Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Premium Subscription from LightSail for Homeschoolers: A TOS Crew Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

LightSail for Homeschoolers

Premium Subscription  from LightSail for Homeschoolers

Premium Subscription 
from LightSail for Homeschoolers is an online subscription to help build 
reading, writing, vocabulary, and fluency skills for grades PreK-12.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Library gives you access to over:
  • 12,000 books - including 3,500 classics and many faith-based titles 
  • Over 50,000 World Book Encyclopedia Articles with Maps, Atlases & Timelines
  • Lerner Sports Encyclopedia
  • Audio Books - over 13,000 titles including - standard audiobooks, audiobooks with text highlighting by word, and audiobooks with text highlighting by sentence
  • 360 degree Images
  • Videos
  • Augmented Reality
  • Livestreams 

It's truly a complete digital library that you can access anytime (with no overdue fees!) In addition, this program is designed specifically for homeschoolers with lessons in readingwritingvocabulary, and fluency skills built in.

The ability to track reading minutes, use bookmarks, highlight quotations, and create memory lists are just a few more nifty features designed with homeschooling in mind.

Students are given an assessment as they begin to accurately determine their Lexile reading level.  This helps determine the books and assignments.  "Power Texts" are at the student's reading level, and are the tool for helping increase readingwritingvocabulary, and fluency skills with educational features like fill-in-the-blank assessments to check reading comprehension, a full dictionary, read-aloud ability, related content while tracking reading minutes and offering incentives.

All student reading is overseen through the parental control features that let parents monitor and control content, assessments, media, features, chats, and more.

We are HUGE book lovers and were excited to see what LightSail has to offer.  With multiple children using this program, it was easy to find tons of great content, they can even read the same titles, and participate in a family chat or answer challenge questions.

Since we do love a good book with actual pages to turn, while cuddled up together, and my kiddos are all proficient readers - we focused mainly on all the great ways to use Lightsail, other than tracking reading minutes and building literacy skills, which this program is great at with an adaptive platform that customizes to your child's reading level! 

They have an entire library of interesting things to discover.  Like the World Book maps and timelines to go with our history studies.

The 360 degree images that really wowed us - visiting the Sistine Chapel or the inside of the airplane cockpit!

The Lightsail library is interconnected, so frequently related images, books, and articles are just a click away.

Their Video section is jam-packed too!  You can check out videos from a wide range of subjects, but our favorite has to be the Ted Ed talks...or maybe the Livestreams...

Who doesn't love a good Unit Study to spice things up?  Lightsail has over 150 to choose from - fully integrated with books, encyclopedia articles, videos, or any other multimedia content designed by homeschool moms, for homeschool moms.

The Library collections are impressive, you can pick from dozens of genres and thousands of titles.  Handy search features help you find books customized to your child's reading level as well.  I appreciate that they also have faith-based titles and an impressive collection of classics (especially after seeing some of the "Most Popular" reads... making me thankful for the ability to control the reading material options for my children!)

There is SO MUCH to this program, I feel like we will be unpacking all the treasures for a good time to come.  Best of all... it's easy to take on the go with you.  

Find LightSail for Homeschoolers on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LightSailEd
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lightsailed/

Hashtags: #hsreviews #homeschool #homeschooling #reading #ebooks #edtech #elearning

                  Improve Reading Skills with LightSail for Homeschoolers

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Bible Breakdowns from Teach Sunday School: A TOS Crew Review


Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Teach Sunday School

Bible Breakdowns from Teach Sunday School

Bible Breakdowns are a great tool to add to your Bible study tool chest!  They are one of hundreds of 
Printable Bible Lesson Plans, Study Materials, & Activities That Make God's Word Come Alive for Kids, Teens, & Adults from Teach Sunday School (a family favorite!)

They come as 2 PDFs - Old Testament and New Testament,  that you can download and print as many times as you need.  Each PDF contains a hyperlinked Table of Contents (no scrolling to find the book) and a one page summary of each book in the Bible (except Matthew... it's so jam packed that it gets two pages).  A quick glance tells you the Name of the book, the number it is in the Bible, and OT or NT.  I love how these breakdowns are easy-to-read and concise!

The focus of each of these one page summaries is to help you put the Bible into proper context. 

