Monday, March 10, 2014

February Fun

Once again I am slow in sharing our activities, but I really wanted to share these so I figured better late than never. These are a couple things my children did in February.

During the month one of the things we did was attend a Valentines Day party with other homeschool families in the area.  My children needed valentine boxes for the event to go with the card exchange.

My 12 year old is a Dr. Who fan so she decided she was going to make a Tardis for her box. She did this on her own, without any designs.


My 9 year old was having a harder time coming with with an idea so we browsed pintrest for some ideas. He saw an Angry Birds box, so decided that was what he wanted to make. Big sister helped him some, but most of it was his work.

All I needed to do was provide supplies and make a couple cuts with a craft knife.  I was impressed to see how much they could do on their own.





My 9 year old enjoys LEGO's and is thrilled when they can be a part of school time. So he was excited to see the Valentine version of LEGO writing prompts from Mary at Homegrown Learners. This is a picture of one of his Valentine cards with a slightly different twist on the writing prompts. One asked him to build a heart out of bricks and then write step by step directions for building it. Not only did he do that he also wrote a valentine with a picture of minifigs building a heart. Inside he wrote "Building you a valentine full of fun. Happy Valentines' Day from my minifig and I".  




If you have a LEGO fan check out all the creative LEGO writing prompts at Homegrown Learners. There are many sets, both seasonal and general.









Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Learning to Read and Understand Is Fun with Reading Eggs ~ A Review



Connect with Reading Eggs

http://readingeggs.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ReadingEggs
https://twitter.com/ReadingEggsAus


When I was given the opportunity to review Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress through Home and School Mosaics my 9 year old son and I were excited and he couldn't wait to begin. He loves doing things on the computer and I was happy that some of his computer time could be considered educational. Several years ago I reviewed Reading Eggs which he LOVED. The only problem was his reading skills were beyond most of the content so it was mainly review for him. At that time Reading Eggspress was new and not complete yet so he didn't get to try very much, but what he was able to use he liked.

So what is Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress?
(from the publisher)


Reading Eggs provides a comprehensive range of online reading lessons and e-books that teach children aged 3–13 the literacy skills they need for lifetime reading success.There are 2 programs within Reading Eggs, Reading Eggs for 3–7 year olds and Reading Eggspress for 7–13 year olds.


Why Try Reading Eggs?
• 91% of parents have noticed an improvement in their child’s reading ability since using Reading Eggs
• Includes over 1500 ebooks
• Compatible on PC, Mac, iPad and Android
• Money-back guaranteed

Why Reading Eggs works
• Developed by expert educators with 20+ years’ experience
• Based on solid scientific research
• The program makes learning phonics and basic reading skills fun for 3–13 year olds
• Your child can progress through the one-on-one lessons at their own pace
• Regular progress reports and assessments track your child’s learning



Reading Eggs
Full of educationally sound, fun and interactive activities, Reading Eggs focuses on the most fundamental skill needed in school – reading. Children from 3 –7 years or older children struggling with reading will enjoy the huge variety of reading lessons, activities and games that make up the Reading Eggs program.
In addition to the 120 reading lessons in Reading Eggs there is the Reading Eggs World which caters for children who already know the basics of reading but who still have much to learn about reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension. In the Reading Eggs World, children have their own house to decorate, a big shop and an avatar that can walk and travel to many new destinations on Reggie’s bus. Children are able to choose their own adventure from a wide range of activities and places to go, including the following content:

• The Story Factory - this gives children an introduction to creative writing and they can put together stories to enter in a weekly story writing competition.
• Driving Tests - has 15 sight word tests, 15 letters and sounds test and 15 content word tests. Children are rewarded for correct completion with a driving game.
• Puzzle Park - children can access 32 word puzzles and practise sight word recognition.
• Skills Bank - holds 96 spelling lessons that take students up to the end of key stage 1.
• Storylands - this area builds reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills and is perfect for children who have begun to read but aren’t quite ready for Reading Eggspress. It currently includes 20 e-books to read.
• The Arcade - includes 24 arcade-style games to be used as rewards to motivate children to keep learning. They need to earn Golden Eggs to play these so encourages them to work through lessons and educational activities before using the arcade.


With a Reading Eggs subscription  you can also purchase book packages which correspond to the books featured in Reading Eggs. These sets contain books, posters, stickers, and more. Two combinations are available and are priced at $65 each or both for $110. Visit the Reading Eggs website for details.



Reading Eggspress

Reading Eggspress continues the reading adventure by taking children to a brand new world designed for 7 – 13 year olds focusing on comprehension and grammar. Reading Eggspress provides a unique learning environment where students’ can improve their English language and comprehension skills in a way that is exciting and relevant.


