Thursday, May 30, 2019

Supercharged Science Review

I am super excited to share this post with you!  Supercharged Science generously provided our family with a full year of access to e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum for all levels, K-12.  There are over 700 different experiments, projects, and activities within this e-Science program.  Obviously we cannot do them all and that's okay.

Aurora Lipper

Aurora Lipper's (the creator of Supercharged Science) main goal is to provide science education to families and teachers while helping people learn new things and enjoy science as much as she does.  Rather than focusing on quantity and trying to do all experiment, projects and activities offered she encourages quality and a love of learning.  You pick the activities that fit both your time and budget.  Aurora is talented and a phenomenal teacher.  She is a mechanical engineer, university instructor, pilot, astronomer, and mom.  She has been teaching science classes and workshops since 1999!  This curriculum utilizes lots of pre-recorded video lessons taught by Aurora.  I believe there are over 1000 videos!  Don't get intimidated though.  Most of these videos are bite-sized lessons ranging from 5-20 minutes long, followed by an activity.  Aurora helps science come alive.

There are two main ways to approach this program:  topics and grade levels.  Within the topics section you will find all kinds of material on the Scientific Method, Sound, Motion, Thermodynamics, and so much more appropriate for a range of ages.  Whereas, within the grade levels section you will hit on multiple areas in a given year.  For example, 7th grade includes Life Science, Energy, and Physics of Light and Lasers.

 Here you can see the program by grade levels.  You just click on the level you want to begin.  The Advanced Topics section includes high school material.

And here you can see the program divided by topics.

How to start?  Find a study unit you want to use or something that piques your interest.  Watch the videos and dive right into the activities.  With each experiment there is an itemized shopping list.  You can use these lists to locate ones that you already have the materials for.  So far, we have had all the materials on hand that were needed to complete the activities.  Let me walk you through some of them.

Within the PreK/K Life Sciences we found a fun activity of making a plant press.  I decided to do this with F and G and we had a blast.

First, we watched the plant press video.

 Next, we went on a walk to find flowers and leaves.

 Setting up our leaves and flowers

Then, we pressed out flowers.  I love that Aurora gave several different ways to make a plant press using different materials.  We used paper, cardboard and a belt as one of the ways suggested.  After several days, our flowers and leaves were set.  We laminated them and made fun bookmarks!

 A few of our bookmarks

Another fun experiment within the  PreK/K Physics section was making our own harmonica using household items.  We made ours using supplies we already had:  craft sticks, construction paper, scotch tape, and rubber bands.

Instructional Video

Our Homemade Harmonica

F playing it

 C having a turn

 You can actually slide the cuffs closer together or further apart to alter the pitch.

We also picked topics to work on beginning with the Scientific Method.  My older kids enjoyed finding out how many drops of water they could fit on a penny.

Penny Experiment

A was able to get 43 drops before the water spilled off the top.

A close up of the penny with water

When we repeated the experiment we again got 43 drops.  This led us the kids to wonder how many drops of water they could fit on a dime.

B practicing with the pipet.

 We were able to get the dime to hold 50 drops of water before spilling!

This curriculum can be used by itself or alongside another one as a supplement.  We are loving the hands-on experiments and I love the use of common everyday materials that make this curriculum economical.  My kids read about experiments and do them!  They love that.  All kinds of learners can thrive with e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum as there are readings, experiments, exercises and videos.  Auditory learners will appreciate the teleclasses and videos.  

Geology Teleclass available

Kinesthetic and visual learners will enjoy watching the videos and doing the experiments and activities.  Digital learners will love the text downloads and website reading about the experiments.  There is something for everyone!

Unit 18 Biology Part 1 (There are 60 pages in this download)

Another thing worth noting is that this curriculum works for both secular and religious viewpoints as it is designed from a creation-neutral perspective.  If you have science questions or need help, there is science question support and Aurora is happy to help.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of award-winning Supercharged Science.  I'm really looking forward to incorporating this curriculum into our upcoming school year even more!

e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum {Supercharged Science Reviews}

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

F's PreK Graduation

My sweet friend had a graduation party yesterday for Kindergarten and Pre-Kinder Graduates.  We were able to stop in for a bit and enjoy the celebration.  We were also able to get some sweet photos of F who officially finished homeschool PreK this year.  Cheers to all the graduates this year!

 Graduation Cookie Cake

And cupcakes...

 My handsome F

 F with his certificate.

Silly photo!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

C's PEZ Themed Birthday Party

C's PEZ Cake

Today we had C's 12th birthday party, PEZ theme!  It was a lot of fun.  He had a chocolate cake in the shape of a PEZ candy roll with three choices of Blue Bell ice cream.  We served BBQ chips (C's favorite), fruit, veggies, pizza and PEZ candy.  We also learned some fun PEZ trivia.  For example, did you know that PEZ was first introduced in 1927 as a breath mint for adults in Vienna, Austria?  Also, the first PEZ dispenser was invented by Oscar Uxa in 1948.  You can find even more fun facts about PEZ on their website.  Enjoy the photos!

