Tag Archives: reading

Reading Eggs Review

If you are looking for a fun, no fuss way, to improve your kids reading skills, then you might want to check out Reading Eggs and their award winning online reading program.

Reading Eggs is used by over 10 million kids worldwide.  That is quite an accomplishment for a reading program.  They have also achieved numerous awards and can be found in many homes and schools.  We were recently asked to review a six month subscription to Reading Eggs which also includes Reading Eggs JR and Reading Eggspress.  We were also given a subscription to Math Seeds.  You can get your very own 4 Week Free Trial and see if Reading Eggs is a good fit for your family.

Reading Eggs

Online Subscription

Reading Eggs Jr. for Ages 2-4

Reading Eggs Ages for 3-7

Reading Eggspress for Ages 7-13

24/7/365 Access

Reading Eggs Special Features

Reading Eggs is an online reading program available for either a 6 month or 1 year subscription.

Reading Eggs contains 120 animated reading lessons (plus additional lessons in Reading Eggs Jr. and Reading Eggspress).  Each lesson involves around 12+ tasks or mini-lessons.  Some of the other special features of Reading Eggs includes:

  • Student Dashboard for independent student navigation (and motivation) of lessons, spelling, games, books read, etc.
  • Phonics
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Letters
  • Sight Words
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Songs
  • Games
  • Kids earn spending “eggs” they earned for completing lessons and quizzes that can be used in the arcade, designing their avatar, spend in the store, etc.
  • Printables: Worksheets, Awards for completing Lesson Maps and Quizzes
  • Over 2,500 Online Books To Read each with a Comprehension Quiz (of 5 to 10 questions each).
  • Spelling Quizzes / Driving Tests
  • Parent Dashboard: track lessons and quizzes completed, scores, and books read.
  • Parent Emails (also keep you updated of student progress)
  • Homeschool Guide (Grades K-2)
  • Additional Supplemental Books Available

How Does It Work?

Reading Eggs helps kids succeed in their reading abilities by focusing on mastering skills and strategies which are essential for reading success. The Reading Eggs developers are an experienced team of teachers, educational writers, animators, and website and app developers.  Reading Eggs is beneficial for kids just learning to read as well as kids with strong reading skills. It is also beneficial for kids with learning difficulties, struggling readers, and English As A Second Language (ESL).

There are 3 Levels to Reading Eggs and in all it covers kids from ages 2 to 13.  No prior knowledge is needed to start the program at the lowest level, Reading Eggs Jr, however those in Kindergarten (and some Preschoolers too) should be able to begin at the Reading Eggs level.

Reading Eggs will actually teach the kids to read through a series of progressive lessons that takes them from not yet able to read to master a second grade reading level.  Students with stronger reading skills will progress quicker than beginners.  Reading Eggspress is the next level in the program and covers skills from first through sixth grades.  This level offers lots of reading comprehension challenges, books, and more learning games.

There is a comprehensive 35 page User Guide available to help parents learn to use the programs.

The basic motivation for kids is to make progress is earning golden eggs they can store up and spend like cash within the program by doing tasks like lessons, quizzes, books, etc.  In the Reading Eggs program there are 12 Maps with 10 lessons on each map to master (120 lessons).  At the end of each Lesson Map is a quiz for kids to take before they can move forward to the next Map.

Lessons also contain printable black and white activity worksheets as well as colourful activity pages to complete.

The worksheet printables also include lesson plans for each lesson.  There are 120 Lesson Plans to help the parent understand the big picture of what the child is learning and how the online lesson and worksheets go together and additional suggestions to enhance the learning skills.

The links for the downloadable printable worksheets that include lesson plans, and more colorful activity pages for each lesson are found in the “bonus” section of the parent dashboard for additional practice.

After completing about five (5) lessons in Reading Eggs, kids will have earned enough eggs to begin using the Games section.  At Games, they can choose a game they want to play.  The more eggs they earn, the more they can spend, and the more games they can play.  Kids love playing games, and games become a reward for the efforts they make, and it motivates them to want to do more.

