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Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Want to Know One High School Class I Appreciate the Most? Read On!
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Homeschool Product Review
  • Do you want to know one high school class that I use almost every day?
  • Do you want to know one high school subject that has been more of a benefit in life than 95% of my high school classes?
  • Do you really want to know what this wonderful class is?
  • Okay, I'll tell you...





Yep! that was it! Typing. I have used typing more in my life than most of my other classes. Don't get me wrong. Most of my other subjects were beneficial as well. But I use typing everyday! And, that was before computers. Today, kids begin using the computer even before school starts. That's why I have always been determined to teach my kids typing at an early age. That's why I was excited to find out that we were getting to review an online typing program called "Read, Write, and Type" by Talking Fingers.

I'm going to admit. At first I was expecting a regular typing program where all you do is read letters off of the screen and type them. Something like:

fff aaa fff aaa faf afa faf afa

You know! That type of thing. But, I was wrong. Read, Write and Type is much more than that! Since it is computer based, it can use neat animated graphics which are really cool, but definitely not the best part! The neatest part is that it teaches you phonics while you are typing! Before I explain, let me describe the program a little bit.

The basic story line is that an evil computer virus named Vexor tries to steal all of the letters to prevent the story writers from completing their stories. With the help of Lefty and Rightway children defeat this virus by going through a series of typing lessons. The animations are really cute and entertaining. They really help to keep the kids attention. But, that's not the best part!

As each letter is introduced, the name is mentioned, but, most of the time after that, it isn't the letter name that is used, it is the sound of the letter! So, when a child types a letter, they are hearing the sound, letter blend, or even the words as they are typed!

So, the neat thing about this program is that it teaches phonics as well as typing! And it does it well. There are 40 lessons in this program and they progression is very well though out. It starts with the student just typing the sounds and spaces. Then as more sounds are introduced, the child begins to build words. Eventually the child is building sentences and then stories. And, along the way, they are learning to read. Hence the name Read, Write and Type! They even have a downloadable activity book that you can print out and also a keyboard that you can print out to use to practice whenever a keyboard isn't available.

Joshua loves this program. The past few weeks have been hectic, with a lot going on. We haven't been able to complete all of the lessons yet, but this is one subject that Joshua does not hesitate doing at all. We have even started it with Jacob even though it is recommended for ages 6-9. Now, I know that Jacob is going to make a lot of mistakes, but, the really neat thing is that a student can go back and redo any of the lessons as many times as they need. They just can't try to skip lessons and move ahead.

So, you may think that this is going to cost you a lot of money! WRONG! This program is only $35 per student and can be used for up to five years! That gives plenty of time for a struggling child to master all of the levels. And the online program has special a special log-in area for parents with special printable reports of how their child is doing. Have a lot of kids, or don't want to mess with an online thing? You can buy a CD version for $79. Have kids that are too old for this? Talking Fingers has programs for older kids as well. Just check out their website. Still not convinced? Well, you can get to the Read, Write and Type website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to either purchase a subscription or read more about the program. Or, you can click here to read the reviews of other TOS Homeschool Crew members who got to review this product. I don't think you will be disappointed. Happy Home Educating!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I was given to free one year subscriptions to Read, Write, and Type in order to use and review on my blog.


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Posted by tink38570 at 9:36 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 October 2010 11:23 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Announcement! Announcement! Announcement!
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: General

Yep! I have three announcements...hence the title.

  1. Wow! I've been sitting here watching the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile. I'm a big softy anyway, but I get a little teared up as I watch wives and children hug their husbands and daddies for the first time in months. God is truly amazing.
  2. I've kind of been playing Dr. Tim today. Sarah has been really, really tired and has been in bed most of the day. Don't know if it's been the extreme busyness and stress of the events of the past couple of weeks or if she is really sick. Actually, Dr. Tim is really an extreme statement. I've just been taking care of kids and taking care of chores around the house. Sarah doesn't require much doctoring when she's sick...she's not a wimp like me!
  3. The maker of the Mr. Linky that I use for the Men's Monday Meme emailed all of the users to tell them that they have changed systems and have had some problems in the change over. So, in case some of you may have had a difficult time linking up, I'm leaving the present one up for a few extra days.

