Homeschool Printables {Homeschool Review Crew}

Homeschool Printables

Homeschool Review Crew

I love homeschooling.  It’s an amazing learning experience for both me and my children.  But it can also be challenging at times when I can’t find the resources I’m looking for to help substitute some topics.  Super Teacher Worksheets is the perfect answer!  I’m loving the individual membership we received for a year through the Homeschool Review Crew!!  Thousands of worksheets for grades kindergarten through fifth are available for a yearly membership of $19.95.

 

 Super Teacher Worksheets
 

Imagine a world where all the homeschool printables you can imagine exist?  I’ve found it!  Homeschool printables have never been easier.  There are literally thousands of prewritten ready for me to print pages and even a way for me to design and print out my own!  Every subject under the sun is there as well as ones that I hadn’t even though to look for.

Some highlights!  I love that there is a literature section.  I have a hard time coming up with questions for my kids over the books they read.  Instead of me just letting them tell me about the book they’ve read we’ve been able to assign books that are already available with homeschool printables of the study guides.  Some fun ones that we’ve read before and that I had some of my second to third grade readers read and do the corresponding study guides are The Boxcar Children and The Magic Treehouse Series #1.  I can’t wait to explore that selection more for my older kids as well.  

 

Homeschool Printables

 

Another fun area for us is geography.  I’ve really been wanting to work with my kids on memorizing the names of the states and their capitals with the hope that someday we can start travelling and visiting some.  I was super excited to find a printable worksheet that gives all of the state names, their capital city, and their abbreviation.  My children each got a copy of this to read and study and then they can quiz each other with it.  Tons of fun and then they test their knowledge on car rides by reading license plates.  One child says the name of the state, the next child makes a tally mark by that state abbreviation, and a third child calls out the capital.  The only time we’ve been stumped was with a Canadian license plate! 

 

Homeschool Printables

 

Because we’re in the midwest and near a refuge that really draws Monarch butterflies we decided to grab the science homeschool printables about butterflies.  A super fun one we printed off to read and learn is about the difference between a butterfly and a moth.  Lots of good information there!  They also have homeschool printables about the life cycle of butterflies which is pretty neat to study too.

 

homeschool printables

 

I don’t know where to begin on the fun pages to print for your preschool and kindergarten learners.  You really would never need to buy them a curriculum because of all the great games and pages that are available.  We printed off some trace and write worksheets for the alphabet for my four year old.  She loves that she can work on school with the big kids!

 

Homeschool Printables

 

I’m personally so excited for all the fun games that you can print off and play too!  It’s going to be raining all week her this week so we’re planning on checking some out!  Normally I have to resort to letting the kids watch some educational programs but not this time!

 Super Teacher Worksheets

Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about homeschool printables and Super Teacher Worksheets please check out the main blog post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.  You can also check them out on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram.

 

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Rainforest Journey {TOS Crew Review}

Have you ever wondered what it’s like in the rainforest?  Wanted to teach your child about it during homeschool?  My kids have been enjoying a Rainforest Journey thanks to a recent review from the TOS Crew.  EdTechLens offered us a year subscription to three levels of their Rainforest Journey program.  We received levels(grades) Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade.  The main grade I’ll focus on in this review is the First Grade level though we did use and enjoy them all.

 

Rainforest Journey EdTechLens Review
 

If you’re like me, you had never heard of this company until I mentioned them.  They’re a fairly new resource to the homeschool community.  EdTechLens focuses on Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Rainforest Journey is their first program.  It focuses on teaching children about the rainforest in a unique way.  Each level is a bit more difficult and more complex to help build on what they may have learned and to help them incorporate it more.

Some fun things about the program are the wonderful pictures.  They’re not animations but rather real vivid photographs and videos.  The program is also interactive so your child can feel like they really are on a Rainforest Journey!  The closest we’ve ever come is visiting the rainforest section of our local zoo so this was very fun for my kids.   Plus the bonus is that they’re learning so much and having fun at the same time. 

For each grade level their are 5 units.  Each unit contains different lessons.  There are 34 lessons total per level.  All grade levels have the same 5 units.  They are The Big Picture, Adapt or Die!, Animals, Plants and Fungi, and Ecosystem.  Each grade level gets more indepth with these concepts and challenges the user more.  This is an interactive program so throughout the Rainforest Journey there are interactive ways for your child to learn more and also answer questions and show their knowledge of the material.

 

Rainforest Journey EdTechLens Review
 

My kids loved that they could click to learn more and it would and it would sometimes take them on a tour or introduce them to a child who was in the rainforest.  It made them feel like they were really a part of the rainforest journey and that they were seeing and learning on their own.  I liked the enrichment areas that would tell them more about what that particular passage was about.  It helped them to relate their life to the rainforest and the plants/animals that live there.