Reading Eggs now offers a Homeschool Guide for parents for kids in grades K-2.  There is a schedule for each grade and it integrates reading, math, science, and social studies and offers a suggested schedule of lessons, activity pages to complete, spelling, books to read, and learning themes. The Homeschool Guide can also be found in the “bonus” section.

Videos:

Watch this video to learn more about Reading Eggs (Math Seeds is now a separate subscription):

Watch this video to learn more about Reading Eggspress (ages 7-13):

Requirements:

Reading Eggs online programs can be accessed on a Computer with high speed internet service and an operating system of Windows 7 (or higher), or Mac 10 (or higher), iPad, and is available on some Smart Phones (Apple, Android, etc).  It is currently not supported on some devices (Dell Venue 7, Kindle Fire Tablets, Pendo Pad, Thompson Tablet, or Tesco Hudl Tablets).

Our Experience:

My kids love using Reading Eggs.  Reading Eggs is colorful and engaging.  This fun program has helped my kids practice reading, spelling, and grammar skills in a fun interactive way.

For the purpose of this review, I will focus on the Reading Eggs level of the program and share with you some of our experience using this program with my 5 year old son who is new to Reading Eggs, and my 10 year old daughter who has some previous experience.

Though it is a “no-fuss” learning program (meaning the kids are not frustrated and resisting to use it), instead it is just the opposite and my kids do fuss if I they don’t get to use it.  The kids are very motivated to get on the computer and practice their reading skills each day.

I have my own dashboard when logged in as the parent.    I can see my kids progress in each program we are subscribed to.  I also receive an email after my kids complete quizzes describing their reading progress and what skills and concepts they learned.

A special feature that I like is the option to choose starting my kids off at a specific lesson (there are about 120 different lessons), or letting them start at default mode which is at the beginning lesson on Map 1, or I can have the kids take the placement test.  The placement test includes 60 questions.  The test stops when the kids miss 3 questions and places them at the level where the missed questions corresponds to their skills.  A parent can choose for the kids to continue where the placement test says they should be, or have them “Redo Placement Test”, or you can just adjust the lesson they are on within any level without retaking the test.

My kids also have their own dashboard when logged in as the student.

Even the youngest of kids are able to learn how to navigate their dashboard after a few times of using it because of the colorful pictures.

From the kids dashboard they can navigate around Reading Eggs.  They can read stories, do spelling, quizzes, games, shop, etc.  To get to their Lesson Map, they choose the “My Program” link and it takes them to their books and lesson options.  Then they can choose the Lesson link and it brings them to their Lesson Map.

Here is my 5 year old son pointing to his avatar when it was on lesson 9 on Map 1.

Another fun feature for Kids is to design their own avatar for their dashboard.  There are unlimited options in the design.

When they have unlocked more of the program based on their lessons, more options show up on their “Program” page.   In this picture below, you can see how my daughter’s page differs from her younger brother’s page.  She had master 106 lessons and was ready to start lesson 107.

After they choose “Lesson”, it takes them to the Lessons Map and hers opens up to lesson 107 on Map 11.

Another favorite feature for my kids is the driving test.  Each of my kids are different, but my daughter especially enjoys doing these.

Math Seeds

We were also given a complimentary subscription to Math Seeds and I wanted to briefly mention it here.  It is an online math program that operates in a similar way to Reading Eggs.

Math Seeds was created by the same team that created Reading Eggs and shares the same dashboard with Reading Eggs if you have subscribed to both programs.  However, you have the option to only subscribe to Math Seeds or only to Reading Eggs if you wish.

In Math Seeds, my kids collected golden acorns to spend instead of eggs.  Math Seeds involves 180 lessons with numbers and math skills for kids ages 3 to 9 years old.  They have recently expanded the program to cover some skills at the third grade level (including times tables fractions, angles, subtraction with regrouping, etc).

