excited to see what they thought we should be teaching our three-year olds!

Inside our box of goodies is a student workbook, a companion workbook, a teacher’s guide, and a brightly colored Bible story reader.  Both the student workbook and the companion workbook are consumables.  You can purchase those separately so if you’re using this with more than one child they can each have their own workbook.  In my years of homeschooling I have found that my kids do things better with less complaining if they look forward to school.  My children always look forward to using brightly colored workbooks and that is what AOP offers with their Horizons curriculum.  

The Preschool for Three’s covers 40 weeks of lessons.  You could easily move this into a two-year program or keep it a one year program depending on your child’s needs.  I like that there are some hands on activities to help develop fine motor skills such as cutting, painting, and coloring.  It also helps to set the foundations for them to learn reading/writing/spelling/math, etc.

A quick overview to help you see the breakdown.  Lessons 1-20 deal with the Old Testament of the Bible.  Through the Old Testament the children learn to count 1-10 and letters A-F.  They also work on colors and shapes They learn body parts, about family, and so much more!  My two little girls enjoy the running and jumping most.  Yes they even put PE into their curriculum.

 

Preschool for Three's

 

The second set or lessons 21-40 focus on the New Testament.  Through the New Testament they learn about G-Z and more on counting, recognizing the numbers 1-10.  They also work on patterns, organizing, fire safety, water safety, etc.  

We have not made it to the New Testament yet, but I did peak ahead and it seems to continue along the same path as the first half does.  

The Bible Story Reader puts a Bible story into easy to understand story format for your child.  There are 40 Bible stories in the book, one for each week of lesson plans.  They are brightly illustrated and include some thought questions and discussion for you and your child to help make sure the information is not only being heard but learned as well.  

The student workbook companion contains the cut and paste type activities that go along with the student workbook.  I love the one where you cut out a picture of the Earth and then your child gets to lace through the holes and make a circle around the Earth.  These are the fine motor skills that so many children with delays have trouble with. For me, getting started working on those delays while they are young works so well!  If you open your companion book each page tells you which lesson it goes with as well as what number worksheet it is so they easily can be found when you need them!

Here’s a short overview of how your week will go while teaching with Preschool for Three’s.  This is showing a five-day work week.  You could do a shorter week, but you would have to do more on the days you’re doing school.  This program is set up for a five-day week with how they have it divided out having five worksheets per lesson, but you can do 

  • Day One:   Read the Bible story and do the 1st worksheet.  You also have an optional memory passage.  We may not memorize them all but we do try.  So on day one we read it and repeat it.  I  like to put these to music or at least a clapping rhythm as I find it makes memorizing easier.
  • Day Two:  Review the Bible story.  Do the 2nd worksheet.  Do some of the activities that are listed with each lesson.  They have some fun stuff you can do.  You pick and choose what works for you and your child and do it when you want!
  • Day Three:  Do the 3rd worksheet, work on the memory verse if you’re memorizing, and do more activities.  There are plenty of activities so you can do as many or as little as you like.
  • Day Four:  You do the 4th worksheet and repeat yesterday in that you work on memory verse and do activities.
  • Day Five:  This is the 5th worksheet day and doing any of the other activities you want to do as it’s the last day on this lesson.

Each week has a new lesson.  The lessons are divided up by Bible stories not by what letter or number they’re working on.  There are some weeks that I only manage to do two days a week of school with my 5 and 2-year-old(both using this curriculum).  When that is the case we just do extra worksheets.  So say we do school on Monday and do worksheets one and two.  Then when we do school again on Thursday we will do worksheets three, four, and five.  You really can make this work for any schedule. 

Now how did it work for us?  My five-year old is loving it!  My four-year old listens to the Bible stories with us but is past what the worksheets are teaching.  My two-year old is in love but can’t focus to do more than one worksheet a day.   I think this is a great little curriculum for Preschool for Three’s and if I highly recommend it like I do the other Horizons products we’ve tried!

If you’d like to learn more about Horizons and the great AOP products that members of the TOS Crew were able to review take a peek at the Review Page and read all the reviews!  Also check them out on facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, and google +.

 

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Problem Solving for Preschoolers #hsreviews

La La Logic Review

Have you ever wondered how you could help your children think?  Now I don’t mean that their brains don’t work, but that they haven’t developed that critical thinking skill or looking at things logically.  This is where La La Logic comes in.  With La La Logic you’re getting problem solving for preschoolers.  As part of the TOS Crew we recently received and reviewed their Preschool Curriculum.

