Life at Warp Speed

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

Duck Duck Moose Apps – free today! August 26, 2016

Duck Duck Moose

It’s been awhile. Our summer has been PACKED with activities. I’m looking forward to the fall when things slow down, and we are back into our homeschooling rhythm and routine.

I saw this fabulous deal today…seriously DO NOT miss out on this freebie deal. Duck Duck Moose made all their apps free today. I simply love their learning apps for kids. They develop wonderfully interactive and engaging apps. I haven’t ventured over to check out their offerings in a while since we are well past early learning apps. Some of our all time faves: Old MacDonald, Wheels on the Bus, Fish School, Moose Math, Park Math and Word Wagon….plus a lot of others.

I am excited to get out Pet Bingo, Chatterpix and Wizard School which are targeted towards older elementary kids.

Ages: 2 to 12 (depending on the app)

L@WS

 

Educational Tech Picks March 6, 2015

This is the October 2014 column that I wrote for my co-op’s newsletter. I realized that I should share these gems with all of you as well! So, I will be posting up my other past columns when I have some more time. I just love finding interesting and sometimes unusual educational resources online that can be leveraged for homeschooling. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily Christian resources and as always please preview and decide for yourself if a particular resource is appropriate for you and your family to use. These resources may be of interest to families that supplement on the weekends, after school, or summer vacation.

ABC Jesus Love Me: Free                                                                                             Grades: Toddler to Pre-K
If you have littles in the house that are chomping at the bit to do “school” just like their older siblings and have no time to pull something together, then abcjesusloveme.com (AJLM) is my solution for you! AJLM is a great free biblically based, play based curriculum designed to take you from ages 2 to 5. Each year has a 36 week plan covering literature, music, character, Scripture, pre-math, pre-reading, and age-appropriate concepts and skills. This is a well-laid out curriculum with an intentional progression leading you to being ready for formal schooling at school age.

I really appreciate the way the AJLM lays out each week beginning with the supplies that you need to have on hand. Then you are given a good overview of learning objectives for the week. This is followed by a list of all the different activities and links to all the printable resources. If you scroll all the way to the bottom you will find a schedule grid with everything scheduled over 4 days.

I must say that you should not to feel compelled to use everything which might be challenging for those who are compulsive box checkers. Depending on your situation, this might feel overwhelming to you. Feel free to pick and choose what is most important to you or even slow this down and work over a whole year rather than 36 weeks schedule.

Magic School Bus Science Lesson Plans: Free                                                                                       Grades: K-3

Homeschoolbelle has made her Magic School Bus DVD series lesson plans for the primary grades. She has pulled together a schedule that takes you through each episode with suggested books to read, a project or experiment that you can do, related Brain Pop videos, and writing assignments  from about the topic. This is such a fun way to do make science interesting and accessible for younger children.

http://homeschoolbelle.blogspot.com/2013/08/free-science-plans-using-magic-school.html

VocabularySpellingCity: Free. ($29.99 for premium access for full features. ).

Spelling City is available as an app for Apple, Droid, and Kindle users. It is also available online as well. This is a pretty fun way to practice and test spelling words though various games and activities. The premium membership does give you many more features that expand this to be a good vocabulary resource as well. The annual family premium access is for up to five students.

There are literally thousands of user created spelling lists in their database. Their spelling list search function is rather underwhelming though and not that effective to narrowing down what you are looking for. The trick though is that you either have to know the user’s account name or the list name. I have been able to find lists for most common homeschool spelling curricula (SWR, on Spelling City with a little key word searching of the Spelling City forums (forum, spelling city, ). Sometimes, when my hands are busy with making lunch or dinner, I will run the practice test and have my son write out his spelling on paper the SWR way…cursive with all the markings. It does free up some time as I can have him work on spelling and vocabulary while we are en route somewhere on our iPad. We really enjoy using it.

I was able to organize a way for our co-op to take advantage of the special pricing by having parents share access to a teacher account. If you can get enough people together and organize it, it is a great deal at about $2 per student for 12 months.

http://www.spellingcity.com/

The Online Engineering Academy: ($400-$550)                                                                       Grade: High School
I just love this concept that meets a real felt need for high school students that are interested in engineering. This is something that is very challenging to provide to students without going with a college level course which usually requires calculus as a prerequisite. This is a great resource for families seeking to provide their high school students a good bridge and solid foundation for future collegiate level study in engineering.

The Excellence in Engineering Education Initiative Foundation in partnership with Auburn University has made this elective credit, four-year engineering curriculum available as an online course. These courses are taught by an engineer that is also a high school teacher and has teaching assistants who are graduate engineering students who worked through this curriculum as high school students.

The pacing and design of these on-demand courses reflects math skills that follow a traditional college preparatory progression of math that culminates with Calculus in their senior year. So, students, on a progression ending with pre-Calculus, should consider starting this series a year behind so that they are able to work successfully through the course.

http://www.theonlineengineeringacademy.com/ 

L@WS

 

Math Slicer App – currently free! September 12, 2014

Filed under: Homeschooling Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:03 am
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Math Slicer Free on the App Store on iTunes.

Sorry for the long silence on my blog! Things have been crazy with the ramp up of our homeschool co-op and prepping for a couple of classes that I am teaching for this fall.

I don’t have a lot of time to write a detailed review, but I wanted to bring this awesome app to your attention. This is an award winning app that has gone free. (normally $ 0.99) If your kid likes Fruit Ninja or other slicing games, then this is right up your alley and just in time for school. Kids need to practice their math facts. You can do it with flashcards or you can do it in a fun way like with Math Slicer. You can practice all four operations. The game offers different levels of play as well.

