Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs...For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:1-2, 5

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day

I was given the opportunity to watch the “Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day” DVD created by the Institute for Excellence in Writing company. The DVD is essentially Andrew Pudewa presenting this topic at a conference of some sort, so it is visually nothing fancy, but it is jammed packed of very interesting information on generalized differences in boys and girls.

The DVD is priced at $10.00 and runs about 80 minutes. It is divided up into 3 parts…The 4 Forms of Relevancy, The 3 Laws of Motivation and The 2 Secret Weapons.

I found the information presented informative and highly helpful.
To peak your interest…who hears better, boys or girls? What types of words do boys use more often in writing and vice versa what words do girls use more often? How do boys and girls handle pain or stress differently? How do boys and girls see differently? Knowing these differences…we can then teach more effectively. The DVD also gives tips to motivate your child(ren) to do something they may not want to do. I would recommend this DVD or MP3 download (which is only $3.00) to anyone who is interested in gaining some additional wisdom about your children, especially those with boys.

I am always in awe of God and how he has created us not only as individuals, but also as male or female genders.

To read other TOS reviews on this product or the Phonetic Zoo click here.

Disclaimer---I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tiny Planets

Tiny Planets: Bing and Bong
I was given the opportunity to review the website, Tiny Planets.

{ Tiny Planets provides award-winning educational entertainment set in space exploration and discovery, inspiring creativity and critical thinking in youth ages 4 to 12.
Tiny Planets features the cosmic adventures of Bing and Bong, two whimsical aliens who travel the Universe of Tiny Planets together on their gadget-loaded plush sofa. With Bing and Bong, children are encouraged to think for themselves, assume social responsibility, take care of our planet and learn about the mysteries of space. }

Tiny Planets Home is your central location to access all our Tiny Planets web sites. The Tiny Planets online content has won two BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards – Interactive Best Entertainment Website and Best Children's Interactive. We're quite proud of that!

On Tiny Planets TV you can watch any of the Tiny Planets television episodes. This series was co-created with Sesame Workshop and emphasizes science education and early learning goals, such as social and emotional development, language and literacy, problem-solving and reasoning, knowledge and understanding of our world, and creative development. Tiny Planets is the only television program to be endorsed by Montessori Centre International, and it's been a favorite in nearly 100 TV territories around the world. Thank you Montessori!

My Tiny Planets is a new online community and virtual world based on science and space exploration that combines social elements and gaming to create an engaging space exploration experience. Children create an avatar (affectionately called their “Space Cadet”), solve galactic missions with Bing and Bong, sharpen their wits with fast-paced mini-games, navigate their spaceships and avoid wormholes, adopt and care for their own planet, and nurture exotic plants in a biodome, all the while racking up achievements and special badges for their accomplishments.

On Tiny Planets Fun your child can take a few moments to enjoy brainy puzzle games (like fractions, sound and seek, and symmetry), as well as coloring books and comics.

On Tiny Planets Books you'll find interactive story books for younger children featuring Bing and Bong, their friends the locals and the flockers, and all the endearing planets in the Universe of Tiny Planets. Read these books with your child, or teach your child to read on their own!

Tiny Planets Learning is our site for parents, homeschoolers, and educators. Here you'll find lesson plans that include educational activities and science experiments to do at home. Also, you'll see how every episode in the Tiny Planets television series maps to early learning goals. Some Tiny Planets parents have even created curriculum for their children using these creative resources!

Tiny Planets Labs is our playground for things to come! We participate in several EU University research projects, keeping us technologically sharp. When we create new games, we put them on our labs site to test them out. Let us know what you think!

So far, my older boys, ages 9 and 10, have played on the website. They have mainly played with the My Tiny Planets and Tiny Planets Fun…my 9 year old responded with “It’s Awesome”, when I asked whether he liked it or not. He especially likes making his journal and playing the games.

It is free to sign up and create accounts for yourself and your children…though I will preface to say that the website is not totally free. There are many aspects that are free, but there are some that you will need to purchase “keys” in order for you child to use all areas. The “keys” are relatively cheap…10 for $1.95, 25 for $3.95, 85 for $9.95, 250 for $25.95 and 600 for $49.95. Most of the games or activities cost anywhere from 5-10 keys, but as I said before there are free ones too. I will also mention that creating accounts for your children was a little difficult at first as I saw no explanation of how…but I did figure it out. You need to click on the small “create a cadet” link first, that will give you names to use for the cadet account and then ask you to give a password. I like the idea that my children’s names are not on the website. FYI---write down this information so it is easier to “add cadet” on the parent’s account, especially if you have multiple children, as you may forget what they are by the time you need themSmile. After you have gotten cadet names and passwords for each of your children that will be playing, go back to the parent’s account to sign up. Once you’ve done that it will ask you if you want to “add cadet”, click on it and put the cadet name and password that you wrote down, at that point you should be able to purchase “keys” if you want. I personally have not purchased “keys” yet as they still have many things they can do before we need to do that.

