Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Math Mini Courses ~ Review

My daughter has been polishing up her math skills with Math Mini Courses from A+ Interactive Math.

We were given access to the Time and Multiplication mini courses in order to complete this review.

What Are Math Mini Courses

They are exactly that, mini math courses and are a great way to help with math learning gaps. If you notice that your child may be struggling in just one small area then a mini course directly related to that area may just be what you are in need of.

For example I knew my kids needed a little more practice with telling time so we've been using the Time Math Mini Course, along with Multiplication as that is where my daughter is at right now.

The Time mini course is 20 multimedia lessons, whilst the Multiplication mini course has a total of 13 lessons. Every mini course also includes an assessment at the end of each lesson.

Whilst the lessons can all be done completely online via the multimedia video lesson format, if you choose you can also print them out via pdf, along with worksheets, tests and report progress sheets.

How We Used The Mini Courses

My daughter chose to do these courses solely online, so she logged in, chose the course she was currently working in from the dashboard area of our account and launched the multimedia video lessons.

Each course is contained within a folder which needs to be expanded to see all of the mini lessons that are to be completed.

Once a lesson is opened up it begins immediately with a friendly voice over and simple animations to explain the concept through a brief video based lesson. Each lesson is only a few minutes in length and it moves directly into the assessment questions at the end.

On completion of a lesson the user or the parent is required to mark the lesson and the assessment quiz as completed, along with the scores in the quiz. The program does not do this automatically and lessons will sit uncompleted until their status has been manually changed.

This is a simple system to use and was very easy for my daughter to jump on and complete a lesson in a few minutes.

The time lessons cover the following concepts days, weeks, months, years, seasons, second, minutes, digital, analog, hour, half hour, quarter hour and five minute intervals, duration and units of time, converting digital and analog, elapsed time.

The multiplication lessons cover these concepts, introduction to multiplication, multiplying using objects, a table and tricks and multiplying with 2, 3, 4 and 5 digit numbers.

What We Didn't Like

My biggest concern with these lessons is that we continually forgot to mark them as complete and I don't quite understand why that wasn't built into the system as an automatic feature. It seems like it makes extra work that would be unnecessary if the system could simply mark it complete once the child got to the end of the lesson.

This process also wasn't shown to us so it was only by trial and error that we found we needed to mark lessons and assessment quizzes as completed.

What We Did Like

I love the concept of mini courses for math, it is a great idea and certainly one that would fill a need with many families. The courses are affordably priced, starting from just $9.99 US dollars which gives you access to the course for an entire 12 month period.

Given that our Time Math Mini Course only has 20 lessons we can revisit during the year to be absolutely certain all of the concepts have been learned.

I really like the multimedia component and the fact that the child does not need to complete worksheets if they don't want. But the worksheets are available for those that want them or need the extra practice.

Looking Ahead

My daughter will absolutely be completing both of her mini courses and will no doubt revisit them again over the coming year.

I've got my eye on a couple of the upper level courses for my son, especially the probability and statistics mini course. I think he would enjoy that one and it will help to hone his skills in that area.

Pricing & Details

As I mentioned above the mini courses are reasonably priced, starting from $9.99 US dollars. To see all of the math mini courses available visit the A+ Interactive Math Website.

To see more from them you can also follow along via your favourite social media outlet


I hope you have found this review helpful. If you would like to see further reviews of the various Math Mini Courses, from members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, please visit this link.

Happy Homeschooling,

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Five On A Friday #5

So it's first week back of term two, just after our Easter break. It's been tough getting back into the swing of things.

In The Home

Things have been a bit chaotic around here and with the busyness of my huge home and resources clear out I totally missed doing last weeks five on a Friday.

I am still doing bits and pieces and clearing spaces around the home and passing on items we no longer have a need for.

In School

Given how busy I've been over the break I really was not ready for school to start back so this week has been tough going in that regards. We've had a couple of gentle mornings and we have a few review products that are in use so at least we are keeping up with those.

We are also gearing up for our micro-school to start back next week so I'm getting my plans organised for that.

