Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Besties: Crew Review 2011-12

And thus ends my first year on The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.  What an honor and privileged to have been chosen for this (almost) past school year......and for the coming school year.  Yes, I'll be back for the next cruise on the TOS Crew 2011-12!

I've learned and re-learned a few things about myself during this past year, but that will probably be another post.  In the meantime, I thought I'd look over what we reviewed this year and pick out my favorites. 

In no particular order:

1. Go go Kabongo. I really believe that reading cannot occur until there is readiness at multiple levels within a child.  Kabongo attempts to boost some of the cognitive skills necessary for learning.  Levi had a blast with this program.  He's gotten a "6" in almost every game (there are 12 currently), and doesn't play it that often now, so the minimal investment of $4.95 would definitely be worth it.
2. Read, Write and Type.  This was one of those products that just didn't click with Luke at the beginning of the year, but was perfect for Levi at the end of the year.  Just proves that each of these products has merit for any type of learner.

3. Wordy Qwerty has been a good addition to Luke's spring curriculum.  He was able to concentrate on a few spelling rules that were hanging him up in our Spell to Write and Read curriculum (especially: "C says 'sss' before e, i, and y").  He has been able to be successful with spelling and reading, and I can see that his reading as improved since we started this program. 

4. Yesterday's Classics. Such a blessings to have these digital additions to our library. We will use these books for years and years to come.

5.Postive Action for Christ.  This curriculum has been a blessing for Ben and I.  I love the time we spend learning and I pray that God is using this study in Ben's life.  The questions geared for applying God's word to real life have been spot on for an 11 year old boy.

6.Mad Dog Math.  We reviewed quite a few math programs this year, and this one is probably the best one for the whole year.  It is short and sweet, and no one is getting stalled in their daily work with this one. Praise God we have another month or so to use this program, then I'll likely purchase a perpetual license.  This is the bomb of math drill programs for us this year.

7. WonderMaps.  Loooooove them.  The are beautiful and I know we'll have years of good use with them.

8. Math Tutor DVDs.  I love having these resources in the house, for just-in-case moments. Clear presentation of the entire range of math topics.

9. Circle C Beginnings.  Looking for Christian-based early readers can be hard, but this set is interesting for both boys and girls.  With free add-ons (like the activity book downloads) you've got reading, comprehension and other skills covered.

10. Pearson's Reading Street.  I didn't think I'd care for this resource, and I was totally wrong.  What a great anthology of literature to work through. 

Interesting that many of these product arrived for review in the second half of the year.....that might reflect my own growth in reviewing materials and finding my "voice."

Whether a product made this list or not, trying so many different types of materials blessed me as a teacher, because it helped me to learn more about my children's strengths and weakness (as well as my own) and their individual learning styles.  Glory to you, Father!


Debra said...

Alane --

What an interesting list of favorites! Isn't it weird how something you totally wouldn't expect to like ends up being fabulous?

Vickie said...

I wrote a blog post on our favorites as well. I agree tho, it is amazing the things we didn't think we'd like or be useful ended up being both. Glad to have you on the crew this year, and look forward to working with you next year :)