Monday, January 31, 2011

Times Alive

Times Alive by City Creek Press is a computer program to help kids remember their times tables.  The program was based off the company's book Times Tables the Fun Way.  The cost of the CD Rom program is $48.95, for instant download it is $44.95.

Times Alive teaches kids times tables from zero to the nine. This program utilizes several different approaches to help learn the multiplication facts. For each multiplication lesson, a storyteller tells a story about the numbers in the lesson to help the student learn the concept and your child can read along as well.  There is a music video with a catchy tune that is using the same story and numbers.  There are also interactive games and activities, plus quizzes.

You are able to view progress reports that show what lessons have been completed, quiz results and the time it took to complete the quizzes.  Kids will have a difficult time forgetting their times tables after they go through the lessons.  Logan was sure this program would not help him with his memorization.  He will never forget that to drive a 4 x 4 you have to be 16.  

*Disclaimer* I received this product free of charge in exchange for my review.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ten Marks

I think that our review of Ten Marks has been Isabel's favorite review so far!  Ten Marks is an online math program.  They offer personalized curriculum from 3rd grade to highschool for $10 per month.

If you are unsure what grade level your child is working at, you can set up an assessment and have them placed.  Once you have your chosen curriculum for each child, you can customize it by adding work from grades above and below the current level.  Once they get started they are assigned worksheets.  For each problem, they can answer, watch an instructional video or get helpful hints.  If their understanding of the covered concept is good, they can move on to the next skill.  If not, they work on additional problems until they are able to grasp the concept.

Isabel loves it for several reasons.  The first is that she can work at her own pace.  She can see when worksheets are due (she really likes having due dates). I set up rewards for her that she can see each time she is logged on.  This gives her extra motivation because she really enjoys working to receive her reward.  There are also fun math games that kids can 'unlock' by doing a certain number of worksheets.  This is the perfect program for the way she works and learns. She is always asking if she can work on her Ten Marks! 

Click here for a free trial!

*Disclaimer* I received this product free of charge in exchange for this review.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Illustrated Bible Dictionary For Kids

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids sold by Lifeway Christian Stores is the next review on our list.  This 212 page Hardback book is sold for $14.99 and is geared toward children ages 5-10 (although my 13 year old enjoyed it as well). Click HERE to view pdf sample pages.

In this very colorful Illustrated Bible Dictionary, there are many helpful features that kids can reference if they need help while reading the Bible.  Most of the entries reference where that entry can be found in the Bible along with pronunciation.  Here are some of the other features:
  • Reconstructions show how towns and buildings may have looked during Biblical times.
  • Illustrated Charts provide children with information (visual and written) on the Bible animals, insects, plants, etc.
  • Definitions of people in Bible stories as well as key concepts.
  • Colorful detailed maps.
We really liked this book a lot.  One of our favorite pages was a table of weights and measurements from Bible times.  We now know that one Handbreadth is equivalent to 3 inches, or 8 centimeters.  

This does not need to be used only as a Bible reference, we had a lot of fun just sitting down and reading through the book itself.

Some other products that are sold by Lifeway Christian Stores are Hands on Geography and Art of Drawing Horses.

*Disclaimer* I received this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Virtual Nerd

Virtual Nerd. What a great service! It is a virtual tutor for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Beginning Physics.   The cost is $49 per month, with other payment options available.  To get a really good idea of what Virtual Nerd is, there is a 2 minute introductory video.

The target audience for this site is 7-12th grade. The site offers more than 1,000 tutorial videos explaining different math or science concepts.  Each video is so well  organized and the 'tutor' is very clear and easy to understand.  The best part is their Dynamic Whiteboard, which allows you to see step by step, what the tutor is going over.  If a step or process stumps you, you can click on that step or process for further instruction.  I have never seen math explained so well before.  

In Spring 2011, they will be adding a tool to allow students to do practice problems, take quizzes and receive feedback in return.  They are also planning on expanding their subjects to include more Physics, Chemistry, Pre-Calculus and Calculus in the 2011-2012 school year with Biology to follow.

This is a service that I definitely plan on using for my kids as they enter High School in a few years.  I don't have to know the answers to their questions, I just have to know where to find those answers.  If there are concepts that you are having difficulty explaining to your child, you should really check this out.  You can try it for $5 for 24 hours or free for 2 hours HERE.

*Disclaimer* I received this product free of charge in exchange for my review.

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