I like that there is a lot to do at the website…that it has multiple arenas to play at or do and for a wide difference in age. I would recommend this site, especially for those with boys.

To read other TOS reviews on this product click here.

Disclaimer---I was asked to review this website and (I still need to contact them) I  will receive some “keys” in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The resilensce of kids...

An update on my youngest who had the spica cast (basically a full body cast) from a broken femur...he got it off last Wednesday the 8th. Hip Hip Hooray! He cried the whole time and wanted to keep it on, but later that night he was all kicks and movement of his legs. I was all sentimental after he had had his bath and was in his jammies...I had almost forgotten what he looked like with footed pajamas on, so incredibly cute.

Yesterday, only 5 days after he got the cast off, he is walking, granted he looks a little limpy gimpy and doesn't go too far, but never the less he is doing great!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good Morning, God!

I was given the opportunity to review this beautifully illustrated children’s book from Apologia, written by Davis Carman.

Good Morning God

The book is reasonably priced at $14.00. It comes with suggestions on how you can use the book…

*simply read the book

*read the story then ask the questions and do the activities that are at the back of the book or just pick some of both

* if you want to do a mini-curriculum, you can read the story everyday and do the questions and activities that are for that day of the week you are on…for example on Monday you would read the whole book, but maybe emphasize Monday then ask the Monday’s questions and activities.

I can’t say it any better than Apologia already did…                     
{Good Morning, God is a story about a four-year-old boy as he goes through a week with his family. This book is designed for children age one to eight years old. Ideally, this book will help your child fall in love with our heavenly Father by thinking about Him from sunrise to sunset. The hope is that this book will introduce children to the simple and wonderful ways we can worship God daily and inspire them to enjoy the Lord with their entire being all through the day. The prayers for each day are meant to encourage your child to consider his or her relationship with Jesus and respond with childlike faith.}

I, so far, have just simply read the book to the kids and they enjoyed the simple and repetitive text. I do plan on doing the other suggestions as well…                                                              
The activities and questions are different each day, such as, draw a picture of a heart, read Matthew 6:19-21, take a walk outside and look at all that God created, read Philippians 2:5-11 or questions like, What does it mean to be made in God’s image? Or What are some ways you can worship God?

The book is based on the Deuteronomy 6:6-7 passage, These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” The passage is woven throughout the book. It starts with Sunday going through each day of the week ending on Sunday again. If you want to see a sample of the book go here and click the sample chapter.

I love the the illustrations and the story of the little boy and how he goes about his day, how he thinks about his Heavenly Father and how his parents are impressing the word of God on their children. I would recommend this story to anyone with younger children.

I noticed that they have a coloring book that goes along with it as well for $4.00.

To read other TOS reviews on this product click here.

Disclaimer---I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Life over the past 5 weeks...

Over the last five weeks our 3 year old has been in a Spica is a cast that goes from his chest to his toes. Why you ask? He broke his femur (thigh bone). How you ask? He was at the park with his grandparents and fell off a chain bridge thing and just simply fell wrong. 

Here is a picture of him...sorry it is sideways for some reason I can't rotate it.

At the hospital...

It has been interesting to say the least...
Yes...he can barely fit in his carseat, all the straps are pulled out as far as they can be. 
Yes...he is awkward to hold and a bit heavier.
Yes...he gets pulled around in a wagon.
Yes...the diapering is a little awkward as well, 2 diapers, one stuffed in the provided hole and one on the outside.
Yes...the cast does have a tendency to stink at the diaper area.
Yes...he is dealing with it wonderfully.
Yes...he has gotten around the last few crawling, standing holding onto something, and rolling. is expected that he will pretty much need to learn to walk again.
Yes...he may have a noticeable limp for up to 6-12 months.
Yes...he will completely recover from this and in another year it will be a distant memory.

hubby made a chair and table for him to sit and play/eat at

What I am thankful for?
...that he is only 3 years old
...that I can still carry him around
...that he still is his fun, entertaining self
...that he wasn't potty trained yet, so no regression there
...that God is teaching me more and more...compassion, sacrifices of motherhood and service (to name a few)
...that my older kids are learning more about compassion and service
...for my church body...many were wanting and willing to help with whatever we needed
...for my hubby's work...they sent a weeks worth of freezer meals

In another week or so he will be getting the cast off...what will happen that day?
...he is going to get a very long bath, complete with a good scrubbing with a loofa sponge or something!
...he is going to wear a shirt and pants!
...snuggle time!


