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Friday, February 25, 2011

New Review!!! Math Rider!


Well, hello there!!!  I'm so glad you stopped by!  :)  I bet you'd like to get my posts delivered right to your inbox, now wouldn't you?  So why not sign up for Feedburner?  Check it out, it's right there in my sidebar!  Thanks!!  :)



About the product/service: As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free trial download of Math Rider.  I would describe this game as a morph between a math facts drill program and a role playing game for young kids.  (The program is bascially geared towards grade school kids.)  The whole idea is that the child goes on a "quest" to do things like get magical flowers, return a gem to elves, or rescue a princess.  Things must be done along the way, but to do them, basic math facts must be correctly answered. 

I should add that math is not taught with this program.  The basic (0-12) additon, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts are simply practiced.  You can also choose the level of difficulty, so, for example, if your child is just learning, he or she can simply pracitice the 0-5 facts.  It's an intuitive program, so facts that are answered incorrectly are repeated more often until the child consistantly gets it right. 



What are the pros of this product?  The fact that the kids practice the facts as they follow the "storyline" of the game keeps them interested.  The are so busy trying to reach their game goal, they hardly notice they are doing math!   

It's also nice that you can choose both the type of fact, and the level of difficulty.  Kids can also play in practice mode in case they need to brush up on facts before starting a quest.  Also, the game includes a simple chart so that parents can follow their child's progress. 

Oh, and a big deal for me is the fact that the storyline is read to the player so my youngest can play.  He does well with math, but is not yet reading, so most books and games are difficult for him because he needs someone to read everything to him.  This is great!




What's not to like? The game does involve things like magic and wizardry which some parents might not approve of.  The graphics are also not the greatest which might make some kids who play a lot of fancy schmancy games misjudge its "fun" potential.  Also, the quests don't have a lot of variety.  Some kids might find this boring. 

The Crazy Mom take:  I have four kids who have been playing the game, Princess, 12, Dode Man, 11, Bear, 9, and Baber, 7.  They have all very much enjoyed playing this game.  I love games like this that make it fun to try to do a math fact quickly as well as correctly.  My kids all can add, subtract, etc., but they don't necessarily have the facts down so well that they don't have to think about them for a few seconds sometimes.  Games like this really help motivate them to keep practicing. 

As for the graphics, I kinda like the more, not sure how to say it, "basic" graphics.  Okay, I really mean "low budget" but that doesn't sound quite right and has a negative connotation.  I mean, really, that's the reality; however, those fancy graphics cost a fortune to make.  This game most likely didn't have a budget in the millions.  Still, I think it makes it kinda cool.  That's just me, so check it out for yourself!

Happy gaming!!!



What's the bottom line? Retail Price $49.95 Currently on Sale for $37 (as of this posting)

I am going to give Math Rider 3 out of 5 smileys!!!

Check it out! http://mathrider.com/


See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @

http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783766/





*The Smiley System:


I can't really recommend this product.

I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

This is a good product, but isn't right for everyone.

Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!


Disclaimer!!! I reviewed this product because I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I was given the product by the vendor to use and evaluate in my home so that I might share my insights with others. Other than receiving the product, which I kinda have to to be able to assess the product, I am not compensated for my reviews in any way. I am in no way obligated to give a positive review. I do try to point out negatives when I see them, though I am admittedly a pretty easy going gal! What you read are my honest assessments of the products I receive.

As with all products, you must do the research before buying. Please visit the the other crew members' blogs, the vendor websites, and any other review sites you might find before buying. I can't guarantee that a product will work for you. You must decide what will fit with your teaching style, and your child(ren)'s learning style(s). I do not judge anything other than the educational value of the products I review. I am not qualified to make judgements as to the safely of any product, and I make no guarantee that the products I review are safe for you, your family, or anyone else. I am simply giving my opinion; only you know what is best for you and your family.

Don't use your blow dryer while you sleep or take a bath. Don't read my reviews in the tub either, and please do not read them when you are asleep, though I do not guarantee that you won't fall asleep reading them!

Copyright 2010 Ramblings from the Crazy House 2

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Review!!! SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3S from VocabAhead!


Well, hello there!!!  I'm so glad you stopped by!  :)  I bet you'd like to get my posts delivered right to your inbox, now wouldn't you?  So why not sign up for Feedburner?  Check it out, it's right there in my sidebar!  Thanks!!  :)



About the product/service: As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free copy of SAT Vocabulary:  Cartoons, Videos & MP3S.  This book covers 300 SAT level vocabulary words organized into 30 units of 10. At the end of each unit is a review that using matching and fill-in-the-blanks to help the students remember the newly learned words.  On each page is the word, the part of speech, the definition, a cartoon, some sentences using the word in context, and a short list of the word's synonyms and antonyms. 

Purchasing the book also gives you access to videos and MP3s.
 
What are the pros of this product? It's a fun and easy way to learn vocabulary whether you plan to take an SAT or not!  :)  Also, it offers several way to learn the words in case simply reading definitions is not your childs learning style. 


What's not to like?  The book is geared towards teens, so some of the cartoons seem to reflect a bit of that "teen attitude." 


The Crazy Mom take: These are the kids of books I do not assign to my children.  Why?  Because if I tell them to study, say, the first ten words in the book, they will totally balk at the idea.  However, if I leave it lying around, they will inevitably pick it up and start going through it.  I guess I sorta go with a "leave things lying around" homeschool method.  LOL  Anyway, it worked with this book just as it has in the past with others.  I can't say they are now going around talking like they've been reading the dictionary, but I can't say they haven't learned anything either.  I know, not much info, but that's just how I roll with these things, and so far my kids have done well on the Language portions of standardized tests.  (Though we take the ACT here and not the SAT.)

