Favorite Reviews of 2018

 

This past year I wrote 29 product reviews. For these reviews, I received a free product in exchange for an honest review. This post is a collection of my favorite 12 products, these reviews all earned a 5-stars from me. Stay tuned for my Shout-Out reviews starting in January. I will be reviewing some select homeschooling products that I have used and loved over many years. If it didn’t stand the test of time and multiple children, it won’t make the list for a shout-out review! Keep in mind that many of these companies make multiple products and they follow through with excellence. I will mention specifically if a product contains Christian content, so if you are secular you won’t have any surprises.

Drive Thru History

Drive Thru History is a Christian Video series. These are some of the best history videos on the market and a subscription gives you access to stream all of them plus extra resources such as discussion questions and complimentary reading assignments. These are enjoyable, fun, and informative videos that a large age-range can enjoy together. Especially recommended if you are having trouble getting your kids interested in learning about history.

Magic Stix Markers

Ok, I am not ranking these in order but the top two on this list are definitely arguing about who I would put in first place if I was ranking them. But perhaps comparing markers who do not dry out if your child forgets to put the lid back on with awesome history videos is a little like comparing apples and oranges. Either way, if you need some good markers, these are a great quality, durability, and so mom-friendly.

Reading Kingdom

This is a great online program for teaching basic reading skills. Especially if you need a program that doesn’t require a lot of time from mom, I highly recommend this program. My younger students both saw a big jump in reading ability after six weeks of consistently using this program four days a week for about 15 minutes a day.

Math-Whizz

I am so impressed with this online math program, for now, I have left the math workbooks for my youngest two untouched in their work baskets. The lessons are clear, reminders are given for the strategy the child should use to solve each problem, and the way they teach the student to think about numbers is excellent. It is also a fun and engaging program for the kids, with built-in rewards and lots of tracking for the parent. An excellent choice if you need your kids to be able to do some independent math work. I use this to compliment Life of Fred, which you will hear about in one of my upcoming shout-out reviews.

Help Teaching

This is just an all-around helpful resource, especially if you like to pull together your own resources. They have many different worksheet type activities that can be printed out in different levels and subjects. It is inexpensive and gives you a lot of little extra’s to use all year long.

Code Wizard HQ

Highly engaging and effective coding class, very impressed with this company.

C.S. Lewis Master Story Teller

This is a great biography of a famous author, my kids (age 7-14 at the time of reading) all enjoyed listening to this as a read-aloud. It provoked thought and discussion in my older kids. I hope to pick another from the series to read soon…but can’t decide which one! This is written from a Christian perspective but deals tactfully with the real-life struggle Lewis went through on whether he believed or not.

Paddington Bear Unit Study

This is a product out of the UK, but don’t worry, there is no shipping. Highly engaging and well-thought-out unit study revolving around the Paddington Bear picture book, although we used the chapter book as a read-aloud instead of the picture book. This is the kind of unit study that makes great memories and causes your kids to claim they haven’t done any ‘school work’ today. But they learned a lot, it just seemed to fun to be called work.

Dinosaurs and the Bible

Obviously, this is a Christian resource, written from a young earth perspective. This is a short video series that is well-suited to the dialectic stage of learning (otherwise known as the questioning everything stage 6th-9th grade). The company has many great products for all ages. One of the things that I love about this company is that the instructor always weaves together history, philosophy, and geology. You are left understanding more deeply how these fields of study have informed and shaped one another.

Learning Science with Cursive

This is a very Christian science program for young children who have learned their cursive letters but still need guided practice. It is an inexpensive little supplement and very well done. Perfect for a little reading, writing, and even coloring practice.

Memoria Cursive

This program has cursive workbooks for multiple levels, from the beginners just learning, to older kids who just need a little extra practice before cursive becomes easy. This is a Christian company. They also have an excellent software program you can use to develop your own practice worksheets.

Picta Dicta

This is an online Latin vocabulary product. There are several levels you can choose from, depending on the age and reading ability of your child. They can use this independently as a supplement to expand their Latin Vocabulary.

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