Thursday, June 23, 2016

Joyful Moments: Bubbles and a Bat


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

LearnBop for Families {Review}


LearnBop provided us with a 12 month subscription for the Family Plan with access for up to four students of LearnBop for Families. LearnBop is a personalized online math program designed for grades 3-12. Poppa works as an administrator within the public school system. When I mentioned that LearnBop was coming up for us to review, he said that he has seen nothing but good things in the districts that he works with and that we should give it a try.



Ceesa doesn't really enjoy math per say, but she will try out programs that we suggest without dragging her feet too much. So far we haven't found many that she has been thrilled about continuing working on. My biggest interest in wanting to try out LearnBop had to do with the intuitiveness of the program. You choose the child's grade level and the program gives the child a placement test called a warm-up. After the warm-up, the child is promoted or given review work making the entire experience adaptive. So many math programs do not offer such a benefit, although brain research points to the importance of starting with what the child knows and working up.

After doing a little more research on the LearnBop website, I found that parents should see growth after one hour a week and most concepts are mastered by one week. 

To begin, each family is given a parent account and that is where the parent sets up the child's account (or children's accounts) and the parent can also work in their own account as a student. This is also where the parent puts the child's grade level or subject and account name and password. In the child's account, the child chooses a character (pirates, astronauts, and fashion designers are just a few) from the options. Then it is off to choose a topic and take the first warm-up.

Since the beginning grade level starts at third grade, review works backwards to kindergarten. Technically a kindergarten aged child could use this program, if the third grade was chosen.


One of the unique facets to LearnBop is the learning roadmaps for each student. These roadmaps are unique and are based on the child's performance and results from the warm-ups. Students are provided with instructional videos, step-by-step guidance, feedback, and hints. As the child continues to work, the program tracks progress, gives positive reinforcements, and shows motivational quotes (which Ceesa loves).

Ceesa generally works on LearnBop when she is looking for something to do or I ask her to work on some. She grabs a pencil and paper to solve the problems and then picks a comfortable spot.

After over 7 hours using LearnBop, Ceesa says that it is fun. She likes how it goes through the problems step-by-step. This tells you what to do at each place so you can understand each part and the steps it takes to complete a problem. She also likes the hints, as they guide her through the problems.


We have been traveling and on summer break and working at camp during this review period and I really appreciate that LearnBop can be worked on with handheld devices, so Ceesa can pull it out to work on easily.

At anytime, I can check up on Ceesa's work. By logging into my account, I can see that she has mastered three concepts during our review time and she is on the way to mastering her fourth concept. I see that she has completed 15 videos and 35 bops. Looking at her road map, I can see where she is in her progress, which building blocks (the gaps in her understanding) she has completed, and where she is in the unit concepts.

Our future plan for Ceesa will be to continue on with LearnBop as she has been working. We've started an account for Li and Jo-Jo, although we haven't completed much work for either of them yet. We will use it as a supplemental for Jo-Jo and starting in September as a full curriculum for Li.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

 




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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Joyful Moments: Packing Up

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Bone Conduction Headset {Review}



Every month the girls go to a baking club. They plan out what they are going to make, cook it, and then write a presentation on some aspect of their theme for the month. Both girls have a bit of a lisp, but I hadn't realized just how tongue-tied Jo-Jo could be until she would give her speeches. It seemed like she just didn't know where to put her tongue. I began trying to figure out how I could help her correct where her trouble spots were and show her how to correct her mistakes. And then the Schoolhouse Review Crew came to the rescue. Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd was on our vendor list. When I went to their website, I became intrigued by the Forbrain bone conduction headset.


The Forbrain headset allows you to improve how you perceive your own voice. As you speak through the microphone, your voice is processed through a filter and transmits to your brain through the bone in front of your ears. This allows you to hear how you actually sound.

It can be used for improvement of vocal quality in a variety of ways:
  • reading comprehension
  • writing
  • verbal memory
  • short-term memory
  • attention to tasks
  • concentration
  • speech
  • pronunciation
  • fluency
  • voice quality
When our headset arrived, I was really excited for Jo-Jo to get started using it. We plugged it in to our computer with the USB charger provided with our headset for it to work initially. While we waited, we looked at all of the ways that you can use the headset.

You can sing aloud, read poetry, work on reading with punctuation, exaggerate sounds as you read, change the volume while you read, memorize text, use character voices, read with your child as they read, do an echo, and read aloud from texts. The possibilities are really rather endless. You could use Bible memory verses, read from any number of texts (poetry, Bible, history, science, even math), do spelling or phonics exercises, practice foreign languages, practice singing, do recitations, prepare for presentations, the sky is really the limit.

It is recommended for people to use the headset for 6-10 weeks. It can be used for all ages. Different times are suggested for different ages and purposes.

  • Under 4: 10 minutes a day
  • Kids 5-15: 15 minutes a day
  • Teenager and adult: 20 minutes a day
  • Seniors: 30 minutes a day
  • Intensive (to prepare for specific presentations or texts): 20 minutes 3 times a day

We noted early on that it is not recommended to be used more than an hour a day.

Next we talked about the proper body posture recommended, how to place the headset behind the head and loop it in front of the ears (not in it), and how to turn it off and on using the button on the headset. Then we were all ready to begin.

The very first time Jo-Jo tried out the headset, she said,"Mom! When I say S, it sounds fuzzy." So we talked about how her brain was recognizing that the s sound was not coming out right. My eldest also shouted across the room, "That's how your s sounds to us!"

She would use the set for about 20-30 minutes everyday, while reading out loud some of her school books.


After three days of using the headset, the girls had presentations. I was interested to hear how Jo-Jo would do. Since it had only been a handful of days, I didn't expect much, but I was pleasantly surprised.  She had much less trouble speaking in front of the group.

After several weeks of using the head set, Jo-Jo has improved. She is doing better at articulating her words and her pronunciation and lisp is definitely less. We plan to continue into the additional 10 weeks.

In the future, we plan to use this with all of the kids for the 6-10 week period. Ceesa also has some difficulty with a slight lisp and Li has developed a stutter with a few speech issues. I am very excited to see how this will work with them.

And the girls are starting voice lessons soon and I'd like to try this with their practice times.

And when the girls have specific presentations or speeches, I am going to have them practice while using the head set.

:) We are very excited to see the benefits of using the headset.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,



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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Joyful Moments: On the Tire Swing

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