Friday, December 17, 2010

TOS Review--Tiny Planets website

My middle boys (5, 7, and 9 years old) really liked an "assignment" I gave them recently--to look around the Tiny Planets website and see what they thought. We took the adventure together, and had some fun cosmic adventures with Bing and Bong, two aliens who travel the universe of Tiny Planets.

This website is divided up into different areas. The first is My Tiny Planets, which is the main page. The next is Tiny Planets TV, where the child/ren can watch videos of the show this website is based on. My Tiny Planets is where the child/ren can choose a variety of space adventures. Tiny Planets Fun contains puzzles, coloring pages, comics, etc. that can be utilized. Tiny Planets Books have interactive books that the child/ren can read, or have read to him or her. The Tiny Planets Labs is a place to try things out. You can find lesson plans and early learning goals at Tiny Planets Learning.

Ok, that is a very quick overview of the website. It is free, unless you want to purchase keys for further fun. We didn't do that, but there is that option. But, who can top free??? That is a very good thing for something that my children enjoy.

The website is set up for ages 4-12. I think there is flexibility in that as I observed with my boys. It is fast-paced and fun. It contains a lot of "stuff" that children like. There is a parent's account that I admit I had trouble setting up. That has nothing to do with this website, just the slow, technically challenged brain of mine!!

This website may not be for everyone. We will continue to look it over in more depth as the days go by. You can go to to look it over in more detail and see if it is a good fit for your family.

Be sure to read more reviews of this product at : to see what you think. It just may turn out to be something your children will really enjoy!

***Disclaimer: I signed up for this website at no charge in exchange for my honest review of it. I received no other compensation.***

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

North Star Games--Wits and Wagers Family

It was perfect timing to get the game Wits and Wagers Family by North Star Games to review--right before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years!! The website says it's a game with personality, and I have to agree.

In a nutshell, every player writes down a GUESS to a fun trivia question, and tries to score points by choosing which guess is closest to the right one without going over. (even if it's not your own guess.) There are 300 cards with questions (examples: how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, how many columns go across the Lincoln Memorial, how many men have walked on the moon), a score card, individual mini white boards, dry erase markers, and Meeples. (human shaped wooden markers) Sounds like the makings of a great family game to me!! Don't take my word for it--try it out yourself!!

Wits and Wagers Family is a fun game to play. My children really liked it, after they figured it out. (which didn't take long.) The first time, my 16 year old, 14 year old, 9 year old, and 7 year old played it. (or in his case, tried to play it ) The little ones watched, and I watched the whole process. I didn't play that time so I could test to see how easy it was to figure it out, and they did quite easily.

The box says it is for ages 8+, 3-10 players. I urge you to go to the website at and take a look. You can purchase the game on Amazon, at Toys R Us, and other places on the web. The price is from around $18-20, depending on where you purchase it. It will be a fun experience for your family and friends!

***Disclaimer: I received Wits and Wagers from North Star Games at no charge in return for my honest review of it. I received no other compensation.***

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Are you looking for a research based on-line program for math? Well, look no is a great one to check out.

ALEKS stand for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces. it is web based. It is an artificially intelligent assessment and learning system that meets the student at his or her own level. In instructs the 3rd-12th grade student on topics he or she is most ready to learn. Wow. Sounds pretty cool, doesn't it?? It is!

It has a course library to support all that is being taught. I am impressed with all this program offers.

Now, for your enjoyment, are examples of screenshots you will see on the ALEKS website. This will give you a very good idea of the specifics of the program:

Impressed? Interested? Go to the ALEKS website ( and sign up for the free trial. You will be glad you did! ALEKS is $19.95 for a month, $99.95 every 6 months, and $179.95 every 12 months. We were able to play around with it, and still didn't get to everything it has to offer. Have fun exploring...

***Disclaimer: I received a free month trial in exchange for my honest review of this product. I received no other compensation.***

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Master Innovations--Master Clocks

I've been homeschooling a long time, and have looked at and/or used a lot of things. Sometimes, though, I come across a company that sells something I've not heard of before. Master Innovations was like that for me.

I received a Master Clock to review, and I am really impressed!! It is a clock that has removable hands, and overlays that help with hours, minutes, and seconds. It also has a display for digital, so it can be a help for either analog or digital time-telling. It really is a clever little hands-on teaching tool!!

The clock is color coded, and goes along with the four clock face overlays. The hour hand is red, and so are the markings on the hour face. The minute hand is green, and goes along with the markings on the minute overlay. The second hand is blue, and coordinates with the markings on the second face. Gears connect the minute hand and the hour hand, so it works like a real clock. It may sound a bit confusing, but when you have the clock in hand, it makes sense.

There is a workbook that goes along with the clock. It has fun activities to learn about telling time, all using your Master Clock. It contains beginning and up to 5th grade concepts of telling time. It is very helpful to use it with your clock and make sure you are covering everything that needs to be covered.

My kids like "playing " with the clock, not realizing it is educational! The book is helpful to make it all come together, and I appreciate that. The clock is such a versatile tool, one that you can make work for your child where he or she is at. Younger students can learn the concepts, and older students can review. That is what we are looking for as homeschoolers!!

The Master Clock is available at for $14.95. The workbook is $15.95. What a deal for a great manipulative!! You will definitely want to check it out, along with the Master Ruler, Master Fractions, and Master Angles. I am putting those on my wish list!!

***I received the Master Clock and accompanying workbook free of charge in exchange for my honest review of it. I received no other compensation.***