Math Seeds Video

Here you can see the parent dashboard that shows one of my kids Math Seeds progress.  We haven’t spent a lot of time in Math Seeds yet as we mainly focused on Reading Eggs during this review.

Final Thoughts

Pros:

  • Access 24/7/365 (use it anytime on your schedule)
  • Kids love it.
  • Kids can complete online lessons independently or you can expand learning with parents and additional lesson printables and suggested reading that reinforce the learning.
  • Proven reading improvement.
  • Affordable  ($49 for 6 months and $59 for 1 year).
  • Keeps parents/teachers informed of progress (emails and dashboard reports).
  • Parents can tweak program by moving child ahead or back in lessons, and can have child repeat placement test if desired.
  • Printables
  • Homeschool Guide

Cons:

  • Non-Christian Worldview.  May or may not be a good fit for everyone.

This “con” won’t pertain to everyone, but some religious objections may arise to the non-Christian worldview and undertones of some lessons and book options within the program.  Some families choose to homeschool rather than send their kids to public school for religious reasons.  This program is used in state sponsored public schools in the USA, and other countries and corresponds to common core education and also has many non-Christian themes that some families do not wish their kids to participate in.

Thankfully, parents can tweak the lessons if they see themes they might object to by skipping a specific lesson and moving the child up to the next lesson, or choosing not to read a specific book.  Another way to use the program is avoid using the books that you object too, but still have the kids take the lessons and read other books, and then use what was in the lesson as a teaching point of discussion about your faith with your kids, and this is the way we handled it. You have some flexibility to make these adjustments through the parent dashboard.

Overall, kids of all ages like the Reading Eggs programs.  With all of it’s colorful interactive games and ability to earn spendable eggs and awards for achievements, it is easy understand why it is so successful in teaching and motivating kids to read.

If you would like to try before you buy, be sure to try out the free lesson on their website, or sign up to get your 4 Week Free Trial subscription.

Social Media

Keep up with all the lasted news, product updates, free offers, and special sales at the social media links for Reading Eggs:

• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/readingeggsUSCA/
• Instagram (handle): readingeggs
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/readingeggs @readingeggs
• Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingeggs/
• YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ABCReadingEggs

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Reading Eggs in their home.

Please share.

The Beginner’s Bible

The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a great way to encourage children to listen and read Bible stories.  We were sent The Beginner’s Bible for review and I was very excited to receive this new updated version with bright 3D art work and fun illustrations to use in our home.

  The Beginner’s Bible

Hardcover Book

512 Pages

90 Brightly Illustrated Bible Stories

Retails for $16.99

Additional discounts up to 50% for bulk purchases

Recommended for Kids ages 6 and under (Read Aloud)

Easy Read for kids 7-8

But also great as an easy reader for older kids and ESL too.

The Beginner’s Bible was first released in 1989, and has sold over 25 million copies in the past 27+ years.   25 MILLION!  That is an amazing testimony of how this wonderful gem, filled with timeless wisdom, is to share with each generation of children around the world.

Why Use An Illustrated Bible For Kids?

There are many reasons to use the bible in your home.  It is so important to incorporate the truths from the bible in raising children.  It is Father God’s love letter and instruction manual to all of his children, young and old.   Using an illustrated Bible helps kids “picture” the events and people they are learning about.  I like this illustrated version because it simplifies the learning for younger children without taking away from the message that God put there for us to learn.

In addition to advice and instructions in the Bible, you also read about the fascinating lives of the men and women who lived during the time it was written.   Reading the Bible actually causes your faith, and your children’s faith, in Father God and his son Jesus to grow.  The bible helps you see how consistently faithful God is and how much he loves us.  It shows you the ups and downs in people’s lives and how God brought them through the good and bad experiences that people live through.

The bible teaches us how to handle good and bad experiences we go through in life and how to trust in God who hears our prayers and helps guide us everyday.  The bible gives us values to live by called a biblical worldview.  People still go through good and bad experiences today and we need God more now than ever.  The bible tells us about his only begotten son he sent to save mankind from their sin and eternal separation from God.  Jesus paid the price so that we can spend eternity with God if we will believe, love and obey his teachings.