I pray that you had a wonderful day of Thanks! We in-laws came up from Oregon to stay a couple days with us. We were originally going to have a non-traditional dinner, but my hubby wanted the turkey, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. So, Thanksgiving morning or rather around noon my hubby came home with a turkey and we began preparing all the food, we even made 3 pies! We were all eating by 6pm...not bad I'd say.
I have been wanting our family to be more thankful, so since the beginning of November, each of us think of one thing that we are thankful by Thanksgiving we had 125 things (25 x 5, my 3 y.o was a little young to participate). Some of our things were the same, some were for very small things and some were for big things.

Another thing that was fun this snowed! It did finally melt away later in the evening on Thanksgiving, but the couple days before the kids got to sled down the hill by our house. Here are a few snapshots...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bright Ideas Press

Tyler at Bright Ideas Press gave the TOS Crew 6 options to choose from…I chose Christian Kids Explore Physics Book and the accompanying Activity Book. It is geared for 4th to 8th grade, so it is at the higher grade of my kids, however we did do Unit 1. The price of the book is $34.95 with the Activity Book at $12.95.


You can see Sample Pages and Table of Contents here.

{ The universe that we live in is the result of God’s thoughtful design and careful building. Physics gives us a glimpse into the materials, laws, and structures of that universe. Behold the wonders of creation with this series of 30 easy-to-understand lessons for grades 4-8. Each lesson helps develop an understanding of matter and energy and the rules they follow. Exploring physics is an exciting adventure! }

What the book contains...
There are 30 lessons within the 6 units, which include: The Foundations of Physics, Matter, Mechanics, Matter in Motion, Energy in Motion, and Electricity and Magnetism.
Each lesson contains a Teaching Time, a Review It section, Hands-on Time, a Think About It section and Unit Wrap Up questions. It also has a scripture, vocabulary definitions (called Name It), and fun facts (called Discovery Zone) in the margins. The Activity Book is a downloadable book that consists of coloring sheets, the Hands-On worksheets, Review It questions, and Unit Wrap Ups...which I feel is easier for printing purposes.

This is what we did…
I printed out a coloring sheet that goes with Unit 1, which is really an overview of the whole topic of physics. As they colored, I read to them each of the 3 lessons in Unit 1, asked the Review It questions, and then did the Hands-on portion. I worked with my 3 older children...grades 2, 3, 4.

What do I like about it?
I love that it is a christian book. I love how it talks about our Perfect Creator, who is a God of order and purpose. To quote the first couple sentences from lesson 1, "When we study science we get to know more about God and appreciate His power and greatness. Since God created the whole universe, any science is really learning more about the things God created." I love how it is really easily understandable. My kids were interested and I could keep their attention. It could cover all of the learning styles...visual as it has pictures interspersed, as well as them reading it themselves as opposed to me reading it to them, auditory it could be read aloud from a parent as I did or the student could read it aloud to themselves and kinesthetic with the hands-on activities. As we did the first unit I was excited to keep going and (re)learn about the exciting world of physics...but then again I love science!

If you want to read other TOS reviews on this product or other homeschool products go to TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer---I received this curriculum for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 19, 2010

KB Teachers


Home of the best worksheets and printable activities on the web



I was given the opportunity to review KB Teachers. It is a website that gives you access to lots and lots of printable worksheets for grades K-8 and maybe preschool. It has math, language arts, science, social studies and seasonal sections, as well as, other miscellaneous sections. With the math section you can generate math fact or money worksheets specifically designed for what they are working on or needing review in. There are alphabet worksheets for the preschooler and kindergartener, as well as, grammar worksheets for the older grades. You can get a 10 day trial period to check it out for yourself. It cost $29 for 1 year and $49 for 2 years, which I think is reasonable since you can use it for such a wide range of ages. KB Teachers also offers a 30 day money back guarantee. Anyone can have free access to the website with some free worksheets and areas, but to get the full access and worksheets without the watermark you need the premium membership.

What I really liked about it was the worksheet generators. I perused all the sections and their seemed to be an unlimited amount of options. They even say… “If we don't have it, we'll create it - or help you find it”. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to do worksheets for everyday or for review…or just for fun themes or unit studies.