 

La La Logic Review
 

Some of you may be scratching your heads wondering why you would want to teach problem solving for preschoolers or anyone under a certain advanced age.  Well, simply put, the sooner they learn to think logically and problem solve the better it is.  You want your children to develop these skills early on so that they are deeply ingrained and a part of their thinking before they reach high school and college.

 

If you’re not sure that you even want to teach problem solving for preschoolers in your home, you can sign up for a 30 day free trial simply by going to the La La Logic home page.  I know, that when I started homeschooling I didn’t realize how important the preschool and kindergarten years were.  I really had no idea.  Now I think I fully understand.  And yes, I think teaching problem solving and how to learn to our young children is important, but I also feel it is still very important to not formally do “school” with our young ones.  They need time to play and explore and learn by doing.

This is why I like the Preschool Curriculum from La La Logic.  It’s a short time period each day, you don’t have to do it every week, and it’s fun.  Your child is essentially learning by doing.  My children are learning a few computer skills but also the fine motor skills that are so important to young children.  We have adopted children, we have biological children, and we have children by guardianship.  Some of our children never developed their fine motor skills as young children and now as they’re hitting the ages of 8-11 they struggle with simple things.  Never underestimate the power of cut and glue in children!  Sorry, that’s a rant for another day!

 

 

La La Logic Problem Solving for Preschoolers

 

Want to know more about this awesome program?  Keep reading!  But what if I tell you all this is being done in 10-20 minutes per day?  It is!  Really and truly.  So in around on hour each week you are helping to instill life skills and working on problem solving with your child.  Sounds like a good idea to me!  You will find as you progress in the Preschool Curriculum that the lessons will get harder.  Not only are you teaching your child how to problem solve and critically think but also to learn.  They are being taught how to learn, with or without a teacher.  I love that my children are excited about learning and want to continue and do more!

La La Logic Review
 

This unique curriculum is online based.  Simply put this means that the learning is done online.  I’m not huge on having my young children sit in front of a computer for all their learning though so I was ecstatic to learn that not only did La La Logic offer their online Preschool Curriculum, but they also had printable worksheets and enrichment materials to go along with it.  That is huge for me!  I love to print things off and hold them while we work.  

 

La La Logic Review
 

This program, teaching problem solving for preschoolers, is geared towards children ages 3-6 with 100 weekly schedules.  I love things that can be used for more than one year!  I’m also a fan of things that I don’t have to take time to plan out.  This makes La La Logic ideal to me because it’s all already planned for me!  All I have to do each week is log into my little ones account, print off the schedule and any worksheets we will need for the week and we’re all set!  I like order though and tend to print off a month at a time and place the worksheets(with hole punches) into a binder.

 

 

La La Logic Review
 

So, the week goes smoothly using this problem solving for preschoolers.  As I mentioned there is an online aspect to it.  While I’m not a fan of computers and screens for young children I do recognize that they are going to have to learn how to use them and that they do learn very quickly when they are young.  The key to remember(at least for our home) is moderation of screen time.  The maximum we allow our young children is 30 minutes per day.  We can easily get our La La Logic done within that time frame(at least the online portion).  

 

Each week you get fun activities to do as a parent/child combination.  In our house this looked more like mommy and the two four-year olds combination activity.  That’s right!  I have two four-year old little girls with blonde hair, blue eyes, and glasses(just like mommy).  They loved working together and helping me(mommies aren’t always very smart and need help a lot) learn all about what they had to teach me.  Again there was the online portion and the worksheets to go with the weekly activities.  The online activities are meant to train your child’s brain to see patterns and discern such things as order while doing simple counting exercises as well.  Having taken the ACT myself I can see how this is preparing them at even a young age.  But, they don’t know this!  They’re having fun playing a cool game on the computer!  And since computer time is a privilege in our house this makes it even more fun for my girls. 