Each child is provided with their own username and password so they can get in and work on their level independently.  Unless the parent overrides it, the default setting is to go through the program sequentially start to finish and not allow the child to skip around.  I didn’t over ride that as we haven’t really studied the rainforest before and I wanted to see what direction the program would take.  As the parent I could get into my own account and manage all three of my children’s accounts and see what they had done and what they had left.  I could see what areas they had done better at and the ones that needed some work.

 

Rainforest Journey {TOS Crew Review}

 

 

This is an online only curriculum.  It’s considered enrichment because it doesn’t contain an anatomy portion to fill the life sciences title, but we found it to be a wonderful well rounded program.  You can purchase a one year license for one student in one grade for $50.  If you have 2-5 students that you wish to place all in the SAME grade you can choose the up to 5 students option which will give you 5 slots in the class for that one grade level.  This costs $75.  For me that would be a good deal because I do have two children in the same grade for a few grade levels.  But then when you have 9 children and they all work at their own speeds it’s bound to happen somewhere!

I have to say that I would recommend this.  I liked that I could have three different grade levels to look over.  I found that they are geared down in my opinion.  So my student who I placed in the kindergarten level could easily have done the first grade.  Of that vein the one I put in first grade could have easily done the second grade.  We received K, 1st, and 2nd so those were the only ones I had access to.  I wanted to start at the beginning and see how it progressed.

 

Rainforest Journey EdTechLens Review
 

I feel that after my child doing the first grade level finishes that level he could easily do the second grade level without feeling like he was going over the exact same information again.  It does change it up just enough and interact with them a bit differently that it gets them thinking on a different level and course so they’ll stay engaged.  

The program is simple for children to navigate and does hold their attention.  My kids easily did 30 minutes on this one days we worked on it.  It’s recommended to use it three days a week(at least).  We used it on an almost daily basis.  Four days a week on this program was very common in our household.  In fact, asking to use it on a Saturday was common to.  It’s more fun for the kids than it is learning in my opinion.  They like to do things on the computer which they don’t get to do often in our house considering we have one computer for 11 people so it’s a treat and they’re going to pay more attention to it.  

We would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to take their children on a virtual rainforest journey while also having them learn about the rainforest and the layers and how everything works.  I’m excited to take my kids to the zoo again and see what they have to say when we’re walking through the rainforest section!

Please feel free to check out all the other levels and what reviewers thought of them on the Main TOS Crew Blog.  You can also visit EdTechLens on twitter, facebook, pinterest, google +, and linkedin.  Because there are so many reviewers you’re sure to find someone focusing on the grade level that your child will need!

 

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Science Unit Study for All Ages {TOS Crew Review}

What do you use to teach science when you have multiple age ranges in your homeschool? Lately for us we’ve been reviewing Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers.  It was created by Susan Kilbride when she noticed a lack in the area of science while homeschooling her own children.  With a degree in biology she was perfect for the role.  Her site, Funtastic Unit Studies, provides a wealth of information to homeschoolers while her book focuses on science.

Since I have 9 children ages 2 up to age 10, it can be interesting to teach science to them.  I don’t love science or have a special passion for teaching it.  It’s one of those subjects that I’d skip if I could because I really don’t like all the prep and such involved with experiments.  But it’s a core subject and we have to have it!  So I have been spending time looking for a science unit study for all ages.  In fact, I knew I was going to want a unit study type approach so I could do science for everyone at once.  I was so pleased to find that Funtastic Unit Studies contained just that, a science unit study for all ages. 

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is full of fun idea on how to teach science to your student. The first ten chapters are geared towards the younger age range of 4-7 years old while the second ten chapters are more for ages 8-13. Each chapter focuses on a particular science concept teaching it through various fun experiments that use items around the house. 

Now that I’ve given you the recommended ages for this book, let me tell you what we did.  I chose to just use the first half of the book this year.  There are ten chapters.  We’re spending two weeks on each chapter so that gives us 20 weeks worth of science!  I’m using it with all my kiddos.  Now, the 2 year old is not technically doing school, but you can’t tell her that!  I technically do not have to do school with any of my kids until they are age 7 but the four year old started last year on kindergarten and is doing a mix of K and 1st this year! The 5 year old is doing a preK course and the rest are all ages 7-10.  

 

science unit study for all ages

 

The first half is geared towards ages 4-7 but you can easily use it for older children as well.  I found looking through the book that it would be easier to have the older kids do the younger work than try to adapt the older section for younger kids.