Happy word learning!







What's the bottom line?  Available at Amazon for $12.95

I am going to give VocabAhead 3 out of 5 smileys!!!

Check it out! http://www.vocabahead.com/Products/tabid/131/Default.aspx


See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @

http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783745/





*The Smiley System:


I can't really recommend this product.

I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

This is a good product, but isn't right for everyone.

Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!


Disclaimer!!! I reviewed this product because I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I was given the product by the vendor to use and evaluate in my home so that I might share my insights with others. Other than receiving the product, which I kinda have to to be able to assess the product, I am not compensated for my reviews in any way. I am in no way obligated to give a positive review. I do try to point out negatives when I see them, though I am admittedly a pretty easy going gal! What you read are my honest assessments of the products I receive.

As with all products, you must do the research before buying. Please visit the the other crew members' blogs, the vendor websites, and any other review sites you might find before buying. I can't guarantee that a product will work for you. You must decide what will fit with your teaching style, and your child(ren)'s learning style(s). I do not judge anything other than the educational value of the products I review. I am not qualified to make judgements as to the safely of any product, and I make no guarantee that the products I review are safe for you, your family, or anyone else. I am simply giving my opinion; only you know what is best for you and your family.

Don't use your blow dryer while you sleep or take a bath. Don't read my reviews in the tub either, and please do not read them when you are asleep, though I do not guarantee that you won't fall asleep reading them!

Copyright 2010 Ramblings from the Crazy House 2

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Review!!! Roman Town from Dig It!


Well, hello there!!!  I'm so glad you stopped by!  :)  I bet you'd like to get my posts delivered right to your inbox, now wouldn't you?  So why not sign up for Feedburner?  Check it out, it's right there in my sidebar!  Thanks!!  :)




About the product/service: As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free download of Roman Town from Dig It!  This game is targeted to kids in 5th through 8th grade, but can be enjoyed by just about anyone who wants to learn more about Roman history. 

In this game you are an archaeologist who is working to excavate Fossura, a town which was in 79 AD when Mt. Vesuvius erupted.  As you move along in the game you virtually uncover all kinds of exciting treasures that will help you learn all kinds of things about the ancient Romans!  Learn about their art, their language, their architecture and more.  You also learn about archaeology in general as you learn things like which tools you are best used for which projects.  Your guides are an archaeologist and two kids right from Roman times!


What are the pros of this product? This is a very clever and well thought out way to get kids interested in Roman history.  My experience is that kids prefer to do just about anything on the computer rather than in a book.  Well, other than simply reading for pleasure.  I like it that you can dig deeper (no pun intended) into the different topics if you want to, but it is not required to play the game.  That way kids who are not really huge on Roman history will still get something out of it and won't be bogged down with the details.








What's not to like?  If you are into flashy graphics, this will seem quite simple.  Also, I had a hard time getting it to work until I changed the screen resolution on the computer.  (Uh, I think that's what it's called.)  The end result was that my screen is not quite as sharp as it could be.  I am not that motivated to keep switching it back and forth, but Sane Man didn't even notice, so I guess I'll just keep it that way as long as the kids are interested in playing the game.


The Crazy Mom take:  When I first got the program I tried it out myself.  My first thought was that it wasn't nearly as good graphics wise as what my kids were into (when allowed to play games, which is rarely.)  I decided it was that it was a nice game, but more educational than fun.  Since I'm not really into Roman history or video games, and extremely short on time, I didn't really get into it.  I did, however, think the whole idea of the game was quite clever and well done, even though it is not exactly animated in the way most games are today. 

I had decided that for this review I would ask my son, Dode Man, 11, who is the resident history buff, to play it and give me his thoughts.  Now, I might add here that while Dode Man loves history, he is more of an American History guy.  However, he did spend quite a few hours playing this game, and he tells me to let my readers know that he did, in fact, like it!  He further stated that he still prefers American history, and he also agrees with me that it is more of a fun educational tool than it is a game.  However, he still gives it a thumbs up.  I do know that he learned a lot, because he started spouting facts about Roman history.  I can't complain about that!

Happy digging!


What's the bottom line? $39.95. SALE!!!  TOS Crew Readers can use a special code TOS2011 which gets them 20% off the 2010 price of $24.95. The code expires Feb 21, 2011.



I am going to give Roman Town 3 out of 5 smileys!!!

Check it out!  http://dig-itgames.com/


See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @

http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783744/





*The Smiley System:


I can't really recommend this product.

I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

This is a good product, but isn't right for everyone.

Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!


Disclaimer!!! I reviewed this product because I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I was given the product by the vendor to use and evaluate in my home so that I might share my insights with others. Other than receiving the product, which I kinda have to to be able to assess the product, I am not compensated for my reviews in any way. I am in no way obligated to give a positive review. I do try to point out negatives when I see them, though I am admittedly a pretty easy going gal! What you read are my honest assessments of the products I receive.

As with all products, you must do the research before buying. Please visit the the other crew members' blogs, the vendor websites, and any other review sites you might find before buying. I can't guarantee that a product will work for you. You must decide what will fit with your teaching style, and your child(ren)'s learning style(s). I do not judge anything other than the educational value of the products I review. I am not qualified to make judgements as to the safely of any product, and I make no guarantee that the products I review are safe for you, your family, or anyone else. I am simply giving my opinion; only you know what is best for you and your family.

Don't use your blow dryer while you sleep or take a bath. Don't read my reviews in the tub either, and please do not read them when you are asleep, though I do not guarantee that you won't fall asleep reading them!

Copyright 2010 Ramblings from the Crazy House 2
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