So, there they are! The three big announcements. Sorry for any inconvenience! 

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:42 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 October 2010 11:43 PM CDT
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Monday, 11 October 2010
I'm A Warn Out!
Mood:  lazy
Topic: General
And it's not because I've been playing Frontierville on Facebook too much Surprised! Well, it could be...I have been playing a lot lately Innocent, but it's really during breaks in the laundry, sorting books, working the mission, answering the phone, being a parent... but I digress Frown. I really am tired tonight. We have been doing a lot lately, and I'm warn out Tongue out. Anyway, I just didn't feel like working up another Men's Monday Meme, so I'm giving you all an extra day Smile. See you tomorrow!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 October 2010 12:00 AM CDT
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Sunday, 10 October 2010
Back to the Future
Mood:  cool
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

I loved the 60's and 70's and even the early 80's. All right, I'll admit it, that's when I grew up. But, they were exciting times. Times when the technology of today was just a dream. Oh, prototypes were coming out all of the time, but the modern luxuries we have today weren't yet readily available.

I remember going to our huge county fair one year. Bell Telephone had a tent with two telephones set up with television screens. When you picked up the phone, you could see and talk to who ever was on the other line. My cousin and I had a grand time playing with them that year. Whenever EPCOT opened up at Disney World, I would love going to see all of the neat things that were supposed to be "right around the corner". Some of those things really did come true, some didn't, but it was always fun to dream.

Although my values and priorities have changed somewhat since I was younger, I still like to dream of the future sometimes. That's why I was excited to review Download and Go's "Rocking Robots" unit study! Rocking Robots is all about robots and how they are used today, and about how robots will be used in the future.

Now let me tell you, this Download N Go unit study was just like the rest. It is almost impossible to do everything in the one week time span that they suggest. I don't know what Amanda Bennett, the author, is thinking! This one is 110 pages packed full of history, geography, vocabulary, math and, of course, science, along with a lot of fun activities and the usual lapbook. Here are the themes for the five days for Rocking Robots:

Day 1: What Is a Robot

Day 2: The History of Robots

Day 3: People and Places of Robots

Day 4: Science Secrets of Robots

Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Robots

I could spend my whole day with Joshua on this and I still wouldn't have enough time to do it all. So, since Joshua and I are doing Download N Gos all year long, I've decided to focus on one thing each time so that, hopefully, by the end of the year, I'll be able to tell you all about each different aspect of this great resource. This time we decided to make it a goal of watching as many of the video clips as we could.

I don't know where Amanda finds all of these neat videos, but they are amazing. Each day has a "Robot of the Day" that they feature - do you know who "Lilliput" and "Asimo" are?. Each day also shows different ways that robots are used - you knew that robots aren't just for outerspace and factories didn't you? Robots can even perform household chores and work on a farm! And each day has a lot of other fascinating facts about robots! They're fascinating! Even Jacob loves to watch them.

I know that I've told you this before, but, since we have begun using Download N Go unit studies regularly we have fallen in love with them. They are fantastic. This one, like all of the rest of the Download N Go studies sells for just $7.95. To purchase one just click here to get to the Old Schoolhouse Store. To see all of the other great titles in the Download N Go series, just click here to get to the Download N Go website. And, to see what all of the other great Download N Go reviewers have to say about Rocking Robots just click here. As usual, these unit studies are great for homeschoolers or for kids that are just curious about different things and want to learn more. So, with that I'll say - "Happy Home Educating"!

As a member of the Download N Go review team I was sent a free download of the Download N Go unit study Rocking Robots in order to try out and review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 8:48 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 10 October 2010 11:05 PM CDT
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Saturday, 9 October 2010
Thursday's Child
Mood:  happy
Topic: Compassion International

The past couple of days I've been talking about the horrible conditions that some of our Compassion International sponsored children live in. Tonight, I'm going to focus on the positive side of Compassion. What really happens to your money after you send it in every month. Does it really go to the child? Yes it does! There are really many things on which your money is spent. The following video is just one of the fantastic benefits that your sponsored child receives.



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Posted by tink38570 at 9:51 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 9 October 2010 10:01 PM CDT
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