A preview to what the book will by like can be seen by getting your FREE Unit Study on Atoms. Also available for free is another unit from the book on Plants.  

Since finishing the Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers that the Crew members are reviewing, Susan Kilbride has gone on to work on a history series Titled “Our America” as well as a Kindle ebook titled “How to Teach about Electricity for Ages 8-13”. 

Make sure you check out all the other reviews on the Main TOS Crew Review Page.  We all received the same book but I’m sure we did different studies so you’ll get more of a feel for the curriculum this way!

 

 

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FishFlix.com Christian Movies #hsreviews

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty picky about what movies my kids get to watch.  It’s important to us that when they are young they watch good solid Christian movies.  So we were super excited about this review from FishFlix.com for the TOS Review Crew.  We received two movies to review titled Flight and Metamorphosis.  

FishFlix.com Review
 

While all 9 of my children and I did watch these movies together as I will mention again below, they are really educationally geared for ages 10 and up.  That in no way means that children younger than 10 cannot watch them or learn from them.  I’m a firm believer in letting all ages learn from the same material.  It makes my life as a homeschool teacher and mom easier.  As I also love unit studies, I can tell you that each movie is a great basis for a unit study as well.  

My kids were excited to learn that they were going to get to watch two movies for school.  Watching television or movies is a treat for my kids and we try to limit how much they watch.  We watch more things for school than we do for “just fun” or entertainment at our house.  I’m a firm believer in playing outside and learning by doing.  But, there are times when you simply can’t do things and that’s when it’s nice to have movies to help you teach.

 

Christian movies homeschool review

 

FishFlix.com is a Christian movie company dedicated to giving us more choices when it comes to wholesome movies for the whole family to watch.  I think they’re doing a great job from the two movies we reviewed!

Both of the movies we received are part of the The Design of Life series by Illustra Media.  This series includes documentaries that explore science and the creation through questioning whether it could have happened by chance or is really the design of an awesome creator. 

Flight: The Genius of Birds DVD covers birds of all shapes and sizes, though the main three birds highlighted are the hummingbird, starling, and arctic tern.  You’ll learn everything you could ever want to know about birds.  Well for me, my kids still have a lot of questions so I guess we need to go off to see more birds!  They have always loved to watch what birds come to our feeders and bird watch driving around our local wildlife refuge, so I knew this was going to be a hit with them.  This movie is 63 minutes long PLUS some bonus extras as well.

 

FishFlix.com Review
 

Some great points to let you know about Flight include that it is definitely under the label of Christian movies because it is filmed from a view of a great Creator who designed these birds to be exactly as they are and how awe-inspiring that really is.  You’re going to learn about what helps the birds to fly and why they have feathers pointing this and that direction.  It all points to a creator and does not include Darwinism at all.  

The other of the great Christian movies we received was Metamorphosis DVD a 64 minute movie plus extras and bonuses.  This covers the beauty and design of butterflies from the beginning to the end.  You’ll see them as a teeny tiny egg as they mature and grow all the way to a beautiful butterfly.  This was another great choice for my children as they love butterflies.  It also means we’re going to have to take a trip soon to our “local” zoo(that means two hours away) so we can see their great butterfly exhibit.  We love to go and look at all the different colors and sizes and the wonderful designs.

 

FishFlix.com Review
 

For this review we just watched the movies through and discussed them, but I have some great plans for the future!  This summer we are going to be taking a trip to the zoo and doing quite a bit of research on butterflies.  I’m also hoping to get some larvae of our own to hatch out so we can experience their life cycle first hand.  The main star of this movie is the Monarch Butterfly and what it has to go through in its lifetime.

This movie is a great wealth of information to include when discussing this with my children.  It’s simple and easy to understand for all ages.  Even my youngest, who’s not quite two yet, enjoyed watching these movies because they were engaging and had wonderful cinematography.  

Interested in some of the other titles that Crew Reviewers were given?  Check out the Main TOS Review Crew Blog page for a link up of all the reviews.  You can also check out FishFlix.com on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google +.

 

 

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Online Science for Multi Ages #hsreviews

Visual Learning Systems Review
 

I really enjoyed science when I was in school and want to impart that love to my children as we homeschool.  I’ve used several science programs but never found that perfect fit.  I wanted something that I could use with all of my kids!  Recently as part of the TOS Crew we received a full year subscription to Visual Learning Systems to review.  This is an online science for multi ages, from preschool through grade 12.  In their program they divide it out into two sections.  The first section is Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition(grades K-5) while their other section is the Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition(grades 6-12).