 

 

La La Logic Review
 

Real quick, let’s talk about these printables.  Do you need them?  Of course!  Well, you could probably raise a smart child all on your own without them, but I love printables.  With these printables your child will be working on fine motor skills such as cutting, pasting, tracing, coloring, etc.  Yes, learning to think logically and teaching problem solving for preschoolers are great, but your child also needs to be doing these activities as well.  As a mom of many I can say that sometimes the arts and crafts get pushed to the side because it’s a lot of work and a mess for me to clean up.  That’s part of the reason why I love that this Preschool Curriculum offers this up as part of the course in a simple easy to use printable.  All I have to do is provide the girls with the tub containing their scissors, glue, etc and be available to help them.  Talk about easy!

 

Want to learn more about La La Logic?  First hop over and check out their facebook page.  Then head on over to the TOS Review Crew Main Page to see what all the other reviewers thought of their Preschool Curriculum as well!  Problem solving for preschoolers has never been easier!  We have enjoyed our review period and look forward to continuing to use this program as we were given a lifetime subscription in exchange for our review.

 

 

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The Critical Thinking Co. #hsreviews

We get lots of reviews through the TOS Crew, but most of them are geared towards the older children.  Lately we’ve been using Alphabet Song Game from The Critical Thinking Co.  It’s geared towards toddlers through grade one.  That being the case, the youngest three have really been liking it!  Did I mention this particular game is a free download now(at time of posting)?

 

Alphabet Song Game Review

My youngest are 4 years old, 4 years old, and 21 months old.  They have loved using this Windows download software.  Super easy to download and install.  I made sure it downloaded with an icon on my desktop so I didn’t have to go searching for it as well.  

 

Critical Thinking Company Review
 

Ready to learn some of the basics of the Alphabet Song Game?  Maybe some more about the Critical Thinking Co. too?  So let’s start with the simplest bits!

I was first drawn to The Critical Thinking Co. as a possible review for our family do to learning how it was going to not just teach my children facts, but rather how to think as well.  Having my children learn how to think critically is a wonderful skill for them to learn.  Critical thinking is problem solving.  You’re not just teaching them what to think but empowering them by teaching them how to d the thinking on their own.

Right now The Critical Thinking Co. now offers over 200 titles in reading, math, writing, science, and history.  And, a great number of those are available for free as well.  This company not only wants to empower your children to learn to think for themselves critically but also to make sure all children can afford the software to help them learn.  Sounds like a great plan in my mind!

One of their current free downloads is the Alphabet Song Game which is what we reviewed.

 

Critical Thinking Company Review
 

Like I mentioned above, my three youngest girls really have enjoyed this program.  They loved the songs and learning about their letters.  I would recommend you use this with a touch screen device if possible as my little ones were all about trying to poke through my laptop screen at the right answer!  You see you’re supposed to touch(with the mouse on my computer) the correct answer, the letter coming next, the letter they’re saying, etc.  And when your device is not a touch screen, they don’t get the same reward.  I’m a bit slower than them it seems!

Within this program the children learn the letter names, to identify the uppercase and lower case letter shapes that go along with the names, as well as the order of the alphabet through the alphabet song.  You start out with uppercase by default though you can go in and change what lesson and skip straight to lowercase or even to the mixed section.  There are 9 lessons in the uppercase, 9 lessons in the lowercase, and 4 lessons in the mixed area.

 

Alphabet Song Game

 

When you go through in the default order it goes by lesson starting in the uppercase section.  It will automatically ask you at the end of the lesson if you want to go to the next lesson if you received a 90% or above.  If you didn’t receive that score it will ask you to play again.  My girls loved to redo the lessons(even if they got 100%)!  You can also reset the user.  

Did I just lose you?  Wondering about that reset the user?  Well it simply means that you reset so that it doesn’t show that you’ve done any of the lessons.  This would be wonderful if you’re using this for multiple children and they each want the sense of accomplishment that comes when getting 100% on all the lessons themselves.  Since I was using it with three at once we didn’t need to do this except when we had finished all the lessons and my girls thought that meant they couldn’t do them anymore.  A quick click of a button later and tada they once again had all undone lessons!

 

Alphabet Song Game

 

There is a spot within the program where I was able to see other offerings that go along with the Alphabet Song Game. I just have to say that my kids cannot wait(or maybe it’s me) until Letter Sounds Songs and Games comes out in June of this year!  Sounds like a great next step up from learning the letter names!  Such fun for the kids and a great way to learn.

While I used this program with my toddler and preschoolers it can be used for up to first grade per the company.  There are areas in the game that are more challenging.  They ask about mirror images and might be beneficial to older students.  My next up in age child is 6 years old and already knows his alphabet as well as is starting to read.  He wasn’t very interested in the program and his sisters didn’t want to share it with him!