Benefits of KB Teacher, taken directly from the website, so I didn’t get it wrong…

{ For Parents, Teachers and Educators
* One click worksheet generators and alphabet factory
* Create an unlimited number of engaging printable activities - For all ages and grade levels
* No watermarks and unlimited access
* Exclusive
graphics and clipart - Decorate your websites, Blogs, activity sheets etc...
* Diverse educational resources - From simple ABC worksheets, to 20 pages exams
* Intuitive activities online or off - At home, at school or in study hall
Free 24/7 Support - If we don't have it, we'll create it - or help you find it
* Answer Keys - Proofed and checked quality materials you can trust
* Updated regularly - New features and member created content added every week
* Nothing to download, instant access - From any internet connection

Access content based on standards set by the following organizations
NCTE National Council of Teachers of English
NCSS National Council for the Social Studies
NSTA National Science Teachers' Association
NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
ISTE International Society for Technology in Education

As a KBTeacher you will
* Join an online community that shares knowledge and makes learning fun
* Increase technology awareness
* Encourage collaboration
* Engage students in learning
* Diversify educational materials
* Structure activities online or off
* Combine traditional and progressive teaching techniques }

If you want to read more reviews on this product or other homeschool products go to TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer---I received this subscription for free for my honest review.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Corps of Re-Discovery

I was given a cornhusk doll to review from Corps of Re-Discovery.


Here she is…isn’t she cute! These dolls, learned by Iroquis indians, gave colony and pioneer children something to play with that was made out of the limited materials that they had. It is a kit that gives you everything you need to make it, except a needle and thread. Each doll is $4.50...originally $6.50, so apparently they are on sale right now.  It was relatively easy to put together. It, of course, came with instructions on how to assemble the doll that were mostly easy to understand. I am a visual person so it took me a little reading, re-reading and looking at the little hand-drawn pictures to get it right, as the pictures were not necessarily next to the steps. I am not sure what age group this is for as far as doing it themselves, but with a good amount of adult help and supervision it could be for ages 7 and up.                             

Here is the boy version…


Corps of Re-Discovery has many kits that would be fun for any child to play with. I look forward to getting some more items for my kids, since we are studying American History this year. I think the boys will be interested in the coon hats...Davy, Davy Crockett man of the wild frontier!

I would recommend this company and their products if you are looking for inexpensive items to do hands-on projects with your children.

If you want to read other reviews on this product click here. Or you want to see reviews on other homeschool products click here.

Disclaimer---I was given this product for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Collector by

I was given the opportunity to review Book Collector from the larger company If you go to the website, try a free trial and see for yourself what you think of it. I was quite delighted by Book Collector. At first I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but when I downloaded Book Collector, I realized how cool it is. It cost $24.95 for a Standard edition and $49.95 for a Pro edition, we received the Pro edition for this review. You can also purchase a scanner to easily scan the ISBN numbers, which, I think, I will at some point purchase. One of the great features is that when you either manually enter the book titles, authors, ISBN numbers or scan it, it will show the cover of the book a description about the book, as well as, list your books as pictured below.


It was very easy to enter my books and it doesn’t take long to enter them. You can enter them one by one or multiple books at a time. I haven’t entered all my books yet, but I think that when I do it will be awesome to be able to print out the list or go to my file and see whether I have a particular book or not. For an added $9.99 you can get an app for an iTouch or an iPhone, I don’t personally have either of these, but you can look at your file on it also, which is especially handy when you are at a bookstore or wherever. It is a great benefit to those who have a large library of books or intend too:) Book Collector works with Windows or Mac. not only has the Book Collector, but also Music, Photo, Movie, Comic, Game, and MP3, though you do need to buy either the Standard or Pro edition for each of these. I also noticed that you can link any audio books or e-books that you may have. By linking them to your Book Collector you can listen to or read them right from Book Collector. I just linked a whole bunch of my e-books and it worked great…though I will admit it took me a few attempts to figure out how to open the link. There is a little symbol that looks similar to the this one with a little arrow that goes up the middle of the circleimage click it and it should open the file. 

Are you wondering what the difference between the Standard and the Pro edition is?

Book Collector Standard vs Pro feature comparison
Standard $29.95                                  Pro $49.95
They both have these features…
Catalog your book collection by typing ISBNs, author & title or by scanning ISBN barcodes.

Full access to the online book database for downloading book data and cover images.

