2014 was a very busy and productive year for us, as I’m sure it was for you as well. We were certainly kept on our toes with the reviews we did. We were certainly blessed to have so many fantastic educational products to try out, and we’ve really enjoyed sharing our experiences with you. I thought it would be interesting to look back at a few of our favourites and share them again with you.
I’ve included links to the products in the text. To read our reviews in full, click on the picture.
In the Science arena, the children have chosen Science4Us.com as their favourite. Tristan learned a lot in a short period of time, and there are also some cross-curriculum activities as well. This program is geared for K-2, but Kallista was able to participate in some of the printed activities, and she also enjoyed watching the videos with Tristan.
Math is up next. Math is an essential skill to have in life. Without math skills life would be incredibly difficult. We have chosen CTC Math as the program of choice last year. It’s web-based and it has videos to teach a concept before the children then put it to use and make their way through their questions. Wrong answers are shown and the right answer given and explained.
Essential Skills Advantage isn’t a new program, just new to homeschoolers and the public. There are both subscription-based and free versions available. The children really enjoy the tasks, and Kallista finds the butterflies adorable. The folks that run ESA are also very friendly and receptive, which is a big bonus.
The Rhythm of Handwriting by Logic of English has been a real help in our house. The kids love the tactile cards and the various versions of the lined papers available to print off. We haven’t always been consistent with this program, but after 8 months the children still enjoy coming back to learn more and to practice what they’ve already learned. Good penmanship must be an ongoing habit so that you don’t lose it.
We had the opportunity to review Whistlefritz Educator’s Collection in Spanish. It’s a good program, even for those of us who have never spoken a word in Spanish before! It’s a combination of videos, music, and interactive lessons (even some fun crafts!). Kallista is now counting backwards in Spanish and the children are retaining the information they learned 2 months later. We’re all set to start up again this week.
Homeschool Piano is an online video-based program with Willie as your instructor. The lessons are brief, and he is very encouraging for his students (this course is great for any age) to have fun and to try their own style and improvisation.
I’m definitely a collector of planners! I LOVE planners! My favourite paper-based planner last year was was this Color Coded Homeschool Planner (affiliate link) by Are We Crazy or What? You can purchase versions for 2, 3, or 4 students and have everything all in one place! You don’t have to use use coloured pens…that’s just ‘my’ thing!
Lesson Trek (affiliate link) is an online lesson planner. While it isn’t a time-scheduler, it’s great to keep track of the lessons you have planned. You can use it for multiple students, and I’ve even created schedules for household chores and daily blogging to-do lists.
Twinkl Primary Resources is my go-to site when I’m looking for something to supplement what the children are learning. From charts, power-points, puzzles, and activities, you’ll spend hours looking through their resources. Their newest cool thing is twinkl create where you can easily make your own printables.
A Life In Balance (affiliate link) was a very interesting book that has lots of food for thought for every parent, but particularly for those who have a child on the autism spectrum. The science behind the Learning Breakthrough program and the way it came about appealed to my psychology background. Frank’s life has been dedicated to helping families and I hope that his work will continue.
If you’re interested in reading more about these and the many other products we’ve tried out, have a look at our Reviews Page, where you’ll find our full collection.
What was your family’s favourite educational product last year? I’d love to know what you’ve been using, and how you’ve used it.