Monday, April 26, 2010

Lesson Planet

Looking for some lesson plans that are out of this world? Give Lesson Planet, a try. With a data base of over 225,000 teacher created lesson plans and worksheets divided over 9 subject areas plus a special teacher's resource area, Lesson Planet is bound to have a fresh idea to jumpstart your homeschool curriculum. I received a free 3 month subscription to Lesson Planet in exchange for this review. Customers interested in Lesson Planet are offered a FREE 10 day trial of the site. After the trial, a one year membership costs $39.95.

Lesson Planet offers sage advice and specialized lesson plan ideas on the teacher subject guides portion of the site. These subject guides offer insight and advice from teachers specializing in each area. Homeschool parent, Kristen Kindoll writes articles of special interest to homeschoolers. Kindoll has written numerous lesson plans for science, history, math, literature and even a helpful article about sifting through homeschool curriculum choices.

Lesson planning is paramount at Lesson, but for those working from a curriculum who simply need a little enrichment, choosing to search through the worksheet section covering 10 content areas might be valuable. For example, while searching under the subject area of World Geography, I chose "cultures" and found 64 pages of worksheet options including an Italian culture word search for grades 4-7. I noted the word search would make a nice little addition to my 7th grade daughter's computerized Italian language curriculum to reinforce vocabulary and cultural knowledge.

There is so much information provided in the Lesson Planet database that teachers could easily become overwhelmed with too many good options. In an effort to minimize frustration, Lesson Planet has built in search engines which allow teachers to direct choices through subject, age and rating requirements.A helpful Youtube video demonstrating the search options provided on Lesson Planet can be found here.

Sometimes the best test of an idea is how well it can be implemented. Lesson Planet products are rated by the teachers who use them with 1-5 stars. When searching for lesson plans or worksheets an option of choosing only those with 3, 4, or 5 stars ratings is available.

An amazing Lesson Planning Calendar is another tremendous resource for teachers needing a little inspiration with curriculum. A monthly calendar with live links to lesson plans for topics listed on the calendar saves searching time while providing fresh ideas. For example, April 29th was Duke Ellington's birthday. If I want to capitalize on this historical fact, I could choose from 115 lesson plans, 4 worksheets, and 4 Duke Ellington websites to build an educational unit. Add in the additional suggestions for Jazz, Piano and Big Bands and within minutes an entire musical unit study for my family is planned and ready to be implemented.

If your homeschool is needing a bit of inspiration, or perhaps a tad bit of enrichment, make sure and give the 10 day FREE trial at Lesson Planet a whirl. It really is out of this world!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Super Star Speech Homeschool Games

When the book work is done it's time to play! Super Star Speech offers 11 educational games designed for homeschool families ready to play. Our family received six of the games for free in exchange for our review.

All games are available as an instant download from Curr Click and retail for $3.50. Created by licensed speech therapist and homeschool Mom Debra Lott, the games are simple old-fashioned board games focused on specific topics. Currently, Lott offers:

  • Silly Snail: A parts of speech game for grades 3-6
  • Road to Revolution: A game to understand the events, times and people of the American Revolution for grades for grades 3-8
  • The Inventors Game: a game designed to review inventors and their inventions for grades 3 and older
  • Colony Quest: Designed around the 13 American Colonies for grades 3-5
  • Climb the Vine: A question/ answer board game about plants for grades 3-6
  • All About Animals: An animal classification game for grades K-5
  • Explorers of the World: Focused around 24 different Explorers for grades 3-8
  • Covering the Continents: Questions, answers and maps about the seven continents for kids aged 6-10
  • Exploring Egypt: Centered around Ancient Egypt this game is appropriate for grades 3-8
  • The Insect Game: Designed for children in grades 2-6
  • Planet, Moons and Stars: A trivia based game perfect for grades 3 and up
Although each of the games has a slightly different objective all of the games my family played were easy to use with simple instructions and very little set up time. I printed my downloads onto cardstock for durability and stored pieces in labeled ziploc bags. The small investment of time reassured me that if pieces got lost or destroyed I could easily print off new ones without a hitch. Because the pieces including game boards were no larger than 8 1/2" by 11" pieces of
paper the games were easy to take on the road to be used during boring "wait" times. I love the simplicity and quality content of each of these games!

