Earn money with Cash Crate

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vocabulary Cartoons: SAT Word Power

Vocabulary Cartoons: SAT Word Power
Learn Hundreds of SAT Words with Easy Memory Techniques
by New Monic Books, Inc.

(I received this book, free of charge, as another delightful review product through the TOS magazine's Homeschool Crew).

This book has been a wonderful tool to help my oldest son prepare for the vocabulary portion of the SAT. Recommended for grades 7-12, this book does just what it claims to do: the child views a cartoon that teaches the meaning of an SAT word. For example, on page 115 we see a visual of a man clinging desperately to a tree on a tiny speck of land in the middle of the ocean, as sharks circle him and one tries to bite him. The vocabulary word to be learned is "dearth" and the linking word ( a word that rhymes with the vocabulary word) is "earth". The definition for 'dearth" is given: it means scarcity or lack. Then under the cartoon of the poor man the caption reads "There is a dearth of earth in the middle of the ocean." If that's not enough to help the student recall the word there are three example sentences given under each cartoon as well.

My son was able to read it in only a few days while waiting on his computer schooling to load. Most of the cartoons were really funny and helped him to easily recall the meaning of the words. It's not overwhelming to read just a few pages a day, even for the child who doesn't enjoy reading and the added visual of the cartoon really locks the words into your memory. And what child doesn't like to read cartoons or comics?

There are other vocabulary books available from the company at www.vocabularycartoons.com.

You can also see sample pages which will give you a much better idea of how the product works and how simple it is to add into your daily school routine:

The books in the series are only $12.95 each. You can also get the books in a computer cd-rom format.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Math Tutor Video Series

After homeschooling for almost 12 years, I had to stop recently to return to work due to a family illness and its lingering effects. While waiting for my children's public school enrollments to take affect, I continued to receive a few items from vendors to review for TOS magazine, free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion of these items. Two videos from the Math Tutor company were among the supplies received.

Unfortunately, I was unable to use either dvd. One was a pre-algebra level and the other, a Texas Instruments Calculator usage video. None of my children are at the pre-algebra level and the oldest has not yet been introduced to any sort of specialty calculator. We did put them into the dvd player and watch each briefly, skimming through the chapters and seeing how these videos compared to others from this company.

While I was unable to dive into this set, my oldest son, who has used other videos from the Math Tutor series with great success, said both dvd's were very similar to previous lessons he had. Jason Gipson is the instructor on the dvd's, and he is thorough and works through problems slowly. By the time a child is done with a Math Tutor video, he or she should have a good grasp of the basics of the course. Mr. Gipson has a friendly, laid-back approach to math which helped my son get over some the anxiety he associates with it. We used the Algebra 1 and 2 dvd's with great success.

While not a lone program (the name "tutor" says it all), this is a great supplementary curriculum to add to your regular math program. Depending on how slow one moves, there are only a few months of lessons (maybe even days or weeks if the student is really fast) on each dvd. You can add the companion worksheet cd-roms to your video series to flesh it out a bit. But overall, it is not meant to be a complete, core curriculum. Use the Math Tutor series with a child struggling as an alternative to a pricey tutor and you'll likely be impressed.

The price for most dvd's is around $26 for 5-7 hours of video-much less than you'd pay a private tutor- and we found the dvd's we have used to be extremely user-friendly and helpful. Mr. Gipson has courses ranging from Basic Math all the way to Calculus 3 and Physics.

Visit www.MathTutorDVD.com to see detailed lists of what each video includes as well as samples of actual video clips. The site says "Raise grades or your money back." Give it a try!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The end of the homeschooling journey?

After 11 years (almost 12) of homeschooling, I returned to work this year. At first I tried working and homeschooling but my younger children needed more of me than I could give. So at present my 10-year old and 5-year old are in public school. My high schooler is registered, records have been transferred, and we await placement testing. If all goes well there, he should be in school by next week. There have been many hold-ups along the way that make me wonder if this is God's will for him; still praying that if it isn't we'll know soon. As in by this week.

I will try to journal some of my thoughts, feelings, and even helpful hints along the way for those of you contemplating homeschooling or putting homeschooled children into a public school setting. I hope to be able to return to homeschooling all my kids in the future but until then, journey with me into this new season of life.