A few ways we can incorporate using The Beginner’s Bible with kids in our every day life:

  • Read aloud by parents, grandparents, and older siblings.
  • Read along for beginners.
  • Independent reading for beginners.
  • Circle Time, Quiet Time, Bed Time
  • Story telling.
  • Retelling the stories using additional props such as  Legos, Crafts, Puppets, Diorama, Costumes, etc.
  • Homeschool Projects, Home, Bible Study, Get Togethers, Sunday School
  • Create Lap Books, Note Books, Timelines, etc.
  • Writing Practice as children copy the story onto their own notebook pages.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)

The Beginner’s Bible Experience In Our Home

We have been using The Beginner’s Bible since the beginning of having children in our family.   Let me see…that is over 16+ years!  We received our first copy as a gift when our oldest was born.   We have purchased a few more copies over the years.  Our current version is still on our bookshelf and has lasted through lots of little hands, quiet times on the couch, and several moves across country.  This illustrated bible for kids has been a family favorite of ours for many years.   We have six kids and each one started their Bible learning with The Beginner’s Bible.

We have made it a priority to spend time reading in the bible each day.  Our younger kids listen to bible stories being read to them and our older kids read the bible themselves and also read to their younger siblings.

Once a week we set aside time for the kids to retell bible stories they have learned.  They can choose any props or make crafts or use Legos, etc.  The older boys also like to make Lego stop motion movies to retell the events in the bible stories.

Sometimes we turn the learning adventure into a Unit Study and spend an entire month on a specific theme such as “forgiveness” or “Ancient Egypt” or “the miracles of Jesus” etc. This is a great way for the kids to learn hands on and practice sharing what they have learned with each other and also share with daddy when he gets home from work.

There are 90 stories in this illustrated Bible.   That is over a year’s worth of stories if you focus on learning one new story a week.   Or complete it in a year if you read two stories a week.  If you want to go faster, you could read this in 90 days if you do one story each day.  You can go at a pace that works best for your family.

Another great way to use The Beginner’s Bible with your kids is to include the free printables and games on The Beginner’s Bible Website (recommended for kids 12 and under).   Perhaps you can print them off as you read each story or print them off ahead of time and make a folder with the printables for each story and build a story unit study.   You can also add more materials to your folders as you find additional resources.

Since we love making unit studies with stories we read, we are using two to three related stories each week.  It will take us about a year to do the entire book at this pace.

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study

Be sure to check out a story I posted using The Beginner’s Bible called Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study.  Unit Studies are one of our favorite ways to learn.  They are cross-curricular and subjects (math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a theme, they are hands on,  and they help children retain what they have learned. 

We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities, including the FREE sample curriculum lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study.  These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.

The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son” , watching  the lesson video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on.

The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page.

This was a lot of fun for the kids.  You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.

Noah and the Lego Ark

Check out another story I posted using The Beginner’s Bible in  Noah and the Lego Ark .

We used The Beginner’s Bible and Legos as a way to retell the bible story of Noah.  That story includes more fun ideas on using this children’s illustrated Bible in fun hands on learning ways.

More Learning Fun

After reading the stories in The Beginner’s Bible, my kids love to watch the animated videos by the same company.

You can find these on “youtube.”  There is also an APP from their website for these stories, games, and videos for your smart phone.

The videos are a great way to reinforce the learning.  They are entertaining and engaging.   We set aside time to fix a snack like pretzels and apple slices and my kids sit down to watch the bible stories.

Check The Beginner’s Bible website and youtube for more details on fun ways to enhance the learning.

The Beginner’s Bible

Website & Teaching Resources

Please check out The Beginner’s Bible website for wonderful FREE resources to compliment your child’s learning and enjoyment using The Beginner’s Bible.