I am a firm believer in the power of educational games. I know my children learn more when the experience is relaxing, fun and just a bit competitive. A game format also helps me see new strengths and weaknesses in my children that would never show up with ordinary school work. For example, while playing All About Animals my 5 year old blew me away with his ability to recognize complex vocabulary words and classify his animals. Apparently, he had been "eavesdropping" on his older siblings recent science lessons.

In an age of so much electronic media, Super Star Speech's Homeschool Games are refreshing, affordable, and extremely engaging alternatives. My 15 year old, 8 year old and I played Climb the Vine using only the questions and answers while sitting in a parking deck waiting on my 5 year old to finish his nap. A potentially wasted hour of our time was spent laughing, learning, and building a quirky, fun memory because of our portable, adaptable game.

After playing All About Animals I polled the test market group for their honest opinions. "It's so exciting!" said Aidan, grade K. "I like the questions and I like the pictures on the board", said Sierra, grade 2. "I learned a lot from the facts about the animals", said Micah, grade 7.

Although Homeschool Games are listed for specific age groups, many are adaptable for multiple levels of play. Because the content and vocabulary are rich, the games engage older secondary aged siblings creating educational family fun. Their unique design and affordable price make them perfect for any size homeschool.

For more information about Super Star Speech Homeschool Games visit the Super Star Speech website, Everyone needs to play during their day. Homeschool Games offer families a chance to play a little while they learn.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Alphabet Beats

Handwriting practice has just become one of the best parts of my Kindergarten student's day! We received Alphabet Beats, writing lowercase letters DVD to review from TV Teacher. The DVD was free in exchange for this review. The TV Teacher 's motto, "We make learning easy and fun!" capitalizes on the power and impact television has over young children to teach valuable early learning skills like handwriting, shape and number awareness.

There is a wealth of information for parents, teachers and therapists regarding Alphabet Beats on the company website. Created by Susan Ellis, mother to Ryan an autistic pre-schooler, the DVD's are perfect for any child aged 2-8. Ellis's son had difficulty forming alphabet letters although he could recite and read them. Marnie, his occupational therapist, agreed to video tape her therapy sessions with Ryan to be used at home. The videos helped him so much that Ellis knew others would benefit from a similar product. The videos began to be professionally produced in 2006, and have received acclaim from therapists, teachers and parents. Alphabet Beats received the "Preferred Choice Award" by Creative Child Magazine in 2008.

Alphabet Beats, writing lowercase teaches all 26 lower case letters in 5 minute mini-unit studies. The very happy, engaging and encouraging, Miss Marnie shares vocabulary words, songs, objects, visits around town and of course specific direction for each letter formation with humor and energy. Alphabet Beats, lowercase, however is more than simple handwriting practice. In my opinion it is a full pre-school curriculum filled with alphabet organized mini unit studies.

A typical unit shifts from video segments demonstrating letter formation for handwriting practice to short segments relating to the letter sound. For example, the letter P unit teaches the student, "dotted line down, follow up and around" with Miss Marnie chanting the catchy reminder and demonstrating on lined paper how to form lowercase p. After reciting the chant a few times the segment shifts as Miss Marnie narrates "P is for police officer!" The camera reveals a man dressed in uniform. The officer smiles at the camera saying, "Hi! I'm a police officer. You can come to me for help if you need it. I'm your friend".

Other examples of the comprehensive pre-school units include taking a virtual field trip to the dentist with Miss Marnie and learning a song to remember the days of the week. These activities are part of the unit dedicated to learning lowercase d letter formation.

Handwriting practice is demonstrated on chalkboards, dry erase boards and lined paper. Parents can download the same lined paper Miss Marnie uses from the TV Teacher website for free. Miss Marnie uses colored magic markers and dry erase makers adding visual impact for children.

Parents using Alphabet Beats for teaching handwriting instruction are offered the following teaching tips at the beginning of the video:

  • Watch the DVD with your child. (Alphabet Beats is NOT a video babysitter)
  • Practice the handwriting skills for 10 mins. a day
  • Complete no more than 3-4 letters in a day

Aidan is 5, almost 6 and I would agree with all the teaching tips offered with the exception of 3-4 letters in one day. We chose to focus on one letter per day by watching the video through once, then watching it a second time while he practiced letter formation along with Miss Marnie on the screen. At the conclusion of the video segment, Aidan spent some solitary time completing more letter writing practice before we called it a day. I found focusing on one letter at a time with Aidan had a greater impact in helping him remember the lesson.

