Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Talking Fingers: Read, Write, Type!

I had the pleasure of reviewing the Read, Write, Type program by Talking Fingers!  Actually, my son had more of the pleasure than I, since it was created to teach the kiddos, but I was permitted to watch.  (giggle)  Are you wondering what its purpose is?  Honestly, this one is just as simple as it sounds only jam packed with fun and interactivity.

This program is an amazing computer based journey for kids Kinder through 3rd grade.  Its purpose is to teach kids to read, write and type.  However, it also teaches the proper finger placement on the keys, has incredibly fun characters to cheer and sometimes, persuade children to keep learning.  The fun games and sound effects enhance the learning experience and keep kids wanting more.  The characters give friendly reminders to "power up", this means to get your hands in the correct positions and your fingers on the home row keys.  The program is step by step for the kids and all their senses are used in the learning process.  My son was so excited to learn with this program each day that he would anxiously ask in the morning if he could do Read, Write, Type first!  Now, that's a program worth having! 

To try out a demo of the program, just go to the site.  It's a wonderful value for your money with a starting price of $35.00 per student.  To read more TOS reviews, you can go here.

*I was given this product free of charge and these opinions are my own*

Friday, October 8, 2010

Product Review: Digital Frog International

How many times have you wished that you had the money and/or time to take your kids on a field trip to better understand the subject you were teaching?!  You just knew if they had the opportunity to experience it, to make the connections between what you're teaching and the real world, that they would "get it" and remember it!  Well, that's what this product is about, The Digital Field Trip Series.  A disc to pop into your computer, both Windows and MacIntosh friendly, that takes you on a magical journey to The Wetlands, The Rainforest, and The Desert.  And, it's not just a disc to sit down and watch, it's interactive!  Researchers have shown that we can remember things better if a majority of our senses are involved in the learning process and Digital Frog accomplishes just that!  Visually stimulating, auditory (hearing) content, tactile (touch/hands on) through the use of the mouse throughout the "field trip" and it's interesting!  Dare I say, FUN?!  Yes!  Having fun is one of our favorites for learning.

We really enjoyed The Desert series because we were already studying the desert, it's animals, how it affects people and how we affect the desert.  The digital field trip series just took it a step further!  You can get a copy of all 3 for $125.00, a $180.00 value.  Just click on the link above, 'The Digital Field Trip Series.  If you would like to read more TOS reviews, please click here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Review Time!! Foundlings: The Peleg Chronicles

Foundlings: The Peleg Chronicles written by Matthew Christian Harding by Zoe & Sozo Publishing is $11.95.  You can read a summary of the book at this link and if you're interested, just click on 'add to cart'.
I enjoyed reading  this book aloud to our kids.  It gave us some down time from regular school work and we found it to be very entertaining and hard to put down.  My daughter, who is 16, enjoyed the humor the author used in writing this book.  My 8 year old son was so interested in the book, he would ask when would we read more?!  What a great way to keep his interest in reading!  One thing to mention here is that it's a recommended read for children 8 and up due to some of the content, however, you know your children best and can decide an appropriate age.  Our son is a more advanced reader and understood the content to thoroughly enjoy it.  The characters were interesting, felt real and had their faults, just as we (human beings) do.  While some of the content leans toward concerning subject matter like drinking, and attempts at human sacrifice, the author made clear these were bad or evil.  If your kids enjoy books such as Lord of the Rings, 39 Clues, Redwall series or Dungeons and Dragons type books, then the Foundlings series might be a good fit.
The author did well to pull us into his book and on the adventure with the characters.  Thiery, a 13 year old with a white wolf companion, was easy to identify with.  The story encourages and reinforces Biblical principles of chivalry, truth, courage, duty, faith and love through Godly heroes.  From dinosaurs, dragons and dwarves to Lords, false priests and giants, this book does not fall short in entertainment.  I don't want to give away a lot of the story, but I will say that we really enjoyed the book and are looking forward to getting the 2nd one and there is a 3rd one due out in 2011.  However, waiting to get the 2nd book is really, really hard because the ending of this first one leaves you HANGING!  In a good way, but I would say if you're going to get the first one, go ahead and get the second one.  :)  And, if you're interested, a unit study has been created, although not by the author. 
Be sure to do your due diligence research to decide if this book is right for you and/or your family.  Here, you can look at other TOS Homeschool Crew reviews.
*I received this book free of charge to review and my opinions are my own*