They have free printouts for coloring pages, word puzzles, mazes, online learning games etc.  Print as many copies as you need and create your own folders filled with fun learning projects to go along with the bible stories.

Free Stuff From The Website To Use With The Beginner’s Bible:

  • Coloring Pages (40+ printable coloring activities)
  • Drawing Pages (I loved these!)
  • Read Together Sheets (print and bind these for an additional story book)
  • Writing Sheets (practice writing letters and numbers)
  • Place Mats and Posters (so many uses!)
  • Book Marks (everybody needs book marks!)
  • Mazes
  • Paint Online
  • Online Games, Quizzes, etc
  • Word Puzzles Printouts
  • Matching
  • Videos
  • Recommended Bible Story Reading Schedule for the year.
  • APP for your phone or electronic device with stories and activities.

They also offer 2 lessons for free from their curriculum kit:  “Creation” and  “Jesus Rescues the Lost” .  I would encourage you to get a copy of these free lesson plans and see how easy it is to use this illustrated Bible in your learning adventures.

If you want to purchase the complete lesson plans, they are available for an additional purchase on the Zonderkidz website and are called “The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit”.  After using the free lesson plan they offered, I think this would be a great resource.  It would make it simple to use The Beginner’s Bible as a curriculum and the lesson planning work is all done for you.

The kit comes with a hardback copy of The Beginner’s Bible and a DVD with a year’s worth of lesson plans including 30 teaching lessons that incorporate the 90 bible stories, and a DVD with 28 animated video stories, fun activities, and lots of additional classroom use ideas.   There is also a family take-home page for each lesson for kids to share with their parents and to further the learning at home.

The Beginner’s Bible Is Fun For Kids

The Beginner’s Bible is full of faith building stories and fun illustrations to enhance the learning.  It is a wonderful gift for your children and grandchildren, classrooms, and kids clubs.   Zonderkidz also offers resources in English and Spanish, I can Read Books, The Beginner’s Bible Deluxe, The Beginner’s Bible For Little Ones, The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit, etc.  as well as additional resources on their website.   I think using this children’s Bible is a an essential piece for teaching young children about the stories and people of the Bible.   Every page is filled with full-color illustrations that retell 90 Bible stories in a fun and engaging way.

Our younger kids love the bright colors of the illustrations in this children’s Bible.  Looking at colorful pictures helps keep their attention whether they are listening to it as a read aloud, or if they are reading the stories for themselves.  It is a great way to include Bible learning in our home and incorporate into our homeschool learning too.  I am sure they will continue to use this treasure this illustrated Bible for many more years to come.

AWARDS

The Beginner’s Bible was named the 2006 Retailers Choice Award winner in Children’s Nonfiction.

Social Media

Be sure to connect with Zonderkidz on their social media links for all the latest news, special offers, and resources to further the learning.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zonderkidz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zonderkidz

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/zondervan

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/zondervanp/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zondervan/

The Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out how other families on the Homeschool Review Crew used this product in their homes.

Please share.

Super Teacher Worksheets

How would you like to have just about any worksheet you need (or imagine) at any time through out the school year, right at your fingertips?

Super Teacher Worksheets

Have no fear!  Super Teacher Worksheets are here!

I just love this special Super Hero who has come to save the day!  We were sent a 1 year Individual Membership for our family to use.  This wonderful site has so many awesome resources to enhance the learning going on with your kids and make it even more fun.

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Super Teacher Worksheets

Membership $19.95 year

Grades K-5, but there are many worksheets for middle and high school too, and more will be developed for the upper grades.

Unlimited 24/7 Access to over 10,000 pdf worksheets, activities, flash cards, games, and more.

New worksheets are added each week.

“Members have unlimited access to thousands of worksheets and printable materials on Super Teacher Worksheets. We offer math worksheets, reading comprehension stories, spelling lists, handwriting practice sheets, grammar worksheets, holiday printables, and much more!” source

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Just A Few Of The Subjects Covered:

There are wonderful high quality printables for more subjects than I can tell you about.  It is really mind boggling just the number of worksheets and resources on this site.  But here is a short list of some of the subject areas covered.

