Supercharged Science Review

Science is one of my children’s favorite subject but doing the experiments is something I don’t naturally like. So when I was given the opportunity to review the Supercharged Science by the SchoolhouseReview Crew, I was hopeful that this would help me and my kids appreciate Science more. We were given 6 months online access to the e-Science Learning Program.

Supercharged eScience Review
Supercharged Science is an online homeschool science curriculum developed for grades K-12.You can use this alongside any other Science curriculum or use this e-Science Learning Program entirely on its own.

To access the product, you just need a browser and a stable internet connection. Once subscribed, you will use your username and password to access a complete science curriculum. The program consists of 20 topics,  which include science subject matters like  mechanics, motion, matter, energy, sound, astrophysics, chemistry, light, electricity, magnetism, life science, biology and earth science. You can choose to navigate through the different subject matters by topic or by grade levels. The grade level lessons are then arranged by topic. There are over 900 experiments, science activities and projects in the entire curriculum. There are videos, data lab sheets, exercises and reading materials for every lesson. Every lesson has a hands on-experiment which makes the scientific concept become real for the student and they get to watch the  actual experiment on the video first so they know how it works. The materials needed for the experiments are common household items so no need to spend extra to make the activities.

 

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This homeschool curriculum is created and taught by Aurora Lipper. She has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering used to be a teacher and she also worked for NASA but has now dedicated her life to inspiring kids and educators to love science through Supercharged Science.

Supercharged eScience Review
The price of the K-12 Level Plan is $57 per month, while the K-8 Level plan is $37 per month.

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We started by watching the Getting Started video to get a feel how we should use the curriculum. We learned that we needed to pick up a science area we wanted to start with and  so we choose to work on Unit 1 about mechanics. The very first lesson was about force. My daughter, aged 10, and and my son, aged 7, went ahead and  watched the first video. They also read the text materials and started to look for activities which are doable and didn’t need a lot of materials.

The first activity they chose to do was the flying paper clip. They gathered all the materials necessary for the experiment like the magnet, paper clip, string and tape. They followed the instructions carefully and was able to do the experiment on their own!

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The kids were interested to learn more and wanted to do more experiments but we opted to do just one experiment per day. We used the program 3x a week, so that means 3 projects a week!

The next activity we did was the building bridges. The abosultely enjoyed this experiment! They used paper, blocks, clay to build bridges and see which bridge wil last. They learned which structures are best and will not easily topple down.

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One night, when the full moon was out, we decided to work on Phases of the Moon. They understood very clearly from that experiment just how the sun’s rays reached our world and specifically which area it reached!

 

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One of their most favorite experiment was Go! Go! Go! It was a lesson about kinetic energy and potential energy. We used toy cars, measuring stick and a board book.

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We also studied about velocity. We worked on the Look Out Below! experiment. The kids had to gather a few objects and predict which items would fall the fastest. So they had a timer and measured how fast each object fell to ground. Their predictions were not 100% correct. They learned that the heavier objects fell feaster than the lighter ones.

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They also wanted to learn about the neat trick from the experiment TaaDaaaa!!! So they tried it and was able to successfully perform this trick!

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We used this product as a supplement to our science subject. The kids loved it because it was very practical and made Science become alive! Gone were the days when they just read about a science theory. They loved the hands-on experiment that came with each lesson. I also liked it because the entire program required little intervention from me, since the kids just had to watch and answer the questions and do the experiment. The instructions and the video were very kid-friendly. I also liked the fact that I can jump from one topic to the other. It didn’t require me to do all the experiments under each lesson. As long as the kids read and did a few of the experiments, we moved on to the next. If we wanted to do more, then we can easily choose the experiments available.

This is a real life saver for me. I no longer  have to think of experiments to make Science come alive. It is just what I hoped for! To top it all, I also enjoyed learning Science concepts with the kids!

If you want to see if this online homeschool program suits your family, you can try this full access to the  e- Sceince program for just $1!

For more information about Supercharged Science, follow them at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/superchargedsci or Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aurora_lipper or YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/auroram42.

 

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Rainbow Loom

A few weeks ago, my daughter received a birthday gift called Rainbow Loom. We didn’t have any clue as what sort of product and how famous this product already was! As my  daughter read the instructions and tried making beautiful bracelets out of the rubber brands, it was fun watching her use her creativity to create different accessories, for herself, her family friends.