Want to read about the other programs available from The Critical Thinking Co.?  Check out the rest of the TOS Crew reviews over on their Main Page to see what the other reviewers thought.   We were all reviewing different programs that are offered by this company.  You can also find The Critical Thinking Co. on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.  We personally cannot wait to try out some other of the programs from this great company!

 

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What Age Should you Start Schooling?

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!
 
I often have people ask me at what age should you start schooling?  
What age did you start your children learning.  
To me, this is a silly question as children are always learning.  But it does have some merit.  At what age should some formal schooling begin?  
My children start learning as young as age 3.  
Check out these awesome resources to help you with your younglings. 

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preschool program, including age-appropriate character-building tools, a
stick-figure Bible study, a creation-based coloring book, a handwriting
curriculum, an independent activity guide (for those times when you need
a moment to focus), and much more!

Buy more & save more! Purchase 2 pre-assembled bundles
and get the 3rd one 50% off! See site
for details.


Checkout the items in the Tot/PreK bundle:

 

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Raising Rockstars Preschool Curriculum – Retail $10.00

Foundational preschool program based on God’s Word. It begins with the foundation
of learning, memorizing and applying a verse each week, taken from the awesome
book, My ABC Bible Verses. Kumon inspired learning with colors, numbers,
and sight words incorporated along with early reading skills.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

We Choose Virtues Bundle – Retail $11.00

We Choose Virtues brings memorable catchphrases, endearing characters,
and just plain fun to simply inspire character that lasts. We Choose
Virtues
is about Character…more than attitudes or actions, it is who
you are when no one is watching. This We Choose Virtues mini-bundle includes:
Family Character Assessment, Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Book,
56 Page Teacher’s Handbook, We Choose Virtues Song Book, Butterfly
Virtue Award Certificate
, & Memory Verses, Bible Heroes and Truths.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Grapevine Studies Bible Curriculum – Retail $28.00

Preschool students will stick figure from Creation to the Tower of Babel.
This unit is traceable, allowing younger students to trace the stick figures,
instead of drawing them. This hands-on Bible study will show how God interacted
with people from Adam to Noah. Your students will study the events chronologically
from Creation to the building of the Tower of Babel. Students will stick
figure and memorize verses with each lesson. The teacher book contains lessons
pages, teacher notes, stick figures and review questions and answers.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Character Concepts for Preschoolers Mom’s Guide – Retail $29.95

Complete, easy to follow instructions for 36 wk of preschool lessons, focusing
on the understanding of and practical application of 12 character
qualities. Also included are suggestions for teaching ABC’s, family
fun trips, teaching science/nature, history, and basic skills in a
fun, easy way. Plenty of patterns are provided for your use as well
as over 30 fun, easy to make recipes. The suggestions in this Mom’s
Guide are appropriate for use with preschool and kindergarten as well.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Proverbs for Preschoolers: Through the Proverbs from A to Z – Retail $12.00

Proverbs for Preschoolers keeps the little ones busy for sure, but
it also does so much more. The little one learns the alphabet as he
learns the principles of the Book of Wisdom. For each letter of the
alphabet, there is at least one full coloring page and a facing page
with the Scripture printed out, as well as a practice penmanship line
with dash-written letters in both upper and lower case manuscript
for them to trace. The pictures to color are simple for little hands
to manage.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Character Trails Flashcards – Retail $9.00

This set of 12 full color flashcards is designed to help you as you teach
your children to hide God`s Word in their hearts! In order to apply
character to their lives they must first understand what it is with
simple, kid-friendly definitions (illustrated on the front side along
with Bible pictures). On the back side they learn what God’s Word
says concerning this quality (illustrated by pictures from the Boyer
cousin story in Character Trails). In less than 5 minutes a day, children
will learn and soon internalize godly character in their lives.

Click here to learn more!

Recommended for you and found at this price only at the
Build Your Bundle – Homeschool Edition Sale

in the Premium Products Section:

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!
*Not included in the Tot & Preschool Bundle, available for purchase individually at 60% off.

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Hands-on Character Building – Retail $9.00

Create precious family memories as you dive into projects, activities, and games designed to teach kids obedience, self-acceptance, a forgiving spirit, meekness, hunger for righteousness, and a bold testimony.