Math
Reading & Writing
Phonics & Early Literacy
Handwriting
Grammar
Spellings Lists & Worksheets (Gr. 1-5)
Science
Social Studies
Geography
History
Holiday
Health and Nutrition
Puzzles & Brain Teasers
Games
Flash Cards
Teacher Helpers
Pre-K and Kindergarten Resources
Make Your Own Worksheets

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Super Teacher Worksheets company was created by Tim Weibel in 2007.  Tim worked as a 3rd and 4th grade elementary school teacher for over 10 years and saw a need for easy access to affordable high quality worksheets for teachers and parents.

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How We Are Using Super Teacher Worksheets In Our Home

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I am so excited to have this resource!  It has enhanced what we are doing.   If I want the kids to practice more on certain skills we have a worksheet for that.  If I want them to do a quiz, I can find several worksheets to cover it.  If I want to expand their learning with unit study on a specific subject, I have found so many great resources on this website that I can include to further the learning.  I am just thrilled!

We are using these worksheets to supplement almost every subject of our learning this fall.  So far I have printed off math, language arts, phonics, spelling, history, geography, nutrition, and found worksheets for our dinosaur unit study, human body unit study, and more.

There is something to go along with everything you are doing, and if something isn’t there, you can create your own using the tools on the site too. There is also a feature for the kids to create their own calendars.  I can’t wait to be able to use these worksheets for the up coming holiday season this fall.  These resources will give a nice touch to our learning during the holidays too.

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We are studying the History and Geography of the USA.  I found maps of the USA and some with latitude and longitude coordinates.  The kids had to use the clues to locate the city and state the meet the coordinates listed.  I found a wonderful State Report for the kids to work on. The report is about 9 pages long and there are interesting things to do on each page that relate to the state you are studying.  We started off learning about Indiana state history and geography since we live in Indiana.    Really proud of my 12 year old son’s handwriting.  He is doing such a great job since taking a handwriting course, and all of these awesome worksheets are giving him plenty of hands on practice to implement his writing skills.  I also saw there were handwriting worksheets to get in more practice and guided instruction as needed too.  I plan to implement the handwriting worksheets with all the children next week.

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My opinion is that every homeschool family (and anyone else working with kids) needs to subscribe to this program.  There is so much to do and learn and the kids will have fun learning too.

Science Worksheets

More About Super Teacher Worksheets:

Members can make their own customized math worksheets, calendars, flashcards, quizzes, and word puzzles with the generators.

Members can save their favorite files in an online filing cabinet for easy access and to help save room on their own computer’s data storage.  I usually just save the worksheet to a file in my own computer.  This has really helped with planning out our learning schedule by having such easy access to these resources.

Look over their blog http://blog.superteacherworksheets.com/ for ongoing CONTESTS, GIVEAWAYS, FREE learning resources, and great ideas.  They write great articles to help parents and teachers and have given away microscopes, science kits, and all kinds of great stuff so keep an eye out for what is happening over there.

Super Teacher Worksheets also has a site called ModernChalkboard.com with SMART Board Notebook resources for teachers.

Social Media

Be sure to follow Super Teacher Worksheets on their Social Medial links for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/superteacherworksheets/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/superteacherwks/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/superteacherworksheets/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/superteacherwks/

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

Now that you read what we think about these wonderful worksheets, be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Revew Crew had to say about using this product in their home.

Crew Disclaimer

Please share.