"I liked it!" commented Aidan. "The letters are easy to make. I liked using the markers to write with. The paper made it easy too. I really liked the A's (for Aidan) the best.

I think the use of color and other visual stimulation accompanied with the chanting and narration are excellent examples of teaching to auditory and visual learning styles. Approaching handwriting through a variety of senses helped Aidan's handwriting lessons find their way into his long-term memory. Add in the "fun factor" brought to lessons by Miss Marnie and handwriting practice evolves from dreaded, boring chore to one of the best parts of the school day.

"It's really cool! When we were learning about the letter P my favorite part was picnic", said Aidan.

Alphabet Beats lowercase DVD sells on the TV Teacher website for $35.00. A spiral bound from the top student workbook of the special lined paper Miss Marnie uses sells for $4.49. For the frugal minded individual sheets of paper can be printed free of charge directly from the website. In addition, TV Teacher's Uppercase and lowercase DVDs sell as a set for $64.99.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Time For Learning-Preschool edition

I am always amazed at the computer savviness of my youngest child. Aidan is 5 years old and although not completely literate, definitely computer literate. He navigates his favorite websites and can spend hours playing games. The computer, next to Legos, is his favorite toy. Many times, however, I find myself in a battle of wills with Aidan and his computer time. I wouldn't mind his favorite toy taking most of his time if I was assured it was well spent. Like his older siblings and mother, Aidan can easily fall into the trap of the "hypnotic passive stare"; a common side effect of too much screen time.

Lucky for Aidan, more computer time was required for him to help me with my review of Time 4 Learning's newest product created for students in pre-K. Time 4 Learning, an on-line curriculum designed for home education, provides pre-school activities completed on a home computer linked into the company's website. Aidan and I were given a FREE one month subscription to Time 4 Learning- PK edition in exchange for this review.

Our family was familiar with Time 4 Learning since reviewing the program last year for two elementary aged kids. At the time only limited portions of the Pre-school program were available. You can read that review here.

Time 4 Learning Pre-K is now a comprehensive pre-school curriculum with two different levels of ability with an average of 20 units per level. Time 4 Learning promises to be a "learning program that's fun and effective" providing a 100% satisfaction guarantee upon registering. In addition, Time 4 Learning placed in's top three "100 Educational Websites for 2009".

After assisting him with log in procedures, Aidan easily navigated through the program without supervision. Graphics and visual cues like a smiling happy face nodding yes or a frowning face nodding no are provided to aid the non-reader with screen selections. Aidan chose a topic to study, clicking on the graphic which matched the description. Each topic consisted of 4-5 different activities to explore and learn taking him approximately 4-5 mins. to complete each unit.

Aidan's first choice of topic was "Garden". Within the topic he was presented with the choices of "storybook", "patterns" or "paint it" activities. Clicking on "Storybook", for example, provided him with a listening activity as a brief storybook related to gardens was read to him. Words of the narration were displayed to encourage reading. Aidan easily clicked the mouse to turn pages of the e-story book.

One of my favorite activities Aidan participated in was called "Write It!". Pre-schoolers are guided through making choices in plot, setting or characters by answering a series of simple questions. The activity concludes with the new story "written" being read aloud to the child complete with illustrations.

"I like the 'make the story' activity because it is really exciting", shared Aidan.

Level two topics and activities of Time 4 Learning, pre-K edition are more involved and require greater critical thinking skills. For example, one activity, "Re-call" asked questions to demonstrate reading comprehension for the "Manners" unit of Level 2. The "Color Mixing" unit contained an activity allowing kids to virtually mix paint colors to create new ones. The newly mixed colors were expressed as round circles with eyes. They appear to be spray painted to life in a factory. I thought the graphics were adorable and held great kid appeal. I noted Aidan spent more time playing the paint game than he had with previous activities; meaning it captured and held his attention well.

From storybooks to games to ideas for parents to extend topics with pre-schoolers, Time 4
Learning has a lot to offer parents and pre-schoolers. Subscriptions cost $19.95 a month for the first child and $14.95 a month for the second child. Although I am not a huge fan of on-line curricula especially for pre-schoolers, I believe Time 4 Learning provides age appropriate, engaging and valuable activities for little ones in love with computer time. Customers interested, but not convinced may try a free demo of Time 4 Learning on the company website.

When asked for the final word, my little computer game consultant provided a high recommendation for Time 4 Learning- preK.

