Friday, June 9, 2017

Marsh Media ~ Review

Today I would like to introduce you to MarshMedia a company that produces health education products mainly for use in schools but would like to reach out to the homeschool community.


Our family was given access to the suite of health and puberty videos that MarshMedia have available in order to bring this review to you.

What is MarshMedia

The company creates educational products, mainly based around puberty and health for children and young teens and up until now have primarily created these for schools. The company has put together a great plan though in an effort to reach out to the homeschool community!

The company was originally founded in 1969 and whilst the ownership has changed hands during that time their purpose has always remained the same. That is to provide quality, engaging and educational health videos to children from grades K through to 8.

The MarshMedia suite covers topics such as
  • Health
  • Hygiene
  • Safety
  • Puberty
  • Head Lice
  • Immune System Disorders
  • Nutrition
  • Character Education
  • Social Skills and more
MarshMedia points out that their video's do not discuss sex education, although the terminology is referred to within puberty and health education. I watched these videos mostly with my 8 year old son and was pleased to find nothing that was inappropriate for him to see.


Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }


How Did We Use MarshMedia

After logging on I spent some time browsing the various titles available as there was quite a range to choose from.


We watched several of the videos in the hygiene section, the Keep It Clean video was particularly useful, with a teen boy in the house they can always use a little reminder. The video featured a small group of teens singing and chanting with a catchy 'rap' feeling tune. The video covered a huge amount of information around keeping clean and why it is important, but because it was presented in this fashion it wasn't arduous to watch in any way.




Nutrition and safety are topics we discuss around here quite a lot, but having the video option to present the information in a slightly different fashion was a welcome change.


Whilst we didn't access the videos in the Special Needs area I was pleasantly surprised to see them available.

I have not shared images of everything available, these are just a cross section of what you will find in the range.

What We Didn't Like

I personally felt that the website as whole could be a little more user friendly, but after a bit of poking around I did get to everything I needed.

My eldest teen felt some of the videos were a little childish, but he is above the targeted age range.

What We Did Like

That we could quickly and easily access videos relating to just about any health topic a child may need. I didn't need to go googling I knew that all of the information would be presented in the videos here.

Further Details

MarshMedia are currently offering homeschooling families access to unlimited viewing of 59 videos for only $50 USD. To find out all of the details visit the Homeschool Offer page on their website.

MarshMedia Links

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
You Tube

If you would like to see more reviews about this product simply click on the image below


MarshMedia Reviews


Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

K5 Learning ~ Review

These past few weeks we've been using an online program from K5 Learning to supplement my son's math and reading lessons. Our family have been given a subscription to K5 Learning in order to provide this review.

What is K5 Learning

K5 Learning is an online portal created to supplement reading, math and spelling for children undertaking grades K through to 5. It is not a complete curriculum. If your child could use a little extra help though, this may be the thing for them.

The site includes assessments in both reading and math, which the child takes before diving in to any lessons. This gives the parent a good overview of where they are at and allows the program to work out exactly where to place the student and what to have them cover.

The lessons are all online using nice quality animated videos. There are also worksheets that can be printed as you go along.

 K5 Reading includes:

    Phonemic Awareness
    Phonics
    Sight Words
    Vocabulary
    Reading Comprehension

K5 Math includes:

    Numbers & Operations
    Measurement
    Geometry
    Data Analysis
    Algebraic Thinking

K5 Spelling includes:

    Adaptive instruction
    Optimized visual interface
    150,000 word database


The Assessment Component

I really liked how thorough this part of the program was. The assessment took around 30 minutes although the child does not need to sit and complete it in one sitting. On completion of each assessment (one for math and one for reading) you will receive an email which not only gives you a grade score but also breaks down the subject areas.

For example depending on how the student goes with their assessment their breakdown would look something like this ---->

Overall Reading Score: Below 2nd Grade Range

The Overall Reading score is based on student performance in phonemic awareness, phonics, sight words, vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Placement

We have now placed Student X at the following levels in our reading lessons: 


Phonemic Awareness             Exempt
Phonics                                  High 1st Grade
Sight Words                           Early 3rd Grade
Vocabulary                            Mid 2nd Grade
Reading Comprehension      Mid K

After completing the math assessment a similar report is emailed to you.