The Reading Eggspress website has an enormous range of learning resources, lessons, motivational games and e-books. There are 4 areas of the Reading Eggspress World:

• Library - the Reading Eggspress Library holds more than 1500 e-books including illustrated chapter books, full-color nonfiction books and a range of classics. Children can search for books by topic, series, author, reading age or book title. New books are added regularly.
• The Comprehension Gym - children complete a placement test when they first visit the Gym which places students at the correct level for their current ability. The Gym holds 200 interactive comprehension lessons over five broad levels from years 2 to years 6 with 40 lessons per year level.
• The Stadium – children compete in real time against students from around the world. The exciting head-to-head contest tests skills in one of four areas – spelling, vocabulary, usage and grammar.
• Apartment and Mall - children can use their golden eggs to buy avatar clothes and apartment furniture. Within the apartment all the trophies, medals and trading cards children have collected can be viewed and children can also complete a 100-level quest-style game to expand and refresh learning and earn more golden eggs.
Progress within the Reading Eggspress program is measured by the completion of targets. These are split over 4 levels and help give children some guidance and structure for learning and encourage them to use all of the above areas.

Both the Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress programs have a comprehensive reporting system that tracks progress so that students and their parents can clearly see each child’s achievements.


How much is a Readings Eggs subscription?

$49.95 for 6 months
$69.95 for 1 year

The 2nd and 3rd child added at the time of initial purchase are 50% off. 



My Thoughts

My 9 year old son has been enjoying his Reading Eggspress experience.

This is what he had to say, "The series of fairy tales books are good. The Dangerous Games series books are very fun to read. Quote Quest is a lot of fun. After playing games and collecting parts of the quote you get to solve the puzzle of where the quote comes from. It's fun to play all these different games. I also like going to the comprehension gym and playing their game of the day. They are always fun and full of learning.  The stadium games are fun because you can play against the computer or someone else. The games are spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Reading Eggspress is very fun and I like using it. "

I also like the selection of books available. There are many books which are appealing to my son and he is eager to read. The book subjects are a mix of classics stories, action/adventure, science fiction, and  non-fiction. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of non fiction books available; history, arts, health and science among others.There are several sets of history encyclopedias as well. This large book selection is a big plus as it has been hard to find many books which are interesting and engaging for him.

In terms of academic progress I have seen his attention to detail and reading comprehension improve while using Reading Eggspress. He is paying closer attention to what he is reading so he can get a better score on the book quizzes and earn rewards. This has carried over into his other reading and work as well.

I found it difficult to find the progress reports, I looked all over and wasn't able to find them. Then I decided to click on the target and golden egg in the box with the picture of my sons' avatar and there they were. After finding the progress reports that location makes sense, there just isn't any thing telling parents where to find them. I do like having the reports accessible in this way rather than having a separate parent account to log into. 



Special Opportunity

Right now - thru  March 7th   Reading Eggs is hosting a special Read a Thon for cancer, the  Reading Eggs Read-To-Cure Challenge n effort to inspire children to read while raising funds for The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS).





The goal of NCCS  is to improve the quality of life for children with cancer.  All money raised will help provide financial, emotional and educational support for children and families battling childhood cancer. Learn more about the NCCS at www.thenccs.org.


How does the Read-To-Cure Challenge work?
Children sign up for a FREE 5 week trial of Reading Eggs, the popular online reading program for 3–13 year olds. From February 3 to March 7 they are encouraged to complete as many books and Reading Eggs lessons as they can. Friends and family can sponsor their reading efforts, with all money raised going to the NCCS.

What’s more, there are great prizes up for grabs for the top 3 children who read the most books and the top 3 children who raise the most funds!


*NCCS will earn a minimum of $25,000 from Reading Eggs plus 100% of the donations collected by RTCC participants

If you haven't used Reading Eggs before you can sign up for a free 5 week trial at  http://readingeggs.com/mommy/



Read what other reviewers have to say about Reading Eggs at Home & School Mosaics.


I received a free, limited time subscription to the above product for the purpose of writing this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Art



Those of you who have ready mt sporadic posts here have likely seen some of the art work created by  my children. I probably feature my daughters work more because she simply creates more than my son. Today I'm featuring  another one of my daughters' works. This particular scene was inspired by Eric Carle's book Dream Snow. The story features a farmer preparing Christmas presents for his animals, piling them around an outdoor tree.



We didn't have the book this past season as our new library doesn't have it, but I guess it has made an impression on my daughter. (I believe it is also written more for the preschool set.)



Her picture is created with slick sticks from Crayola. These are somewhat chunky sticks that are a cross between crayons and oil pastels. The color goes on smooth and thick, yet they aren't messy on the hands due to their plastic case.