"It was very cool! I got to do the games and stuff and watch the shows".

All About Reading

Published by Marie Rippel, literacy expert, All About Spelling is an enjoyable, multi-sensory program with step by step lesson plans and daily review. Written for elementary aged students just beginning their literacy journey, All About Spelling fits nicely with a multitude of language arts curriculum and provides a gentle, thorough program for children.

Fans of All About Spelling will be thrilled to note readers are being added to complement the lessons of each level of All About Spelling. The readers, sold under the name All About Reading, are beautifully designed 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" hard bound books; perfect for little hands. Unlike other beginning readers, All About Reading readers do not contain extra sight words which may or may not be familiar to the student. Chapters align with words being studied in the All About Spelling program.

"I know first hand the importance of having decodable books for young children who are just beginning to read and for older children who are struggling to read", said Rippel, author of the All About Spelling curriculum and All About Reading readers. "My son (now 17 years old) was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was younger. We were told that he would never be able to read fluently. The good news is that after teaching him--using the same method I lay out in the All About Spelling program-- he is now a very strong fluent reader, and he actually enjoys reading for pleasure" she continued.

Our family received What am I? a collection of short stories for free in exchange for this review. This particular reader is not currently available on the website, but should be listed by April 15, 2010. It is the first reader to correlate with Level 2 of All About Spelling.

I really, really, really like All About Spelling and the Beehive Reader. My 2nd grader, Sierra struggles with phonics and language arts related activities. All About Spelling has provided her a much needed breath of fresh air from typical language arts study. My experience in teaching four older students is that spelling is a gift. You either have it or you don't and if you don't the average spelling curricula is simply a waste of time and energy. All About Spelling, however, does teach poor spellers appropriate tools and rules for decoding mysterious words making correct spelling an achievable goal.

Sierra is finishing Level 1 of All About Spelling. She reads fluently at a third grade level so I had her read some of the short stories included in What am I? to offer a kid's perspective.

"I liked the stories. My favorite story was "The Bench" because there was music in it. Lots of the stories were interesting to read. I could find some of my spelling words in the stories and some of the words were kind of difficult. I'm glad we got this reader because I really liked the first book (Beehive Reader) too." said Sierra.

I am in agreement with Sierra. What am I? is a delightful combination of charming illustrations, stories and poems. Having the reader divided into simple short stories allows even the most reluctant of reading students a stress free opportunity to practice new skills. Introducing playful poetry to the reader broadens and enriches students literary experience even more.

To read our opinion of All About Reading Level 1, Beehive Reader 1 click here. To read our family's comprehensive review of the All About Spelling Program, click here.

Tales of Terrestria

Tales From Terrestria, written by Ed Dunlop are the latest Terrestrian stories to be released from Cross and Crown Publishing. The Terrestria Chronicles, an allegorical fantasy series was written by Dunlop to "honor Jesus Christ as King, challenge young readers to serve Him, and to teach them to guard their hearts for Him". Although The Terrestria Chronicles are complete, Tales From Terrestria continue the adventure with stand alone stories of new characters from the land of Terrestria. Both Tales From Terrestria novels and The Terrestria Chronicles are written for children aged 10 and older.

I received the first Tale From Terrestria: The Quest for Thunder Mountain from the publisher for free in exchange for this review. The 203 page paperback sells on the publisher website, for $7.99. My children Sierra, Micah, and Jonah assisted me with this review.

Set in the middle ages, The Quest for Thunder Mountain introduces readers to young Gavin, an unemployed minstrel. Sick, hurt and needing direction he fortunately meets Sir Wisdom who ministers to his needs and sends him on a quest to Mount Thelema to seek the will of King Emmanuel. The journey is long and dangerous testing Gavin's strength, will and faith. Gavin uses a special book provided by the King to guide him on his journey.
Gavin a true hero is an inspiration, optimistic and strong in his faith. For example, during an unfortunate imprisonment in the "Dungeon of Condemnation" Gavin is bitterly asked by his traveling companion, "Do you have a plan?" Gavin replies, "Nay, but Emmanuel does....He'll show us a way out of here".

The Quest for Thunder Mountain is well written but at times predictable. My older children were not surprised by plot twists nor amazed by the allegorical references. We did understand, however, that these novels could easily draw children with a limited spiritual background into deep and meaningful conversations of Christ. Indeed this is the author's mission. Dunlop dedicates a section of the website to his reasons for trying to reach children with the Gospel. According to his statistics, 85% of people come to Christ between the ages of 5-14.

