The Schoolhouse Review Crew 2013 Blue Ribbon Awards

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This year I’ve been thrilled with the opportunity to be on the Schoolhouse Review Crew. It has been a privilege and a huge blessing to be a part of this group that reviews homeschool products. I am hoping that my reviews helped my readers in researching and picking out curricula.

Today the Blue Ribbon Awards have been assigned over on the crew blog. You can take a look and see the reader favorites for the year. Below, I’m going to let you know some of my very favorite products for the year.

For science learning, we reviewed two Apologia Educational Ministries products. We loved both, and are still using both of them. Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day is a study of birds and flying things. Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics is an introduction to chemistry and physics for young students.

There were two math products that we reviewed and really liked. The first is for younger students. It only goes up to the second grade level. I wished I had known about it when my younger girls were just starting because I think it would be great for young learners. It’s very hands on and very thinking oriented. It’s Touch Math.  We also really liked Lone Star Learning. Lone Star Learning offers several products, but the one we reviewed was a daily/weekly online word problem. Each week there was a different scenario given, and each day different questions were asked. The online page was designed for writing on, and there were strategies to teach kids thinking skills for problem solving. The younger girls looked forward to the daily problems.

For Bible study, we used a product that was new to me- Bible Study Guide for All Ages. This curriculum can be used at home or at church and is an expository guide for studying the Bible with books available for preschoolers and up. We enjoyed the way that the Bible reading was presented with learning activities and timelines and maps. In fact, I liked it so much that I ended up ordering the preschool version to use with the preschool praise club I lead at church.

For spelling/vocabulary practice, we reviewed a program that can be used online or as a mobile app- Vocabulary/Spelling City. In this program, you can enter your own spelling list and choose activities that help kids practice the spelling and the definitions. This one was an all around favorite. I’m still using it with the younger girls because they enjoy it, and it has helped my youngest improve dramatically in spelling. There is also a free version for this program. We reviewed the Premium version. I’ve recommended this one to many of my local friends.

There were a couple of handwriting programs we were able to review. Handwriting isn’t a favorite of any of my kids. But I loved the beauty of the Prescripts book from Classical Conversations. It is an introductory cursive book, and, along with the cursive letter introduction, there are some beautiful pictures to color from the Middle Ages history cycle.

Our year wasn’t all book learning. There were several games we were able to review also. One of our favorite was the Learn to Play Chess set from Chess House. I’ve never been able to keep the chess rules and pieces straight, but the video accompanying this very nice chess set helped me, and I might be able to hold my own against my twelve year old one day.

It’s been a fun year, exploring all of these different products. I hope I’m able to do it again. You can check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see the official Blue Ribbon Award results and to check out the links to see what were the favorites of other reviewers.

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