Full support for CueCat, Opticon C37 and Opticon OPN-2001 barcode scanners.

Automatically catalog eBook and Audio Book files by scanning your hard-disk.

Add and Edit Books, then browse, sort and group your books in List or Image View.

Use the Quick Search box to find books in your database.

Print book lists, with any column selection or sort order.

Add multiple books in batch using the Queue Mode of the Add Books Automatically screen.

Modify your book entries in batch, using the Edit Multiple Books feature.

Only the Pro edition has these features…
Export data to the CLZ Books mobile apps (for iPhone).

Publish your data to your Book Collector Connect account.

Integrated Loan Manager: keep track of who borrowed your books.

Graphical Statistics of your data.

Filter screen : create advanced search filters, using AND, OR and brackets, and save them.

Save your own field sets for Columns and Sort Order.

Choose your own Folder fields for the folders in the tree panel.

Extra User Defined Fields, plus rename any other field to your own liking.

Print Customized Lists and Details Pages using XSL Templates.

Export book lists and detail pages in HTML format, for uploading to your own website.

Export book data to XML and Text (CSV) formats (for use in Excel and other software).

I would recommend this to anyone who has a larger than normal library of books. I often browse used bookstores or thrift stores for books, especially for my children to read now or in future years. I have on more occasions than I care to admit, wondered if we already had the book…so I love the idea that I could potentially print a list (or you could use the mobile app) to see whether I already have the book.

Disclaimer---I received this product for free from the vendor in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PG Key

I was given an opportunity to review a PG Key Safekey. It is a “key”  you plug in to an available USB port of your family’s computer or your children’s computer and it immediately creates a safer online environment. The cost of the Key is $49.99 + shipping and that is all you will pay ever! Go to the website and read all there is to know about the PG Key, but here is a snippet from the website about the features of the Key.

Access Control
Control computer use by inserting or unplugging PG Key.

Time Allowance
Decide the amount of time the computer can be used daily.

Content Filtering
Eliminate unwanted results from innocent searches.

Site Blocking
Block sites you decide are inappropriate.

Activity Tracking
Review all activity on the PC with a DVD-like interface.

Activity Notifications
Be informed via text message or e-mail of any flagged activity.

Chat and E-mail Logging
See both sides of chat and e-mail conversations.

Computer Configuration
Properly configure all users of the protected PC.

User Name and Password Logging
Keep track of user names and passwords.

Inappropriate Activity Evidence
Use video recording to show obvious or suspected inappropriate activity.

The video viewer is a really cool feature of the PG Key…it really truly lets you see every place the computer has been or done. My children are still young and I do not allow them on the computer everyday. I am a bit overprotective when it comes to my kiddos, I still like to be around them when they are using the computer, they also know what websites they are allowed and are not allowed to “surf”. The Key allows you to block any website you deem inappropriate and of course allow websites that you deem appropriate. Here’s something I found worth mentioning…if a child types a possible inappropriate word or a definite word that you have blocked in the safe search box it will still list the websites that contain that word, though no pictures show and a password protected screen automatically pops up, so you can’t go to any of the listed sites without permission, and if the child tries to close the password protected box they still can’t go to any of the sites shown, it goes to a blank screen and says site is blocked. We only have one computer for our family, so it is password protected to use it, so it was a admittedly a little frustrating when I tried to get online and go to my usual places to find it wouldn’t allow me to. Of course none of my sites are by any means questionable, so I needed to change the selected users so that the Administrator isn’t protected by it. When my son was online it wouldn’t let him go to some of the child-friendly sites I allow, so I had to put in the parent password to allow him to go to the site. It did get a little tedious when it kept asking because it would ask about anything that was on the site…ads, Google, etc, so it could be 10 times you allow or block just for one site. Sometimes it would ask something I had no idea what it was for, but it can mean a safer online environment. A word to the wise---it seems to only work with Internet Explorer and you need to choose SafeKey Safe Search as the default screen. You can easily use the viewer, see the blocked websites or notifications, get a tutorial, or get help or see your options by clicking on the PG Key icon on your taskbar.

I would recommend this Key because of the features it provides for the price with no additional money. I would make sure that you have it set it up properly and if you have any trouble I have heard that the customer service is very good. If you have more than one computer that you would want a Key for, then you need one for each. The Key is for one installation. You may ask…what if they take the key out? Easy…the computer can’t be used.