I asked the kid review panel for their honest reviews of the book. Their comments included the following:

"I can see how the novel would be good for little kids or for kids who really haven't studied the Bible. It was a pretty good story, but since I could understand the symbolism, like the "Shield of Faith", etc. it lessened the affect the story had on me. I would probably recommend these to a friend if they were interested in dragons and Medieval stories" ~ Jonah age 15.

"I thought the storyline was interesting. I think if I was a little bit younger it would seem more exciting to me. The plot was very creative and different from what I find in most books. The beginning especially really caught my attention and helped me care about the safety of the main character, Gavin. I would recommend this book to kids who like Science Fiction or fantasy adventure books"~ Micah, age 12.

"I really liked the story of this book. I liked the people, the action, and that it was in the middle ages. I really like fairy tales and stories of castles, princesses and dragons. I hope I get to read more of these books. There is NOTHING I didn't like about it at all!"~ Sierra, age 8"

The Quest for Thunder Mountain is the first in the Tales of Terrestria series novels. The Golden Dagger and The Isle of Dragons are also currently available with a fourth book, Return of the Dagger planned for release Spring of 2010. All books in the series average 200 pages and carry the $7.99 price tag. In addition, a special price of 3 books for $19.99 is currently being offered on the website.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wiglington and Wenks

The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World is an on-line game for kids ages 7-14. The site was created based on a children's book series by British businessman and author, John Bittleston. Wiglington and Wenks, mice extraordinaire, live in an interactive time traveling virtual world where children learn history, geography and environmental science as they visit. Currently, anyone can travel with Wiglington and Wenks for FREE in a limited fashion, but an Elite Quest Traveler membership costs $5.99/ mo, $16.99/ 3 months, $29.99 for 6 months, or $59.99/ year. Our family received a free one month Elite membership in exchange for this review.

Wiglington and Wenks are adventure-seeking water rats from England. Wiglington's ancestor, Carto Wiglington, left a series of magic maps which unlock secrets of the past, present and future by enabling the owner of the maps to travel through time and space. The lost maps recovered by Wiglington, were brought back to his hometown to be used for good. Virtual travelers to Wiglington Town, re-named in honor of Wiglington's heroic recovery of the maps, may use the magic maps for time travel after graduating from the Traveling Academy of Wiglington Town and earning a passport. With passport in hand, the fun begins as travelers visit with historical figures, real and fictional, in various locations around the world.
Count Carneggio, a selfish, evil rat, attempts to foil the fun. Carneggio desires to have possession of the maps for financial gain. The evil Count is suspect of creating a time portal which accidentally traps historical figures, placing them in different time periods and locations. The confusing experience inevitably causes the misplaced people of the past to suffer from amnesia. Travelers must search for clothing, inventions and other historical items to prompt the amnesiacs memory and restore order to the world.

Although the description of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World seems complicated it really is just a great story come to life. Kids participating in the virtual world easily learn the details of the storyline (read rules of the game) by attending the Traveling Academy and watching animated videos. Within minutes young travelers are seasoned enough to navigate throughout the world. All the animation of Wiglington and Wenks is engaging and snappy. The characters are cute, but smartly dressed with a contemporary flair drawn with sharp defined lines, slightly exaggerated heads, and clever expressions.

The introductory video on the homepage alone was enough to draw my 5 year old son, Aidan from across the room. Aidan stood intensely watching the video and obviously excited about all the potential this virtual world had to offer. After listening to my explanation of Wiglington and Wenks to his younger sibling, my 15 year old son said, "Man! Aidan is so lucky! I would have been all over that site when I was his age. I mean it has characters, adventure, games...."

Wiglington and Wenks has over 100 educational real world and imaginary locations to travel. For example, adventure seekers can visit the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Great Sphinx of Egypt or future imaginary locations in outer space. While visiting, players engage in educational games, facts and information is learned and "money" is earned for future virtual costumes and attire that allow special powers and moves. A chat feature is also available to allow travelers to interact with others visiting the virtual world.

"I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it!" said Micah, age 12. "It's fun to communicate with other kids playing. I like all the random fun facts about different things in the countries. I also like that Wiglington and Wenks is challenging and gives you a mission. I like to have a purpose when playing games on the internet. I will definitely tell my friends that they need to check Wiglington and Wenks out" she concluded.