Written by a homeschooling family with 14 children, this character-building
“tool chest” overfloweth! Teach obedience by playing a game kids enjoy.
Prepare them to make wise decisions by playing the game of “If’s”,
and so much more!

Click here to learn more!

Be Thankful & New Testament Bible Reading Journal Bundle – Retail $12.98

This Bible Reading Journal includes 4 different writing lines/templates,
perfect for early learners. These printable journals will help you and your
kids dig deeper into God’s Word. Got kids at multiple stages? All four formats
are included in each set so you can pick and choose as needed.

The hardest part of Bible study is getting started. Be Thankful
is a tool to guide you through the Bible on the topic of thankfulness.
The verses are laid out for you. All you have to do is read the Scriptures
to your kids and guide them in creating a thankfulness journal.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Character Badges – Retail $12.99

Character Badges is a system consisting of three charts (the Obedience Chart,
the Disobedience Chart, and the Consequence Chart), a series of specially
designed badges, and a set of flash cards which work together to make
character training fun and rewarding for both you and your child.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue: Preschool and Early Elementary Character Curriculum – Retail $8.99

This book provides you with 6 months of character lessons that require very
minimal preparation. 24 character qualities are taught, with a week
of lessons for each of the traits. Provided in the lessons are a definition
for the trait, a memory verse, 3 “I WILL” statements that
relate to applying the character quality in their daily life, games,
object lessons, or role play, and a prayer for the child to pray about
applying what they have learned. There is also a coloring page for
each lesson. Included is a reward chart with a picture for them to
color, and space to display the character badges that they earn each
week.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

1777 New England Primer Manuscript – Retail $2.99

Set of printables that teaches children to form all the uppercase and lower
case print letters of the English alphabet. It comes complete with the same
26 Scripture passages, biblical ditties from the 1777 Primer used by the
Puritans and plenty of dotted lines for practice.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Creation ABC Coloring Book – Retail $6.50

Talented artist Angela Hilltree created this one-of-a-kind coloring book
based upon two of the Creation Study Guides: Creation Science and
Creation Geology. Your children will love putting these ABC mini books
together. Just cut on the lines and staple! 24 mini books highlight
the Creation Story with whimsical characters entertain your children
while teaching!

Click here to learn more!

Recommended for you and found at this price only at the
Build Your Bundle – Homeschool Edition Sale

in the Premium Products Section:

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!
*Not included in the Middle School Bundle, available for purchase individually at 60% off.

101 Independent Activities for Tots & PreK – Retail $4.99

Often you are busy with something that your children cannot help you with
and you need a way to occupy them. This eBook provides a supply of
ideas for things that your child can do independently. All of these
activities have been tested by real moms and kids. Most of these ideas
require minimal cost and setup.

Click here to learn more!

Basic Shapes for Beginners – Retail $4.99

A hands-on approach to pre-writing strokes for preschoolers. Designed for
ages 2-5 to be completed in 6 weeks. There are 5 activities included
in each week, along with 1 bonus activity for each week. There are
also 3 bonus activities at the end of the ebook that you can use for
kids who are older or ahead. Includes resource list, items needed
organized by week, and printables for designated activities.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Large Family Homeschooling – Retail $7.99


Are you homeschooling a growing family? Are you looking for ways to
get it all done without losing your mind (and your joy)? This book
includes some of the following topics : How to homeschool the hearts
of your children, How to have enough of you to go around, How to keep
your home clean and your homeschool organized, How to afford the large
family homeschool, and so much more!

Click here to learn more!


BUY MORE & SAVE MORE!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

*Lots of ways to save!

  1. When you purchase ANY 2 pre-assembled bundles you will get the 3rd
    pre-assembled bundle of equal or lesser value for 50% off!
  2. When you purchase ANY 2 “build your own” bundles you will get
    the 3rd “build your own” bundle of equal or lesser value for
    50% off!
  3. Tell your friends about the “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool
    Edition
    Sale using our referral system that is found on the top
    of the website
    ! When 10 of your referrals visit our site using your
    unique link, we will give you a code to save 10% off your total purchase!

*The B2G1 50% off offer applies to pre-assembled or “Build Your Own
Bundles only.
Discount taken off the lowes priced bundle. See site for complete details and FAQ.