Out & About

Sunday we caught up with our fav micro-school friends for a family picnic and a small birthday celebration for one of our mums.

During the week the kids also had some of their friends over for an afternoon of hanging out, playing board games and getting rowdy on the PS4.

Today we took a drive down the coast to hang out with some other homeschoolers at Bounce Indoor trampolining. Everyone is always exhausted after two solid hours of jumping and flipping!

On The Net

In case you missed it The Old Schoolhouse has offered the Review Crew members access to some of their e-books for us to share with you. These will only be available for free during the month of April. If you missed my post you can see the 30 Free e-books I have here. I am trying to share as many of the links to the other bloggers that are offering freebies as I can over on my Facebook page so keep an eye on that.

On The Blog

Posts I've shared this past fortnight

I shared how I gently move my children towards independent learning.

Of course I shared the April only free e-books.

Did you see the Times Tales review? This is such a simple product and it sure does help with learning the tables.

I shared our recent visit to the Gold Coasts newest cool attraction.

We've finally added copywork back into our routine and I shared our thoughts on the site Homeschool Copywork.

Lastly, my youngest has been typing and reading up a storm with Read, Write & Type.

That about wraps up the week.

How did yours pan out? I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Homeschooling,

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Read Write & Type ~ Review

My son has been using the Read, Write & Type Program from Talking Fingers Inc.

We were provided with  this program in order to review it. Read, Write & Type provides learners with early reading, spelling and typing practice.

What Is Read, Write & Type

Read, Write & Type is a research proven reading software program, that teaches phonics, spelling and early typing skills. The program is aimed at children ages 6 to 9 years.

My 7 year old son has been using the program.

How We Used The Program

As you enter the program you are introduced to the three main characters, those being Lefty LaDee Hands, Rightway McKay and the resident villain Vexor the Virus.

The premise being that Vexor has stolen all of the sounds and the child needs to help get them back to their rightful homes. Which are their keys on the keyboard.

To do so the child needs to work through a series of exercises and games each letter at a time. As they complete the activities the letters are won back from Vexor and returned to their rightful place on the keyboard.

Even though the program begins with the single initial letter sounds the child is very quickly typing words and simple sentences.

With each letter the child is presented with various challenges and games to ensure that everything is cemented before moving on.

Letters are taught in groups of four, once the child has successfully progressed through all of the activities associated with those four letters they will be presented with a certificate of merit, which you can choose to print out if you wish.

What We Didn't Like

My son felt he was slightly too old for the program, even though for me I believe he still got a lot out of doing it. He already knows all of his initial sounds and is completing early readers with ease but the lessons introduced very different words than what he is used to and it also helped him solidify his learning. Not to mention that he got to work on some early typing skills.

There are no real lesson stop and start points with the program so at times it is difficult to tell when you are finished. Although it does retain where you have progressed to so that the next time you log on the program simply picks up where you left off.

What We Did Like

I love that this is pretty much an independent program. Once in a while he needed to ask me something he wasn't sure on or every now and then I would need to remind him about his finger placement. Apart from that he could and did do this program independently.

I also like that once they progress enough they earn mini readers, which download as a pdf and are just another way to add in more reading practice for the child.

Each lesson is relatively short, being around 15 minutes, although as I mentioned earlier if the child needs to stop for the day the program will simply remember where they are at when they next log in.

Looking Ahead

My son is well over halfway with the program so he will continue and finish it off over the next couple of weeks.

If you have a child that loves to learn online, is asking about typing or needs extra phonics help then Read, Write & Type may just be the one for you.

Pricing & Details

Read Write and Type Review
Visit the Talking Fingers Inc. website for more details on this program and the other programs they also have available.

To see more from Talking Fingers Inc. visit them via your favourite social media outlet

Facebook ~   YouTube ~   Twitter    

 I hope you have found this review helpful. If you would like to see further reviews of the Read, Write & Type program from members of The Schoolhouse Review Crew, please visit this link.

Happy Homeschooling,

Come on over and join me at

Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Google + 

Have you looked at my Pinterest Boards lately?

Visit Our Worldwide Classroom's profile on Pinterest.

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