Aidan, age 5 was filled with enthusiasm when asked for his opinion of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World. "It is awesome! I like the maps and Wiglington and Wenks. I like the people and the games. We get to buy clothes and costumes with money from the games. I really like those!" he said.

Fans will be thrilled to note Wiglington and Wenks merchandise is available for purchase at The webpage offering hats, t-shirts, mugs and of course, mouse pads can be found here.
Since Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World is available for limited use for FREE, I highly recommend readers give it a whirl. It's engaging storyline, graphics and fun atmosphere make it a wonderful educational resource for elementary and middle grade students. Clever homeschool parents can easily use this virtual world to light a fire of enthusiasm for history and geography study and maybe even some adventure story crafting of their own.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Critical Thinking Press--Language Smarts

Language Smarts published by Critical Thinking Press is a user friendly language arts workbook that teaches students basic language skills while challenging them to understand advanced critical thinking concepts. Bright, colorful and engaging this 314 page workbook introduces advanced language arts skills to students in a slow yet progressive way. Language
Smarts is designed to be used as a spine for language arts study or as a supplemental

Our family received Language Smarts Level C, the 2nd grade edition of Language Smarts, for free from Critical Thinking Press in exchange for this review. My second grade daughter, Sierra was very excited when I presented the book to her. Sierra struggles with language arts studies, but after reading the title, Language Smarts was convinced this workbook was for her.Workbook pages are glue bound and to my knowledge NOT perforated. The printing is beautiful with vibrant, engaging colors, graphics and text. Different sections of the book are designated with various colors. For example, "Think a Minute" activities in green, vowel/consonant practice in orange, "Word Benders" in bright blue, etc. Language Smarts, Level C sells for $39.95 on the Critical Thinking Press website,

The beginning of the workbook addresses basic grammar, reading, vocabulary, and writing skills needed for second grade. Once students conquer the essential language arts skills for second grade, they are challenged with advanced third grade concepts. Language Smarts is definitely challenging, yet presents concepts in a slow, progressive manner to avoid stress and frustration.

Language Smarts uses real life examples and teaches information not usually incorporated in typical language arts curriculum. For example, when learning the definition of "mnemonic" students are taught to remember the Oceans by using "I Am A Person" (I for Indian, A for Arctic, A for Atlantic, and P for Pacific). Yet another workbook page teaches following directions
by providing practice using a street map. Students are asked to guide a car to a specific location filling in street names and directional words. The variety of concepts included ensure the workbook remains intriguing for students. A comprehensive list of topics covered in Language Smarts Level C can be found by clicking here.

No lesson planning is necessary when using
Language Smarts, but I found when using the workbook as a supplemental resource, careful review of topics is important so as not to miss valuable reinforcement opportunities. An answer key is provided on the company website for quick checks of completed pages. I did not discover the answer key until the end our review time, because unfortunately, Critical Thinking Press forgot to publish this detail in the workbook.

Sierra loved Language Smarts initially, but soon became frustrated by some of the pages. Most pages required her to read directions carefully requiring a great deal more critical thinking to complete them successively than she anticipated. I appreciated the challenge, but was quickly reminded of Sierra's strengths and weaknesses with language arts as her frustration settled in.

"I like the drawings, colors and pictures in the book. I think the lessons are hard. Sometimes they are too hard", said Sierra.

Our family uses a non-traditional approach to language arts study. I have never concerned myself with state standards or traditional textbooks for teaching language arts skills, but instead have utilized narration, copywork and spelling practice for younger grades. Language Smarts is designed to align with State standards. Homeschooling families not following strict State standards will most likely benefit by using Language Smarts as a supplemental resource rather than a core curriculum. Using the workbook in this manner will ensure the challenging, yet engaging pages are viewed as a treat rather than a chore.

I will continue to use Language Smarts Level C as a supplemental resource for Sierra. Although challenging for her I can easily see after using the workbook for a few weeks how time spent will become beneficial. Sierra loves workbooks and all things resembling a typical school setting. I think a slow, leisurely pace with this workbook will lessen her frustration and provide maximum educational benefit.

Language Smarts Level C is a great product for 2nd grade language arts study. Critical Thinking Press currently offers Language Smarts Level B for 1st grade and Level D for third grade. The variety, challenge, and real life skills of Language Smarts provide a unique, engaging and enjoyable method approach to language arts study.