 BBQ chips


PEZ candy including some really unique flavors

Festive Forks

Singing Happy Birthday

 Blowing out his candles 

Friday, May 24, 2019

EdAlive Typing Tournament Online and Maths Invaders Online Review

EdAlive generously provided A, B, and C with one-year subscriptions to both Typing Tournament Online and Maths Invaders Online.  EdAlive is an Australian based company that believes every child is unique and that education is key to helping them live life to the fullest.

Typing Tournament Online is a complete, 10-finger typing course designed for ages 6 to adult.  For those wondering, 10-finger typing is the ability to type using both hands and all 10 fingers.  With continued practice and through muscle memory, students will be able to type fast without having to look at the keyboard.  This program progressively introduces the entire keyboard through 16 Levels, 128 lessons, games, and drills.  You can start at the beginning or jump right in at your existing skill level and progress at your own pace.  Typing Tournament Online actively promotes the use of the correct fingers on the correct keys.  Animations are used to show the correct finger positions.  Muscle Memory is built through Home Row and Vertical Key Path exercises.  Typing Tournament Online's Multiple Progressions Model assumes that existing key mastery must be demonstrated before new keys will be introduced.  Let me take you through Typing Tournament Online!

Here is B's Homescreen

When you watch the intro video you will see that your goal is to go on a quest and prove yourself worthy.  You must complete every task at all 3 map locations (Shire, Village, and Castle) and then you may challenge The Dark Typist and his Typing Machine.

Here is B's Map, you can see that she is on Map 1 in The Shire on Lesson 5

Here is her progress

Lesson five introduces the keys G, W, Y and P (lessons do not introduce more than 4 keys at a time).

The lesson shows you where the keys are located and animations are used to show correct finger positions.  I like that it gives gentle reminders to have good hand, wrist and finger positions.

After instruction is given, you move onto Drill 1.

In Drill 1, the student begins typing the given words.  B is typing in the above photo.

After completing Drill 1, you will receive speed and error information.

After Drill 1, you progress through the other steps until you take a test.  There are 3 drills and 3 game options to play (Siege, Powder Keg and Dragon Chase) before taking your test.

A is playing Powder Keg above.
B did not pass her first test on Level 1.  I like that it encouraged her to do some more drills and try again!

I asked A, B and C what they think of Typing Tournament Online and all three of them really like it.  They appreciate that it doesn't introduce too many keys at a time.  They also appreciate that they can choose their own goal speed.  B really likes that you can change your lesson speed between slow and fast so that you can tweak it to go at your own pace.  C really appreciates having the games, especially when he is having trouble passing a lesson test.  I love that my kids are enjoying typing and want to learn.

Typing Tournament Online works 24/7 wherever there is an internet connection and does not need an App.  So far, we have only used Typing Tournament Online on our Windows PC computer; however, it works on Apple Macs, Surface Tablets, iPads and iPhones, and Android tablets and phones.  How can it work on items without keyboards?  It cleverly solves this problem by substituting its own, specially created onscreen keyboard with a standard layout - pretty nifty.

Maths Invaders Online is a mastery learning system designed to build math comprehension, math fact fluency and speed for ages 5 to 15 (K-10th grade) and beyond.  There are 10 learning zones that cover computational math including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percentages, squares, square roots and more.  Little-by-little the students progress through harder math questions all the while having fun.  Students are motivated by leveling up to new Defender levels.  There are 180 unique Defenders.

Maths Invaders Online has 2 main sections (Galactic Campaign and Space Rescue) as well as a practice section in a very fun space theme.

Space Rescue

In Space Rescue you answer math questions in order to charge your rescue scanner.  Your scanner lets you guess the position of ships to rescue them.  It reminds me a little of the game Battleship but different.

What's available in the Practice area.

The main component of Maths Invaders Online is Galactic Campaign.

Here you can see a few of the zones.

You progress through step levels within each zone.  Here you see that you blast math facts from your spaceship.  You enter in the correct number on your keyboard and use the arrow keys to direct the blaster at the correct box.

Within each number step, you have the opportunity to earn 3 stars (basic speed, expert speed and master speed).  Each star has multiple waves of math facts.

A likes to progress through the steps quickly not always earning 3 stars while B and C are sticklers for having every star.

When your waves are complete you are given a score and it also tell you how many questions you answered on your first try.

There are printable worksheets for each step as well as printable certificates of achievement and color sheets.

Example of Printable Worksheet

A, B, and C really enjoy Maths Invaders and feel that it helps them with their mental math tremendously!  Again, I appreciate that they want to learn and practice honing in on their math skills.

Similarly to Typing Tournament Online, we have only used Maths Invaders Online on our Windows PC computer to date; however, it also works on Apple Macs, Surface Tablets, iPads, Chromebooks, and Android tablets.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of EdAlive.

Typing Tournament & Maths Invaders Online {EdAlive Reviews}

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