Each summary has a brief written description of the book with interesting facts followed by a handy guide to 
  • Number of Chapters
  • Type of Writing - ie History, Gospel, Pentateuch, Synoptic
  • Date Written
  • Time Period Covered
  • Author

The "Breakdown" section highlights the Chapter/Verses and Subject - making it easy to see the content of a book of the Bible at just a quick glance. 

 "Classic Bible Stories" are highlighted in Blue text, making them stand out.  A light shading makes the lines easy to see, and provides a handy check box.

A bottom section contains "Most Popular Verses" and a Rank. This is a great place to start with Bible Memory!

Bible Breakdowns are a great tool, with so many ways you can use them!  I've printed ours and keep them handy near my Bible to use as an overview when I'm doing my personal Bible study and reading.  My kiddos each have a copy for them as well.

I love finding new ways to help Bible study become more fascinating.  I recommend you check out all the great tools Teach Sunday School has to offer.  Check out this FREE Bible Reading Checklist!

Find Teach Sunday School on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SundaySchoolLessons
Instagram: @teachsundayschool
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/biblefun/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChwHfenlbCBU_XfzvqCFFPA

Hashtags: #hsreviews #biblebreakdowns #biblestudytools #bibleeducation #readingthebible #biblestudyguide #bibleprintable

                 Boob-by-Book Bible Study Printable Breakdowns

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Vocabulary Virtuoso: Mastering Middle School Vocabulary from The Critical Thinking Co.™: A TOS Crew Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Critical Thinking Co.

Vocabulary Virtuoso: Mastering Middle School Vocabulary is a great tool for helping your middle school student expand their vocabulary!

We were delighted to get a chance to give another product from a family favorite The Critical Thinking Co.™ a try. We got the eBook version - just a quick warning - it doesn't work on Max IOS yet, but we are have both Mac and PC at home so we were able to access.

Once you purchase and register your eBook, you can print all the pages you want, which is a handy feature for multiple students.

Vocabulary skills are proven for success in many areas and this book will introduce your 6-8th graders to 180 new words and their meanings, as well as, the context for use. The words are selected from PSAT (Preliminary SAT–a great primer for the SAT)  and are real-life words they can use.

The 15 Vocabulary lists each include 12 words with:

  • definitions
  • pronunciation keys
  • parts of speech
  • alternate choices for each word made up of synonyms, idioms, and/or phrases

Each of the 15 Vocabulary Lists each have 6 exercises to complete, using the new words.  Students complete fill-in-the-blank style exercises, word scrambles, writing sentences and other exercises that help put the vocabulary words into practice.

In addition, the lessons teach other related language arts skills of:
  • critical reading and writing
  • alliteration
  • idioms
  • fallacies in reasoning
  • foreign words and phrases
  • mythology
  • journalistic writing

In our coop, we are are focusing on communication skills by adding new vocabulary words to our conversation.  This was a wonderful resource to get her started!

The eBook format is a great option for working on this book - you can pick and choose your vocabulary lists and print them as needed to work with your schedule.  We plan to work on lists on and off throughout the year to keep building our vocabulary skills and putting them into practice!

Check out some of the other great products the Review Crew is using:

Find The Critical Thinking Co.™ on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCriticalThinkingCo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/criticalthinks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecriticalthinkingco/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/criticalthinks/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsVEVNa6UpVqXxo_t5sbb7Q

Hashtags: #hsreviews #thecriticalthinkingco #criticalthinking #athomelearning #homeschooling #criticalthinkingskills

                      Critical Thinking Co. Reviews

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Reading Eggs and Mathseeds from Reading Eggs: A TOS Crew Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

         Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs and Mathseeds from Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs and Mathseeds from Reading Eggs is a  great way to keep those reading skills sharp for students ages 2-13! We have been using this program for years.    This program works on your computer, laptop, tablet or on your mobile device with their new app.

The online, yearly subscription includes access for up to 4 students to:

Reading Eggs Junior is designed for your preschoolers - ages 2-4. It uses a variety of read-aloud books, alphabet games and more to get your child focusing on letters and the sounds they make.

Reading Eggs is for ages 3-7, uses a self-paced program to get your children excited about reading. They can complete a variety of activities and earn golden eggs as a reward!