Ancient Achievements Spelling You See Review

I’ve got 5 boys and 1 girl. If there is one thing I have learned after having all of these boys especially, they don’t mind reading by the time they hit third or fourth grade, but they do not like to write, at least through their grade school and middle school years.  As parents we have discussed their reluctance and have wanted to see them improve in their hand-writing  and spelling skills.  The kids say that “writing is not fun”.  But I think it is not fun because spelling and English gramatical rules can be challenging.  I am hoping their desire to write will change as they get older.

logo

Thankfully there are companies creating fun products that can bridge the gap and inspire kids to write more and feel confident about their writing and spelling skills.  We were asked to review a spelling and writing curriculum called Ancient Achievements (Level F) by Spelling You See.

student workbook

Ancient Acheivements
Level F

Contains 3 soft cover books:
Instructors Manual $14,
and Student Workbook 1 and 2 and colored pencils for $30.

In Ancient Achievements, kids read about ancient events and far away places and build their excitement as they gain new skills with each story.   The stories work as a bridge to get your student from point “A” to point “B” in their learning and helps them go from the Skill Development Stage to the Word Extension stage of spelling.   Kids gain experience reading and writing and improve their basic spelling skills while learning interesting facts.

student workbook 2

This curriculum contains 36 weekly lessons with nonfiction stories.  Students need the colored pencils or highlighters and a regular pencil to complete the workbook assignments.

Historical subjects kids will read about in their workbooks cover a wide range including cave paintings, Viking ships, historical writing systems, the production of silk in China, mountain terraces in the Philippines, Marco Polo, Incan counting systems, archery and the English longbow, and more.

Three central activities are repeated through out this this curriculum and are the basis for the learning method of Spelling You See:
chunking – provides hands-on experience with irregular letter patterns
copywork – requires the brain to pay attention to written details
dictation – gives an opportunity to demonstrate decoding and encoding in a meaningful context.

teacher

The instructors manual is very helpful with an over view of the program, a getting started guide with layout of the lessons, a color coded answer key for each lesson, and more.

How we used this in our home:

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I used Ancient Achievements with my son.  He wasn’t to sure he wanted to do it, but I told him it was a must because his Dad and I want to see his handwriting and spelling improve.  So he reluctantly agreed as long as I would let him work on it sitting on the couch.   Fine by me, whatever works to help him be successful is what I say, and that is the beauty of homeschooling.  Kids have the flexibility to learn the way they enjoy and are comfortable.  I am really glad he was willing to give this a try, even on the couch, because it turns out he likes it and is self motivated to work on it! That is music to my ears!

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This curriculum covers 36 weeks of learning and is to be done 5 days each week.  The student activities for each day of the week Monday – Friday are labeled week 1A, week 1B, week 1C, week 1D, week 1E, in the student workbook and every week follows this same pattern.   The assignments are somewhat repetitive and each lesson builds a new skill onto the last assignment.

Each week for the “A” assignment, he has a passage about ancient events or cultures to read aloud to me (or the instructor) and I help him with any words that are difficult for him to pronounce.

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Letter paterns in the stories are assigned a color code.  Then he is to go through the story and use the color code to “chunk” the patterns.  This helps the student recognize letter patterns.

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Each day of the week he re-reads the passage again and does the copy work assignment again.  For the next 2 days, “B”, “C”, and  he re-reads the passages each day and re-writes (copies) the story onto pre-printed lines on the facing page the best he can in 10 minutes just as he did on the first day. Then he is to mark the chunking patterns again like he did on the first day.

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On day “C” he also completes the Spotlight activity in his workbook.  It introduces him to ryhming words and associates words with similar patterns.  It points out interesting facts about words that he didn’t know before.  Such as not all ryhming words have matching letters, even though they often do.  It also shows him how endings are added to words, and word relationships that can help him with spelling.   The Spotlight helps him pay closer attention.

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On the last two days of the week, day “D” and “E”, he is to write the passage from dictation.  He is allowed to ask for help if needed on day “D”, but must complete day “E” without asking for help.

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He is enjoying writing and learning spelling patterns with this curriculum.  This is a whole new approach for our family and I can see this practice with chunking, cop-work, and dictation is very beneficial in addition to being fun to read the variety of stories.  I would like to use additional levels of Spelling You See with my other children as I think this method of learning spelling patterns would benefit our whole family.

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