Visual Learning Systems Review
 

While I received access to both levels, my oldest is only 10 and in a third/fourth grade level so we didn’t have anyone to use the Secondary Edition.  We used the Elementary Edition.  Within the Elementary level you have access to Primary and Elementary.  I divided my children in half so the younger ones did the Primary lessons while the older children did the Elementary lessons.  Basically for us Kindergarten and Preschool did Primary while the 2nd-4th did Elementary together.

Let me tell you a bit about the program.  Once you login you get to choose which level you want.  Let’s start with Primary here.  My primaries would do their science in the mornings.  After you choose the primary level you then get to choose which subject you want.  In primary you can choose from Physical, Earth, Life, and Health.  Each of these then has sublevels that you choose to do your lessons.  Once you choose the lesson you then have chapters to go through.  You can print out worksheets to go with the chapters and have your children complete those hands on or orally.  With my younger kids who can’t yet read and write on their own we did it verbally.  We’d watch the clip and then talk about it answering the questions.

 

Visual Learning Systems Review
 

Another spot to talk about is that there are more than just videos for each lesson.  It took me a few chapters before I realized that at the top you can choose between video, animation, images, and teacher’s guides.  The videos are the chapters for each lesson.  The animations and images are extra learning tools that you can add and use to help understand what you’re learning while the teacher’s guides also contain the student activities.  Great resources and I wanted to make sure you know about those from the get go!

 

Visual Learning Systems Review
 

When you move up to the Elementary level you see that you lose Health as a Subject but you still have Physical, Earth, and Life to choose from.  The rest of the set up is the same.  If you’re using the secondary level(which I hope we get to before our year is out) you will find more subjects.  Subjects for this edition are Physical, Earth, Life, Integrated, Health, and Biology.  Everything else is set up the same way.

My kids really have enjoyed this program.  Part of the review period I was in the hospital with my youngest and the kids were able to continue their lessons.  It’s easy to use and my husband/mom were able to step in without knowing what they were doing and help the kids.  Any program that other people can easily teach to my kids while I’m not available has gained new respect in my eyes.  

I want to mention that we were supposed to use this three times a week for the review period.  My kids easily used this five days a week.  Some weeks they did it on Saturdays too.  They didn’t just do one chapter a day either.  They truly loved these and enjoyed doing them.  

I have used the program on two computers.  Both are HP with windows.  As far as I know you can use this on any device from a Mac to a PC to a tablet to an iPad.  I don’t have any of those, but we did use it on my laptop and a desktop.  You can even run the program on two computers at once.  That is awesome when you’re using two different levels or have kids that want to work on different subjects.  

So to summarize quickly for you.  We loved this program.  I would not have probably signed up for this on  my own because I’m not big on online programs.  But this is one that we would definitely purchase.  It’s great and the kids are learning so much from it.  We finally have a Science curriculum that is teaching them and that they are excited to learn from.  We’ve done science within other programs but hadn’t found a perfect fit to do science as its own subject.  This has the potential to be that fit for us!  Make sure you check it out!  It’s a great online science for multi ages.  You can use it with preschool all the way up to grade 12!

Ready to learn more about Visual Learning Systems?  Check out all the other reviews over on the TOS Crew blog post.  You’ll find out what other reviewers thought of both the elementary and secondary editions and how they used theirs.  You can also learn more by finding Visual Learning Systems on Facebook and Twitter.   Enjoy learning!

 

 

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Supercharged Science e-Science Program #hsreviews

Supercharged eScience Review
I don’t know about you, but I have some young children that love Science.  As part of the TOS Crew we were given access to the e-Science Premium Membership from  Supercharged Science to try out.  We received a 6 month membership as part of the review.  With our membership we have access to all levels and units of the K-12 membership.

The e-Science Program is available in two forms.  For grades K-8 or grades K-12.  We received the K-12 version for our review.  A  membership is $57 for one month.  Available right now you can try out a month of the K-8 level or 9-12 level e-Science program for $1 by signing up via this link.  

Supercharged eScience Review
The e-Science Program is an online science program that helps to let your child learn and want to learn.  It is not structured in that you have to do this on day one and this one day two and work on this program 5 days a week.  Though you certainly can use it daily!  We used this 3 times per week for the most part.  There were some weeks we did a few more and some weeks we might have used the program all 5 days but not even finished one experiment if my kiddos didn’t really grasp the concepts.

You can choose what you want to learn about and experiment with by grade level or by topic.  There are 20 different units and too many lessons for me to count!  These experiments are taught in detailed videos as well as having worksheets, lesson plans, and links to other experiments that compliment what is being learned in the current experiment.  

I have to admit that science is not my favorite subject.  I like science, but only certain parts of science.  I’m more of the A and P, biology, less of the what this chemical does with this chemical type of person.  Science is probably the one I struggle to teach the most.  This is partially because I have boys that love science and making things explode.   

