Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sunya Math Game ~ Review

To help my son get his addition facts mastered we've been playing Sunya The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting from Sunya Publishing.

What is Sunya

Sunya (pronounced soonya) is a simple math concept game which aids children in learning their math addition and subtraction facts. It is intended for children aged 7 years and up.

We all know that everything seems easier when it comes in game form and this is a fine example of that.

How We Used The Game

There are two variations to the game we received to review. It can be played with a focus on addition facts or with a focus on subtraction facts, we alternated between the two during our time reviewing the product as my son is right in the midst of learning these.

There are also a couple of different levels in which you can play the game but given my son is on the youngest end of the recommended age scale we have chosen to stay with the most basic form of the game. Which for now has been more than enough for him.

To play the game it is as simple as building a number sentence on the table, dealing the cards to each player and in turn they need to try and create a new number sentence using their cards and the ones that are already on the table.

It's a simple concept, but one that gets the brain working. The deck also includes 'wild' cards and it is somewhat similar in nature to the game 'uno'.

Once we were familiar with how to play the kids could easily play the game together. This was a great way to end our school time each day, with a few rounds of Sunya!

The deck also includes fun little science themed fact and riddle cards that the kids got a kick of.

What We Didn't Like

The instructions for this game really make it way more confusing than it actually is. I'm still not quite sure why a simple card game needs a booklet to detail all of the instructions. Once we realised how simple it was we were off and running, but I do feel that instruction booklet could really do with some reworking.

What We Did Like

The simplicity and the fact that this is a simple game really won us over. As I said earlier it was so easy to include a few rounds at the end of our school day.

Sunya Publishing is still in its infancy and in fact the game is not yet available to the public. We were very lucky to receive an advanced copy. I recommend keeping an eye on their website so you know when it is released.


Visit the Sunya website for more information.

I hope you have found this review helpful. If you would like to see further reviews covering the Sunya Game, from members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, please visit this link.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Science Shepherd - Review

My daughter has been brushing up on so many science topics with her new Introductory Science program from Science Shepherd.

What is Science Shepherd

The Science Shepherd courses have been developed by a homeschooling dad, that also holds a degree in Bachelor of Science and a Medical degree. He saw an increased need for science offerings for homeschooling high schoolers and has since branched out to produce product ranges for younger students as well.

How We Used The Program

We were provided with a complete copy of Introductory Science Level B, which includes a student workbook, an answer key and twelve months access to the online video tutorials.

This is absolutely an open and go program. I simply love the simplicity and ease of use for both my daughter and myself.

Once our books arrived, we simply logged in using the details provided to us from Science Shepherd via email. Chose our course level from our account and began watching the first videos.

Each video lesson is exactly matched to the workbook pages. This part of the program has been so well thought out. It is so clear to both the adult and the child where you are and what video you need to be watching.

The lessons are broken down into weeks, with the vast majority of weeks having 5 lessons. My daughter is 11 and is at the upper end of the age range for this particular product and it literally took her minutes to complete a lesson.

The videos are short and succinct and correspond perfectly to the student work book pages.

The student workbooks are laid out in a simple, no fuss fashion. There are no bells and whistles, no bright colours, nothing to distract.

The vast majority of the workbook pages are simple question and answer type pages, with a few puzzle activities included here and there.

There are some simple hands on activities/experiments but not too many that the program becomes overwhelming. Every now and then you need to be prepared with a handful of items to complete the hands on component.

This particular level - Introductory Science B - covers all manner of scientific topics. It aims to provide the student with a good overview. It starts out with Science Skills & Tools, moves into Earth Science topics, followed by Life Science topics and then finally wraps up with Physical Science.

It provides lessons for 35 weeks of science instruction. So a full year of science for the upper primary aged child.

What We Didn't Like

This program is unashamedly Christian and is written from that perspective. I knew this going in to the review but there are so many wonderful Christian programs that can be easily tweaked for Secular Home Educators that I really wanted to give this one a try.

As close as I can tell, as we aren't finished the program yet and won't be until closer to the end of the year, there are 40 lessons out of the total 170 lessons that contain religious content.