MathSeeds is a great program for ages 3-9 to practice and perfect math skills with over 200 lessons, printable worksheets, and fun rewards. 

Reading Eggspress helps ages 7-13 with practice for their reading skills. A simple placement test helps put them in the correct spot.The program is full of games, activities, online books and more that help your child learn to love reading. This is where my tester has been.
Fast Phonics is for your 5-10 year olds. It's packed with games and levels to keep your new readers engaged by practicing systematic phonics! 

Mental Minute Drills - designed to practice and master essential math skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.This program is based on solid research and focuses on building essential reading skills through phonics, sight words, spelling, vocabulary and comprehension. But, it's so fun - they had no idea they were really learning!

My student has her own dashboard.  She can choose to practice skills like spelling, play games and compete against others, complete lessons to earn golden eggs (the reward!), visit the library, see her targets, play games in the arcade or even go "shopping" at the mall.

and,  I get detailed progress reports on what she is working on.

My tester has been using the program for the past several years, and loves it!  Her lessons are arranged on a "map" that she works through that corresponds to the book she chooses.

A lesson for them covers several key reading skills. There are several different sections that focus on different skills for reading:

  • Cover Story - they answer questions about the cover of their book. 
  • Dictionary lets them learn new vocabulary with dictionary practices.
  • Fact or Opinion practices recognizing the difference as they read.
  • Main Idea & Details and Making Inferences helps them identify key sentences and learn to make inferences from what they are reading. The program offers immediate feedback on answers.
  • Words in Context helps pinpoint how words are being used.
  • Reading allows them to read directly from an interactive book. They have plenty of great books to choose from.
  • The Quiz checks how much they remember. They need to score a minimum level to advance to the next step on their map.

After each section is completed, she earns gold "eggs".  These are the currency of the program.  The eggs can be used to play games, or go shopping!  Of course, this is my tester's favorite part.  She loves to decorate her apartment, collect pets & change her avatar...

I've been impressed with the depth of the content on Reading Eggs and my testers have loved it. 

I recommend checking them out with the FREE 30 day trial to see for yourself!

Find Reading Eggs on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/readingeggsUSCATwitter: https://twitter.com/readingeggs
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/readingeggs/YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8ED-7e2xA3fxgrM7Wq2XGQ

Hashtags: #hsreviews #learntoread #readingeggs    

                  Learn to Read with Reading Eggs

Thursday, September 9, 2021

WORLD Watch: A TOS Crew Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

WORLD Watch 

WORLD Watch is a great way to start off your school day!  We have been enjoying this 10 minute long daily newscast from WORLD Watch.  It's a Christian perspective on world news  hosted by Brian Basham, AKA "The Big Bash" who is also the program director.  Great for all ages, the reoccurring theme of  WORLD Watch programing is "Whatever the news, the purpose of the Lord will stand".

We have been long-time fans of the WORLD News Group, addition to their lineup is in its second year and  is hands-down, our favorite way to keep up with what is going on around the world!  

Your subscription gives you access to the entire library - Full Episodes, Feature Stories and the Daily Newscasts, as well as, access to the complete archives.  

We like to start off our school day with our "All Together" time, and WORLD Watch was the perfect addition.  The Full Episodes are each about 10 minutes,  there is quite a bit packed in for you to unpack later with your students. 

In addition to the World News they frequently include short, high-interest segments that bridge to other subjects like science, history, or vocabulary.  Even I found myself saying, "I never knew that"... Very well done!

The Newscast is a daily update on news from around the world, from a Christian perspective.  I can't thank them enough for providing an enjoyable and educational way for my children to keep up with world events, WITHOUT the negative, anti-christian worldview in our mainstream media today.

You also get daily email reminders sent directly to your inbox.  I like to forward them on to my children.

We love the host, reporters, and the  presentation - it's fun, upbeat and positive.  Who thought the NEWS could be that way?  Helping my children see the world and develop Biblical discernment is one of my main goals as we homeschool.  

Check out their 30-day free trial at  WORLD Watch!  We're fans for life!!

Find WORLD Watch  on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldwatchshow
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/worldwatchnews/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLhlnq_RLfpSdQ8Fm6VEEjw

Hashtags:  #hsreviews #WORLDWatch #WORLDWatchNews