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If you asked me if I would recommend this as a gift, I would say it depends on the level of interest your child has. If she or he is patient enough to read and understand the instructions, then this product would be suitable for her or him. I heard that there are many more activities you can do with these, just need to watch tutorials at YouTube.

As for my daughter, she loves it!

Ideal Candidates For Online Surveys

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More and more people are learning the details about online paid surveys. Businesses and companies value the insight of consumers. They need to know what consumers think about a product or service in order to improve it. In short, someone who is willing to dedicate the time to filling out a survey in a complete and honest way is of great value to a business. Here are some people who are ideal candidates for the work of filling out online surveys.

Stay at home mothers are people who are likely to participate in filling out online surveys. A stay at home mother with children who are in school has the time and opportunity to complete a few surveys a week. She can fill out surveys while the children are in school or work on a survey after the children have gone to bed. Many stay at home mothers have a flexible schedule and that’s a benefit when it comes to completing surveys that are online. Swagbucks are one example of a payment method for stay at home mothers and other people who complete surveys online.

Another group of people who are likely to fill out surveys online are retirees. In many cases, a retiree has lots of free time that he or she can dedicate to this task. In addition, a retiree may shop at many stores and frequent several types of businesses. This can help to inform a person’s survey answers. Honest, useful information is needed by businesses and companies that want these surveys filled out.

College students are also ideal candidates for working on surveys that are online. They can do this between classes or perhaps on the weekends. In most cases, college students are always looking for new ways to buy all of the things that they need and want while they are away at school. College students visit a number of different businesses and know about a lot of products.

Finally, people who work part-time are perfect for the job of filling out surveys. It’s likely that they have enough time to spare to work on a few surveys a week. They may be looking for full-time work, but need a way to get a few items while they are still employed part-time. Plus, with online work, they can complete the surveys at home without having to use the gas to travel to a particular location.

French Essentials Review

As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we were asked to review the  French Essentials program. We were given a one-year Full Access Online Program.

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My 9 year old, 4th grade daughter and I were very excited as we are both facinated with foreign languages. I can remember wanting to learn French back in college but wasn’t able to pursue it. My daughter who is taking up ballet lessons wants to learn more French as well.

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French Essentials is a downloadable French curriculum with online exercises, lesson tests and cultural lessons. This product was designed by Irene Shone and Greg Shone. They are both french teachers who started to tutor friends in their homeschooling community. Later they developed DVD French Curriculum for home use and in August 2010, they decided to make it more affordable and accessible by moving the curriculum to a downloadable format.

French Essentials focuses on the 4 areas of language acquisition skills which include reading, writing, listening comprehension and speaking. The language is taught using a step-by-step method with video and audio instructions. Students can listen and repeat the audio and visual instruction on the actual lesson page. The video lessons have 3 steps process which focuses on students watching, listening, repeating and speaking.  The lessons are reinforced with fun and challenging exercises from the printable PDF workbook. This helps the student practice their writing and reading skils. The online exercises reinforces the comprehension of the student by understanding grammar and sentence structure. The student area offers different activities as well:

  • Online flash cards
  • Listening comprehension & spelling
  • 2 challenging games (Scatter & Space race)
  • A Test section that gives parents 4 different evaluation options.

The student area also includes a section about Francophone culture. It gives a background about the richness of the language and a brief history lesson.

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The program currently offers 5 modules. Modules 6-10 will be coming soon. Each module has a different level of difficulty.

Pre-highschool – Grades 4/5 – 7/8 Modules 1 – 5      
Middle school (junior high) - Grades – 8-9 Modules 5 & 6
High school   Grades 10-12 Modules 7-10

If your student already knows how to speak French, it would be good to take the Online Placement test to know which module your student should start in. If you don’t have any prior knowledge of French, Module 1 would be a good place to start in. If you want to find out what is included in each module, you can check out the full curriculum outline of each module. You can also view sample lessons.

To use French Essentials, you would need a reliable internet connection to download the files and access the online excercises and tests area. You would also need to install  the following free software products on your computer: Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash player and Quick Time.

If you want to try out French Essentials first and see if it will work for your family, you can purchase a single module only.  Single module costs $69.95. You have 90 days to download the lessons and workbook exercises. But if you want to buy full access, it costs $149.95 only and you have one year access to all lessons and workbook exercises.