So if you are strictly a Secular Home Educator then this program most likely will not work for you. However if you are flexible, looking for a simple, open and go program than I would still recommend you take a look at this.

We discuss world views here a lot and I did discuss this program openly with my daughter before having her try it out. The entire first week covers creation, but after that we were simply able to skip over anything that we felt we needed to.

Whilst the videos are very short, only a couple of minutes each, at times they can be a little on the dry side. The presenter appears as though he is a news broadcaster delivering the nightly news. They are well prepared and edited, but I think we have been spoiled with all of our over the top fun video presenters that we use for other programs in our homeschool.

My daughter was more than capable of watching each and every video, but I did feel that my younger son, may have gotten bored quite quickly with the program.

What We Did Like

Hands down the ease of use is an absolute winner here. There really is no excuse to not include science in your week, Science Shepherd understands the busyness of our days and what we need to make things simple.

My daughter easily understood what was required of her and she completed the vast majority of her work independently.

For me I don't have to spend hours planning and prepping, we simply open the next page in the book and pick up where we left off. So far for all of the hands on activities we've been able to find the items needed right here at home.

I do also really like that in one full year the student covers all of the major science topics and gives them a good grounding to be able move forward with their science understanding in the years to come.

Looking Ahead

We will absolutely complete this course, for all of the reasons I have just mentioned above.

Pricing & Details

The great thing about the Introductory Science course is the price. Access to the video components for a full 12 months is $35.00, the student workbook level B is priced at $15.00 and the answer key $3.00. (all pricing is in USD)

To see all of the courses on offer visit the Science Shepherd website and navigate to the courses tab across the top of the screen.

You can also catch them on social media:

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

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Times Tables Through Copywork

Learn Multiplication With Copywork

So you all know that it is 'Times Tables Year' for us here. My middle child is completely immersed in all things Multiplication and of course getting those tables down pat is on the priority list.

I recently shared a wide variety of multisensory ways to cover multiplication. This particular child needs as many hands on learning opportunities as possible so we are trying our best to hit as many of those boxes as possible.

I was searching through my files for something or other and stumbled across my original Addition Facts Copywork printable and truly, I had completely forgotten how useful that was for us.

I knew instantly that I needed to create a multiplication version. So a simple straight forward printable sheet, which includes two rows of each fact from one through to twelve.

These are so easy to add in to the routine. I simply printed off a bunch, cut them through the middle and have my child complete one or two each day. They literally only take a couple of minutes. So simple. The download link for these is below.

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Times Tables With Copywork

Download the Times Tables Copywork via my box account.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Pop Art

Pop Art Lessons For Kids

As part of our co-op group our primary aged kids have been learning all about the Pop Art era, which exploded in the 1950's

Lichtenstein Art Lesson For Kids

The group talked about how Pop Art was often referred to as loud in its design, they looked at and discussed work by Lichtenstein and noted how he used layers to create his pieces.

They then proceeded to create their own Lichtenstein inspired art pieces.

Andy Warhol Art Lesson For Kids

The famous artist Andy Warhol was up next for discussion and inspiration. The group spent time discussing his design principles and his elements of repetition and colour.

The kids chose their own images in repetition to recreate their own Warhol inspired piece.

Keith Haring Art Lessons For Kids

Keith Haring was the next artist in the line up for their fun with Pop art. Some of Keith's work is not for the faint of heart, please be aware of that before you send your child off googling!

The kids were intrigued to find out that Keith began as a graffiti artist and that under all of that his main message through all of his pieces is one of love.

My daughter particularly enjoyed this style and went on to emulate several other pieces from Kieth Haring during the week after her art class.

Jasper Johns Art Lesson For Kids

Finally it was time for the artist, Jasper Johns and how he chose to hide numbers within his work. The kids proceeded to create their own piece using words. 

Can you see what word they've used in this one?
It's 'Explode', kind of tricky to see all of the letter isn't it!

Another fabulous term of art. I love how during these lessons the group also covers art appreciation without them even knowing it.

Have you looked more closely at the Pop Art era with your children?

Want more art ideas? I have over 200 ideas saved on my art pinterest board. Check it out!


Happy Homeschooling,

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