Thursday, October 1, 2015

Joyful Moments: Safari Park

Joyful Moments

at Little Homeschool Blessings

This week we've found joy here...


 We'd love to see your Joyful Moments.
Leave your link in the comments and we'll come visit!

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Middle School French Year 1, Grades 6-8 {Middlebury Interactive Languages Review}

Middlebury Interactive Languages sent us a subscription to Middle School French Year 1, Grades 6-8 from their French Courses to review. This is Ceesa's first year studying French, so we felt that Middle School Year 1 would be the perfect starting point for her.

What is it

Middlebury Interactive Language's Middle School French program is set up like a slide show. The student clicks on the slide and listens, answers questions, records her own voice speaking French, reads French, writes French, and practices different components as she works through the slides.
It includes;

  • authentic, simple conversations with prompts
  • application of the language in common situations 
  • multimedia activities and exercises
  • vocabulary themes
  • grammar concepts 
  • sentence structure
  • assessments 
  • provides individual progress
  • French speaking countries information
  • cultural information (history, food, and literature)
  • additional projects 

Our Experience
Ceesa worked independently four times a week for about 20 minutes a day during our review period. She would work at her own pace throughout the units. I didn't set up time constraints for how much she had to accomplish , but I wanted her to feel comfortable and competent in her understanding. So as she worked, she chose when to move forward and when to review the material. At the time of writing for this review, she was at the beginning of unit 2 (she worked on the program for 5 weeks). 

Since she worked independently, I would check in with her progress from time to time. But she is a very self-motivated learner, so I do not need to constantly watch over her. I just let her work.

After the first week, she was speaking French with one of her friends that has already taken a year of French. Her friend was very impressed with how much she knew and how well she spoke it and wondered what program she was using.

What We Think

I like that the program has the student listening to French from the very beginning. Sometimes I feel like programs do not include enough listening and every aspect of this program has French spoken.

Ceesa reports that she likes how the program is set up because she has not found a language program that has worked for her. "Middlebury gives me the vocabulary to listen to and then there are exercises to do, so that I am actually working with the words. The talking station helps me compare how I say the words to how I should say them. Repeating the words helps me to remember them."

In Unit 1, there was a conversation between a new girl and a boy asking her out on a date. Personally, for our family, we would have preferred a different context for conversation. However, that is our thoughts and may not have any bearing on another family.


We recommend Middle School French 1 for those of you who want to learn French or have a child that wants to learn French without the need for additional teaching from a parent or someone else.


Ceesa will continue using the program as her main French course 4 times a week until she completes the it.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Click here to read more reviews from Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game & Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone {USAopoly Review}

USAopoly sent us Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone. We took ours on our autumn camping trip. Poppa had a business trip and we kept busy during the day. When he got home in the evenings, after dinner, we pulled out our games. We had lots of fun playing them. They were perfect and a great surprise for the kids.

Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game
Wonky is a stacking game. To play, you draw cards. The cards tell you what color and size blocks to stack. Some of the cards are very specific to color and size. Some of them let you stack any size of one color. Others let you stack any color of one size. And still others let you stack any color of any size.

A few of the cards let you draw an additional card, change the direction of play, or skip a person. 

The challenge is that all of the blocks are oddly shaped, so you have to find the perfect way for them to fit together. There are 3 of each of the 3 colors: purple, green, and blue. Three sides are flat and threes sides are curved.

You have 10 seconds for your blocks to stand. If they fall in that time, then you are out. And the other players continue.

Play continues until everyone but the last player is out.

Poppa says, "It is nice because everyone in the family can play together, all different ages."

Ceesa says, "I like putting the right blocks up so that it slopes down. Then when the next person goes the entire thing falls down."

Jo-Jo says, "Sometimes you get a card that is hard to play, like a big block on a little block. It is fun to compete with everyone else and try to stack carefully."

Baby Wheel liked to use the blocks to build on his own and would sit on his sisters lap building and building.

Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone
Tapple is a word game. You get a topic from a group of cards and then try to think of a word that starts with one of the letters on the Tapple wheel. You are timed and each time that you guess a word you have to beat the timer. Once you say your word and push down the letter, you must push the red button to start the timer for the next person.

Each card has a front and back with different subjects that have a range of difficulty levels. The cards are stored in the bottom of the wheel for easy storage and access.

Poppa says, "It is the alphabet game for old people, so they don't have to remember what letters they've used."

Ceesa says, "I like coming up with words and seeing if I can push the letter down in time."

Jo-Jo says, "It was hard for me because I can't spell all of the words, but it was fun to watch everyone else try to win."

Li and Poppa would play Tapple together by being on a team and trying to think of words that went along with each subject. They wouldn't use the timer, but they would keep working until they either used all of the letters or could not think of any more words.

We'd recommend these games for those of you that like to play whole family games.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Click here to read more reviews from Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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