Life at Warp Speed

life, faith, food, parenting, homeschooling and just about anything else that is on my mind

Free McGraw-Hill Math apps – limited time October 28, 2011

Filed under: Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 6:24 pm
Tags: , ,

iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Mac Apps, Deals and Discovery at App Shopper – Search Results 1 to 19 of 19 in All Categories for “McGraw-Hill School Education Group”.

Today’s app shout out is for the McGraw-Hill (math curriculum publisher) series of math apps for the iPhone or iPad. They are currently offering a number of their math apps for free download. These fun little games are great for helping kids practice math facts and skills. There are a variety of apps available to cover early math through division, multiplication and fractions.

Highly recommended for students K through 3rd grade. Grab it now while they are free.



World World 14 DVD set $49.99 today only! October 21, 2011

Filed under: General — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:37 pm

Kids.Woot® : One Day, You’ll Understand™.

If you missed the Word World deal last month, it is available again but only today. (My previous blog post about Word World.)



$59 Oakland Zoo Family membership! October 17, 2011

Filed under: Deals,Things to Do with Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 8:03 am

Local Savings for San Francisco Bay Area.

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! What kid doesn’t love animals? Grab this $59 Family membership deal for the Oakland zoo which is normally $99. (Look at offer for details about restrictions and limitations on this offer.)

I absolutely love the Oakland Zoo ( which is tucked conveniently in the Oakland Hills off 580. I really like it more than the San Francisco Zoo which I find too cold too often to be that enjoyable. You do get a bit of a work out from walking up and down the hills though. There is a play area for the kids and rides (ticketed separately). Open year round except Christmas and Thanksgiving.



Booginhead SippiGrip October 14, 2011

Filed under: Gear for Kids,Mommy Tips & Tricks — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:20 pm
Tags: , Booginhead SippiGrip, Black: Baby.

Don’t you hate it when your toddler decides it is really fun to throw his lovey or sippy cup on the ground making you make it up over and over again? It is the quickest way the 3 feet under crowd can drive you nutty in less than 5 minutes. Even worse, trying to disinfect that when it hit the ground or a grungy restaurant floor. Ick!

I love this product so much, I got 4 of them and stashed them everywhere: at home, diaper bag, in the stroller storage pocket, and grandma’s house. No more bending over to pick up cups tossed to the side. The straps are adjustable on both ends so it fits everything. This was especially handy on outings like the park, museum and amusement parks. No more wondering where in the world did M toss that sippy cup because it is literally chained to the stroller.

Highly recommended for use with toddlers. I bought mine at Babies R Us.




Timer+ App – free October 12, 2011

Filed under: Apps,Mommy Tips & Tricks,Parenting — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:12 pm
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App Store – Timer+.

Today’s shout out is Timer+ for iPhone and iPad is for an indispensable app for any busy multi-tasking person like me. Moms everywhere will agree that timers are a really helpful parenting tool. You use them for time outs, for potty training reminders, for transitional warnings for a variety of things like it is time to clean up, time to go to bed, etc., for quiet time reading for your children, for taking turns playing the iPad or any other coveted toy.

I love that you can program and save a variety of timers for yourself to use. This is really great if you have multiple children and have different set time out periods for them. I can track my laundry, dinner, time out, potty training, and piano practice all at the same time on one device instead of setting the egg timer, oven timer and my phone timer. I love that you can run multiple timers simultaneously, and the app runs in the background of your iPad even when it is on power down mode.

Love this! Highly recommended for anyone who loves organizational tools or is in desperate need of organizational tools.



Early Reading Apps – Free (Doman method comments) October 11, 2011

Filed under: Baby/Toddler,Homeschooling,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:30 am
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App Store – Phonics Genius.

Today’s app shout-out if for 3 new free learning apps rolled out recently by Alligator Apps. Helping your child master word families and working on a specific phoneme can be tedious process. Who wants to spend precious time making flashcards? Phonics Genius makes it so easy to customize your learning, adjust difficulty, and even add your own words and voices.

App Store – Sight Words List – Learn to Read Flash Cards & Games.