Here’s the youtube preview of the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5mwonhURtg

Recommended for grades K-5.

L@WS

 

Chess Academy for Kids by Geek Kids – currently free for limited time!

Filed under: Homeschooling Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 1:30 am
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App Store – Chess Academy for Kids by Geek Kids.

This is a fabulous app that I have been meaning to post about for the last two years! I am motivated now because I just noticed it is being offered for free right now! This is normally a $4.99 app. This is an award-winning app that made Apple’s New and Noteworthy shout out. This is a great app for kids (or even adults) who want to learn to play chess. There are great tutorials to help demonstate and practice tasks each piece can do. The app does a great job of teaching about special moves, how pieces move, rules of the game, strategies of play, and even the relative value of pieces.

I really like the freature where you can have a special two player game mode for beginner players. The app helps players by showing all the possible moves that can be made. The game  can automatically reorient the screen for each player’s turn so you don’t have to keep flipping the iPad around. There’s a undo and redo feature as well plus the game can be set to not allow you to move the king into harm’s way.

The app is designed for multi player play as well as play against the computer. It also can track each player’s progress and achievement with the tutorials, tasks and games and shows progress on an achievement bar.

This is such a great addition to your app collection and will help your child develop great higher order thinking skills, strategic thinking and analytical skills which are all excellent foundational math skills.

Recommended for ages 5 and up.

L@WS

ave

 

Teach Me Kindergarten – free for 4th of July! July 3, 2014

App Store – TeachMe: Kindergarten.

TeachMe: Toddler for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

TeachMe: 1st Grade for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

TeachMe: 2nd Grade for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

TeachMe: 3rd Grade for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

The Teach Me series of app for the iPad and iPhone for toddler, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade are well worth the regular  each for these incredibly well designed learning apps. Today, Teach Me Kindergarten is FREE for the first time ever ! All other Teach Me apps are on sale! Each of these apps are well designed for use with multiple children in a family or a classroom situation for up to 30 children since separate player profiles can be created. Four are included with the initial app purchase. The app is designed to test your child’s skill level across a variety of subjects and will increase difficulty depending on their mastery level. You can easily see where they are in the program on the summary page. There are control features that can be set to customize the app for your use to focus of specific subjects or specific questions within a subject. This is very helpful if you have an asynchronous learner.

Unlike many learning apps out there, this app will avoid repeating skills that they already mastered and uses a coin reward system for correct answers. The coins can be banked and redeemed in the store to sticker rewards. The app does a great job of motivating the student to continue to play since that is the only way to earn coins and also teaches the value of deferred gratification by holding off spending you coins immediately as there are rewards of different values available in the store. You can even create your own reward system within the app.

The Toddler app covers basic pre-K concepts of numbers (up to 20), upper and lower case letters, shapes, colors and letter sounds. The Kindergarten app covers Dolch Sight words (pre-K and K), basic addition (up to 10), basic subtraction (10 and down), beginning letter sound recognition in words. The First Grade level covers: Dolch Sight words (1st grade), addition (up to 20), subtraction (20 and down), and spelling.

You should note that the first grade level requires the learner to write their answers. This is a fine motor skill that some advanced learners may have some difficulty with since there is a certain level of accuracy required for the app to recognize the letter or number being written. However, the app will allow the user to ask for the correct answer to be shown so that it can be traced. That being said, M has been using the Teach Me: First Grade app since he has turned 3 with some initial struggles as he was unused to staying within the guide lines of the handwriting “paper.” However, he has really liked learning with this app since he enjoys writing, and it offers him enough challenge while keeping him interested and engaged longer than a workbook can. I was very pleased when the First Grade level was offered since he no longer being challenged by the Kindergarten app.

Highly recommended for toddlers through second grade. Well worth the paid app price. We have been using these apps for years as part of our homeschooling. This is a great resource for gifted accelerated learners as well.

L@WS

Updated: Teach Me 3rd grade is not recommended currently as a good (must) buy as they continue to use the same UI and reward system which gets a bit tired and young for a 3rd grader. Also, the scope of the skills covered does not match well with general standards for 3rd grade. I would judge it more like halfway between 2nd and 3rd grade. However, if you are using the app for a younger gifted accelerated learner, then it is still a useful app. There are other apps that are more “mature” for the average 3rd grader.

 

TeachMe: Math Facts App – currently 50% off April 25, 2014

Filed under: Early Elementary,Homeschooling Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:07 pm
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TeachMe: Math Facts on the App Store on iTunes.

I love, love, love Teach Me apps (read about my review of their apps here http://wp.me/p1M41l-fU). Teach Me has just introduced a Math Facts app for $0.99 right, 50% off their normal price, $1.99. I haven’t had a chance to test out this app, but since I have no doubt this is up to the same standard of  quality, I just had to bring this deal to your attention. If your child needs extra math facts practice for all operations and enjoys the Teach Me apps, then grab this deal before it goes back to its regular price.

Recommended for aged 4 to 7. I hesitate to recommend it for older than 7 across the board since this game interface is generally not appealing to the tween crowd. Excellent for younger students who are math adept and working above grade level and still enjoy the Teach Me interface.

L@WS

 

Animal Math Games for Kids App – currently free!

Filed under: Early Elementary,Homeschooling Apps,Kids,Preschool — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:56 pm
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Animal Math Games for Kids on the App Store on iTunes.

Eggroll Games has made their Animal Math Games App free for download right now. (Normally, $2.99). This app offers 100 fun games to practice early math skills for preK and K students. This app covers number recognition, counting, skip counting, comparison, shapes and addition and subtraction within 5.

Recommended for 4 to 6.

L@WS

 

 
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