Prefer to pick and choose what you want?
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Online Piano Lessons for Preschoolers with KinderBach

Kinderbach Review

Recently as part of our TOS Crew selection we reviewed online piano lessons for preschoolers by KinderBach.  We received the The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner for our review.  This is best designed for ages 3-7 and helps to encourage the basics of music to children.  No experience with piano or reading music is required for using this program.  I did use this with a variety of ages in our house.  I really let all of my kids use it or watch it and learn as much as they could.  We have from 9 years down to 9 months.  I say it can work for older than 7 well but those that are older than 7 probably could use another program just as easily.  They in my opinion(at least with my 9 year old) did not need the cute characters.  Those same cute characters though were what really helped my learning challenged 7 year old to grasp things that she just wasn’t getting any other way.

The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner can be purchased for a special price at the time of this post for $95.88/year (works out to $7.99/month – regular price $130/year). They offer a Free 2 Week Trial and 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

Nursery Rhymes 1

KinderBach can be used in schools or at home.  With my access I got access to the Teacher’s Corner as well.  I have to say going into the Teacher Corner was my favorite!  In the Teacher Corner there is access to coloring pages, songbooks(with audios), student books, teacher books, aid books, and so much more.  It is really a treasure chest just waiting to be explored.

While I reviewed the online version, there are also DVD’s available(priced at $19.95) if you don’t want to watch them online.  I did not receive any DVD’s as part of this review so cannot tell you anything about the quality of those.  There are also apps available for the iPad and iPhone.  We don’t have smart phones or devices so I didn’t really look at that, but if you do you might want to check it out along with the free trial membership.  

My kids enjoyed getting to learn with the characters.  Each note has a character, so each key has a character.  The “music” that they get to play isn’t necessarily on lines and staffs like we’re used to, but rather characters in the form of a train chugging along the tracks.  It is really the simples of music, but they are still learning what you need to know of the basics and more importantly it’s fun!

These characters teach your child note reading, rhythm, composition, and singing.  I personally grew up playing the piano but knew that I could never teach my children how to play because I am tone deaf.  Yeap, you read that right, I played piano for over 10 years(taking lessons too) with being 100% tone deaf.  My husband on the other hand plays totally by ear and can’t read music.  We talked about teaming up to teach the kids but just never had the time.  

KinderBach gave us the time.  Through their cute little videos(which are really short) and coloring pages/activities, my kids can play simple songs on the piano.  There are currently 6 levels of lessons which equal out to 60 weeks worth of lessons.  The lessons are interactive and engaging for your child.  I say child, but more than one child can use this at a time.  Since it is ideally for children ages 3-7 there is a great age range to work with.  There are also 240 videos as well as several downloadable song books, activity sheets, and coloring pages.

This program gets my seal of approval.  My kids loved it!  We used it daily Monday through Friday for the review period except for a week we took off due to our house fire for cleaning etc.  It doesn’t take long to do, but what they learn they can easily keep practicing and racking up the hours with.  My kids didn’t have to have a keyboard to do their practicing either.  We’d print out some of the handy little “train” worksheets and they could practice their finger placement and tapping one finger at a time.  That for us was a major issue with some of the kids.   They just don’t have the fine motor that they should have and using only one finger at a time or using that finger hard enough to put down a key was not always happening.  

You can get a keyboard to use next to your computer or we were a bit more inventive, tech savvy, whatever you want to call it.  We have an older laptop that the screen no longer works on.  Combine this with an htmi cable and our television and tada!  Everyone can watch at the same time AND take turns sitting at the piano.  We pulled out all the stops too because I wanted all my kids to work on this.  We worked on rhythm with pots and pans and wooden spoons.  That of course was much fun.  Even the 8 month old had fun keeping rhythm with a wooden spoon and a pot.  I have to say she’s pretty good!  

So, in conclusion, we in our house totally adore KinderBach!  We fully recommend them and think they’re  a great addition to any preschool homeschool program.  Make sure to check them out and see for yourself with their free trial and free printables.  My kids can play simple tunes on the piano without “reading” music, they also know what the keys are thanks to the cute characters that were used for each note.  While cute and fun it teaches which is all a mommy can ask for.

Use the banner below or click HERE to go read more reviews from members of the TOS Crew review team who also got to try out this unique little program for teaching online piano lessons for preschoolers with KinderBach.  Make sure to check them out on facebook, twitter, youtube, and pinterest as well.

 

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