I know I have broken some of the how not to teach kids science rules.  Knowing this I knew that this year I was going to have to change up the way I was doing science.  My plan was to study what my kids wanted.  So at the beginning of the year we talked about the different types of science and what we could do.  I had some that wanted to do anatomy  and some who wanted to build volcanoes.  It’s truthful to say that there is never a dull moment in our science classes!

Supercharged eScience Review
I like that there are quizzes and some homework assignments so that there is something you can keep to show what your child has done/learned through the program.  I know a lot of people use online curriculums and have found ways to keep records through them, but I like to have some copies of my students work as well to keep in my notebook.  In general, I am not a fan of online curriculums for a few reasons.  Mainly we only have one computer that our kids can use but also because I don’t like not being as involved in my children’s schooling.

With this program I can either let my kids go and learn on their own with the detailed step by step videos or I can help my children in their recreation of the experiments.  Because I have so many young children we started with the preschool and kindergarten level experiments.  Life Science is where we started as our oldest is really into plants and animals.  There are several fun experiments to use with your kids for this and they really DO learn the concepts through the experiments and the reading that goes along with them.

In our life science course the favorite experiment of my boys was the predators and prey experiment.  Something to do with learning who eats who really speaks to boys.  Those boys had fun building their own little eco-system.  In fact, they now have their daddy purchasing them a large batch of praying mantis because they want to release them into the yard/farm to eat some of the “bad bugs”.    We have a problem with fruit flies in our soil and spiders.  And of course, watching the female bite off the males head is always fun!  Now my girls preferred the Plant Press experiment.  My daughter already has decided she is making a “field journal” this spring and summer to document all of the different flowers and plants that occur on our Loess Hills bluff.

Supercharged eScience Review
Aurora Lipper created Supercharged Science around 10 years ago.  A fun bit of trivia is that Aurora is a real rocket scientist and worked with NASA!  WOW!  Truly an amazing woman.  She wants to get children excited about learning, but most importantly about learning science!  Science becomes fun again as she teaches science for you.   I find this to be a unique program in how it is taught and how it is set up.  

I also have to share about another prek/kindergarten area we visited.  The physics corner.  I never thought that you taught physics to such a young age.  I never would have done it on my own surely.  But Aurora did.  I am so glad she did think about this too. My boys are in heaven!  My oldest boy is 7 and in 2nd grade.  He has made his own slingshot with a stick and a rubber band.  We have talked about how the slingshot works, why it works, and tried to guess where things shot from it will land by guessing at and mapping a trajectory pattern.   And did I mention he’s only 7?!  This comes from the catapults experiment in the physics section.

Another section we enjoyed was the Earth Science section of the second grade level.  My daughter found a rock a few weeks ago and wanted to find out more about it.  So we did a small unit study on rocks and geology.  As part of that we did the hardness, luster, color streak, and tenacity experiments with her rock!  She loved it!  And I love being able to help my children learn things that they find interesting.

Some positives:  It’s totally self guided!  You and your children get to choose what they learn, how much they learn, how quickly they learn, etc.  There are no rule books saying you have to do 10 experiments per month and you have to do them in this order.  Your child can decide what interests them and go by topic or go by grade level.  You have a real science teacher(who is very knowledgeable) give detailed step by step and show how everything is done/works.  In addition to that, there is unlimited support.  So if you have a question about an experiment you can contact and get your questions answered and make sure the concepts are fully understood.  There are comprehensive teacher guides so that if science isn’t your thing, you have a back up to help you know what is going on.  There are readings.  These are textbook type readings with information to help explain not only the why and the how but also background information.  There are quizzes and exercises that can be printed off and kept if you need records of grades for your child that can be shown to those in the need to know.  You have a safe learning environment.  All experiments are safe.  If it’s something you’re not comfortable with doing in your own home, you are totally free to skip it and go on to another.  Each experiment comes with a list of supplies needed so you can plan accordingly.

Some negatives(to me):  To me though the cost isn’t huge, it would be too expensive for my family.  It is an online curriculum, so if you do not have a good internet connection you will have problems.  While we did not have trouble with most videos loading, we did have some slow playbacks and plenty of rebufferings.  Really, there aren’t a lot of negatives about this program.

I think the fact that I found only two negatives about the program speaks for itself.  But don’t take my word for it!  Sign up for the $1 month subscription I referenced above and give it a go yourself.

Want to read more about Supercharged Science?  Interested in other ways to use the program in your homeschool?  Check out the Main TOS Crew post for the link up where several other reviewers share their experiences.

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