UPDATE 11/04/10: I have noticed my computer a little slower and it is not opening files online...I'm not sure if it is due to the PG Key or not, but the Key shouldn't be interfering on the unprotected administrator account, yet there are issues with my computer. I plan on calling the company to see if they might know. I feel like this was an important issue to bring up since it can be rather frustrating not to be able to get the files.

Disclaimer---I received this from the vendor for free in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Read, Write and Type Online Edition

I was given the opportunity to review Read, Write and Type online edition from Talking Fingers.

{ Talking Fingers---Mission and Method:
Our goal is to empower generations of children with excellent writing, reading, and thinking skills that they can use to enrich their personal lives, earn a livelihood, and contribute toward a more literate and thoughtful society.

The Talking Fingers approach is unique and is based on a simple idea: text is speech made visible! We use our mouths to talk, to make the sounds of words. We use our fingers (with a pencil or keyboard) to represent those sounds on paper. When children learn to link speech sounds with letters, they can use the alphabet code to write any word they can say. Their fingers are "talking". This approach is aimed at maximizing the activation of the left side of the brain where skilled reading and writing are processed. }

The Read, Write, and Type program is geared for grades K-3.  It costs $35 for 1 user, $55 for 2 users, $70 for 3 users, $85 for 4 users and 5 users for $100.
Since the website itself explains it so much better than I could, here are the basics at the different levels.

Step 1 (click for larger image) 
1. Children begin by connecting each sound with a friendly keyboard storyteller. The keyboard storytellers present their phonemes, their place on the keyboard, and their favorite stories. Children learn how new sounds come alive when 2 letters team up, like "aw" or "sh".

Step 2 (click for larger image)
2. Children then look at a picture, identify the sounds in each word, and type the letter or pair of letters that make up each sound. Forty beginning, middle, and ending speech sounds are linked to their place on the keyboard.

Step 3 (click for larger image) 
3. Children begin to build words by typing sounds. No other program combines the sounds of phonics with correct finger placement, so children easily learn to type the sounds they hear.

Step 4 (click for larger image)
4. Children start to read and write simple stories. They practice writing at the Story Tree in 40 delightfully animated scenes -- just by listening, looking and typing.

Step 5 (click for larger image)
5. Children move on to creating their own stories, with their newfound typing and phonics skills and the Read, Write & Type!™ simple word processor and talking keyboard.

Step 6 (click for larger image)
6. For further practice, children can send messages using the simulated email feature. The messages they "receive" are actually stories written by real children from different countries around the world.

Step 7 (click for larger image)
7. Children build on their typing skills by playing the Power Fountain with Vexor, or they visit the Bonus Blimp for practice in areas where they need the most help.

Step 8 (click for larger image)
8. In the Sound Game, children practice sound recognition by saying the name of the picture displayed and then typing the correct letter or pair of letters that represent the beginning, middle, or ending speech sound.

Step 9 (click for larger image)
9. The Reading Game provides extra help in reading comprehension by matching a picture to a word or sentence. Children read a word or sentence at the top of the screen, and then match a picture to that sentence.

11. In this illustration, Adam has scored 57%. When he starts to exit, he is told to return to RWT!™ and play five Bonus Blimps before he tries to pass the Spaceship level again. The Bonus Blimp keeps track of his scores on all activities. When he clicks on the Blimp it will take him automatically to the activities he needs to practice. He will be credited on his certificate for any Bonus activities he chooses to play. He can play any number at any time. When Adam returns to the Spaceship to try again to pass this level, he will be better prepared.

Step 11 A (click for larger image) Step 11 B (click for larger image)

12. Teachers or parents can print out individual or group reports of student progress and be able to see at a glance whether students are having difficulty at the level of phonemic awareness and phonics or whether their problems lie in Spelling or Reading Comprehension.

Step 10 (click for larger image) Step 10 (click for larger image)

I had my daughter, who is 7 1/2,  use this program. She seemed to like trying to get from level to level, though it wasn’t without her occasional outburst of frustration. I think that she had a difficult time with her fingers working correctly on the keyboard. I found her at times pecking the letters rather than doing it as instructed. Since I don’t really allow my kids access to the computer daily, she is currently at level three. Even though she was getting frustrated at times she still wanted to keep going and move on so that she could get her certificates. My first impression of the program was that the graphics and learning would be too young for her, but she actually did like doing it and seemed to enjoy the graphics. I will have her continue doing the program, it is a good review of phonics and reading, as well as, of course, learning to type. I think that this program could be especially helpful to those who are just learning to read. I think the price is pretty comparable to have learning to read, write and type all in one program.

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Disclaimer---I was given this program in exchange for my honest review.