 

 

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We have no knowledge of French so we started from Module 1. Upon logging in, I downloaded the different lessons from the module. This module includes 20 lessons which is divided into 5 units. We also installed the needed software applications so that we can listen to the audio files and view the video files.

My daughter started with lesson 1 and immediately, she was introduced to the French Alphabet. She listened to the correct pronounciation. She noticed right away the similarities and differences of the French Alphabet to the English Alphabet. The lesson was presented in a clear and straight forward manner. The visual drawings made the curriculum less intimidating as well.  She studied the lesson 1 in less than 15 minutes. So she immediately went to the 2nd lesson. I could see that she was very much interested and was able to comprehend the first 2 lessons in just one sitting. As the lesson progressed, she just did 1 lesson a day. She reviews her past lesson, then studies her current lesson then she also has to work on the online activities as well.  Overall, it took her about 30 minutes a day to work on her French lessons.  She studies French Essentials 3-4 times a week.

I liked French Essentials because each lesson starts with an objective, some grammar & linguistic explanation, audio and visual teaching, several exercises and a printable worksheet. It is a complete curriculum and isn’t complicated for beginners like us. I also like the way we can review the previous lessons as needed. Knowing what to expect through its curriculum outline and the checklist for parents are a big help to keep track what our children has been learning too.  If  you are looking for French curriculum, I highly recommend this product. My daughter has been learning French on her own and has been teaching me all that she has learned!  French Essentials is a good homeschool tool and is a good fit for our family.

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

 

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IXL.com Online Math Membership Review

My son’s favorite subject is Math, so when we had the opportunity to review IXL.com , we tried their Online Math Membership program for ages PreK to 12.

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IXL.com provides state standardized and comprehensive online practices for Math and Language Arts.  As of the moment, IXL.com offers 2nd grade skills to 4th grade skills only for Language Arts. Though they plan to add more in the immediate future.

We all know that the best way to master Math is to keep practicing. Sometimes, solving problems and drills repetitively for students gets boring and this is where IXL.com can be a big help to students and parents alike. The practices are presented in fun and colorful pictures. Their Online Math program offers Pre-K to Algebra and Geometry skill practices. Pre-Calculus will soon be offered too.

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Each grade level’s skills are all listed. This allows the student and the teacher to see all the skills that the student can master in every practice. As the student completes the interactive practice, they are learning the skills systematically and they earn awards each time. The teacher also receives a detailed report of what the student has learned and accomplished over the whole week. Every milestone, the student can print their awards and certificates as well.

For our review, we were given a one year subscription to IXL.com. We only tried their Online Math Membership program as my son is only in first grade. Upon login, I created an account  for him. He immediately tried the different skills listed under first grade.

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Each skill took differnt amounts of time to complete. Some skills which are easy like subtracting 0 or counting review from 0 to 10 took less than 15 minutes while harder topics like skip countring by twos, fives and tens took longer.  While my son was practicing, he is able to see his score on the screen. He gets immediate feedack. Each correct answer gives him the harder question next, but whenever he gets the wrong answer, the program will not continue but show him the correct anwer first. Then his current score will be lower so he needs to answer more questions to make up for the mistakes.

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When he finishes the skill and gets a score of 100, he gets a medal besides the skill he finished. It also gives him a virtal award. When he goes to the award tab, he is able to see how many medals he has earned, how many questions he has answered, how many minutes he has practiced, how many skills he has learned and he gets to open a piece of the puzzle.

My son was interested to play with the different drills but I couldn’t get him to do more than 2 drills a day.We used the program about 3 to 4 times a week.  Though he can choose which topic he wanted to practice, the repetitiveness of the drill especially when he gets a mistake probably makes him want to stop using the program already. The drills are pretty simple and straight forward to use. Though I wouldn’t use it as our primary Math curriculum, it is useful for practice drills.

Aside from using the online version through our computer, we also used the just released free iPad Math app for pre-K through 6th grade math.  This allows my son to use the iPad and do his drills. Though you would need to be connected to the internet to use this app.

I would recommend this if your children needs serious drills to practice Math proficiency. There are over 2,000 skills which your child can be proficient in. For the parents, the reports are already very detailed for easy tracking.

For only $9.95/month or $79/year, you can already have access to the whole IXL.com program, including Math and Language Arts.

Find out what other members of the review crew think of IXL.com!

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