Another major learning hurdle for the early reader is mastering sight words. This app covers the 315 Dolch word list. It has the same customizable features as Phonic Genius. Both have an infant learning mode which uses a larger font and red print as recommended by those parents who follow the Doman* method and want to skip the effort of making their own flashcards.

App Store – Fry Words.

This app tackles the Fry’s word list which covers the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language. Did you know that:

  • 25 words make up approximately 1/3 of all items published.
  • 100 words comprise approximately 1/2 of all of the words found in publications.
  • 300 words make up approximately 65% of all written materials.

These high quality apps are very easy to use both for those parents that are working with infants and toddlers who are early readers and for young readers.

Highly recommended for preschool through early elementary or for parents working with babies & toddlers.


*Glen Doman was the pioneer behind the Gentle Revolution movement. The wikipedia entry on him appears to be biased in their point of view regarding his methods in working with brain injured children. I do recognize that his theories and methods are not without controversy. However, he is fairly well known in the homeschooling world and among parents that are interested in teaching language and math to very young children.

I did not strictly follow the Doman method to teach M to read although I did use two tools that are similar in philosophy (M reads at early 1st grade level and just turned 3 two weeks ago.) I have read his books and adapted many of his techniques that worked for our family (language, math, crawling track, and bits of knowledge). The key take-away that I got and try to integrate every day is to do your teaching/your child’s learning joyously. Enjoy it, be passionate and enthusiastic. Do it only if you are both enjoying the learning activity. Be brief and quick in your learning (about 5 minutes tops). Stop before your child wants to stop. Leave your child wanting to do more and eager for the next time you do that learning activity together. If you do so, you will blur the lines between play and learning and learning will become play.


Touch Chinese app – currently free October 10, 2011

Filed under: Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:30 am
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App Store – Touch Chinese (1).

Today’s app shout out is for the Touch Chinese app for iPhone. The full version of the app is currently available for free download. The lite version only covers 5 animals. There are plenty of Chinese flashcard apps out there. This one covers 27 different animals with Chinese paintings as the illustrations for the flashcards. I like the integration of art exposure with learning vocabulary.

These flashcards also go a step beyond the normal flashcard app and demonstrate the use of the word in a sentence. There are audio playbacks for both English and Chinese. I also really think that having the Chinese and pinyin with tone mark notations is invaluable.

Recommended for early elementary aged Chinese learners and up.



Lakeshore Learning Apps – currently free October 8, 2011

Filed under: Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:30 am
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App Store – Beginning Sounds Interactive Game.

Today’s app shout out is for Lakeshore Learning Apps! Who hasn’t heard about Lakeshore Learning? If you have been around any preschool or elementary  school, you have probably seen their name on learning materials, furniture, toys, play tables, educational materials, etc. Now they have started to develop apps. Currently, they are offering two apps for free. I suspect that they are testing these apps in the user market, and there is a strong probability that these will become paid apps at some future date.

The first app is a great early phonemic awareness app for children who are learning to hear beginning sounds of words. I like how user friendly this app is since it emphasizes the listening skills that are necessary to build phonemic awareness. It avoids the issue of reading vocabulary and shifts the emphasis on their verbal vocabulary by using commonly recognized objects. It is really great that it allows the learner to try again by reloading the marble to be matched in the queue if the attempt is incorrect. You have the choice of randomizing play or selecting specific letter sounds to emphasize.

Recommended for children beginning to learn to read (preschool to K). This app is user friendly enough to be effective with an older toddler/young preschooler with some parental assistance if your child is an early reader like M.

App Store – Phonics Tic-Tac-Toe Interactive Game.

The second app is a fun adaption of the classic tic-tac-toe game for learning phonics skills. To claim a square as an X or O, you have to answer the question posed correctly. These questions cover these phonics skills: blends, digraphs, beginning sounds, counting syllables, ending sounds and identifying sounds in words. This is a pretty fun way to reinforce what is sometimes a dry and difficult task for the early reader: mastering phonics.

Recommended for early elementary. This can be adapted for use with younger children with parental assistance.



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