The parent area of the program also keeps you well informed of what your child is completing and how they are scoring in each particular area.



How We Used K5 Learning

My son doesn't generally enjoy many programs that cover language arts skills online, he prefers to do those more traditionally with me, however he worked through his lessons on K5 Learning without any complaints at all.

I believe this is due to the fact that they are highly colourful, engaging and kept relatively short. On most occasions he would complete 2 - 3 mini lessons in one sitting, several times a week.

The program remembers everything, so each time he logged on it simply gave him the next lesson that he needed to complete regardless of where he left off last time. For our busy lifestyle this has to be one of the most important considerations for me. My child must be able to log on themselves and know exactly what they need to be doing without needing me to get them set up. So of course I loved this part of the program.

What We Didn't Like

Unfortunately, being here in Australia, meant that some of the math components didn't work for us so we did mainly stick to the reading section of the site. This was the area I wanted my son to work on the most anyway.

What We Did Like

I loved that K5 Learning includes the assessment, it shows just how much work has gone into creating this program and I know that each lesson is going to be targeted exactly where it is needed. My son loved that it was quick and easy to use. We've never had a moment of frustration with the site, everything has always worked as it should.

Looking Ahead

We have a six month subscription to K5 Learning and I can't wait to see where he is by the end of that period. This program has gone into the basket to seriously consider purchasing our own subscription.



Further Details

K5 Learning offer a 14 day free trial, which does allow you take the assessments and use the program for the full 14 days.

Follow them on social media to find out more --->



If you would to read other reviews about this program simply click on the image below.


K5 Learning {Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Give A Kid A Camera



And watch their observational skills soar!

In this day and age of digital madness it's so hard to get kids outside, engaging with the natural world around them.

But add in a little piece of technology and they might just be immersed for hours!

Give them a camera so they can record what they observe.

We recently spent some time on a local island and whilst they had to share the one spare camera we have, all three kids got into some serious nature photography.

They spent an incredible amount of time wandering, engaged, observing and capturing what they saw.

My teen is teaching himself the manual settings, with a few pointers from mum and dad, when he asks. The younger two are content with the automatic setting.

I have so many images to sort through and those are the ones just from the kids. Far too many to share them all with you, but here's a few.

The following four images were taken by our 15 year old.



Love how my teen captured this. Starfish were everywhere on low tide, along the shoreline and they look fabulous in the sunset.


So ok, not exactly a nature shot but playing around with the light and his little brother during a glorious Moreton Island sunset.


You can't visit Moreton and not watch the sun set over the famous wrecks.


He was even lucky enough to capture this guy whilst we were out on the water.

The next five images were taken by my 12 year old.


She was enraptured with the starfish. There are several images of them taken by her.


Playing around with her little brother. She had my camera for this one.


Of course the obligatory, toes with a starfish photo simply must make an appearance.


These guys get battered around by the surf and many of them get flipped from crashing waves. Their undersides though are mesmerising to look at it.


She also managed to snap the only crab photo of the entire trip!

Our 8 year old barely went anywhere without the camera hanging from his neck. Consequently I now have a plethora of images that he took. The following nine are all from him.


We were so lucky to pass by a pod of dolphins on our way over to the island. They were quick and he was lucky to even grab this shot.


This sunset he snapped directly out in front of our villa. What a beauty!


Behind us was a smallish tropical rainforest inspired garden, which he spent a bit of time in.


This little guy sat and posed for him for ages.


And because everyone else was doing it, he thought he should too!


Once again there are heaps of starfish photo's, but I particularly like this one.


A view through the glass bottom boat.


This little guy was found sitting in the trees just out the front of our room.

Once again in the garden at the back of our room.

Taking these truly helped each of them to observe so much more than if they would have done by simply walking around. I hope to get some of these added to our hand drawn nature journals soon.

If you would like to see more of what we got up to on the island please follow along with our family adventure blog.

Happy Homeschooling,
Kylie
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