Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maestro Classics--Peter and the Wolf

It's nice to find products that are both fun and educational. I was sent a copy of Peter and the Wolf by Maestro Classics to review, and we feel it is a good find!!
The CD has 7 tracks.

1. Introduction

2. Peter and the Wolf

3. About the Composer--Prokofiev

4. A Russian Peter

5. About the Music

6. Peter and the Wolf (Instrumental version)

7. Invitation to Grandfather's Party

8. Kalinka (Dance Along--Trio Voronezh)

We enjoyed Peter and the Wolf. It's different than anything my kids have been exposed to, but it was good to hear a sample of a symphony orchestra. It was beneficial for my kids to realize that music can set a mood or tone in a story. They didn't always understand it, but enjoyed the music nonetheless.

There were many extras on the CD. The introduction was very helpful to set the stage. It talked about the characters, and the instruments that would represent them, among other things. The other extras were fun and interesting, and I was glad they were on the CD.

There was a booklet included in with the CD, and it had puzzles and information about the composers and instruments. That was so nicely done.

The only thing I didn't like was it being said in the extra material that it wasn't right for Peter to disobey, but if he didn't they wouldn't have caught the wolf. Other than that, it was very enjoyable. I can see that it would be good for homeschool families to listen to in the car or in productive free time.

You will definitely want to check out the website: http://maestroclassics.com and see all that it offers.

The CD sells for $16.98, or CD's for $45. The other titles available are The Story of Swan Lake, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Juanita the Spanish Lobster.

Read what other reviewers said about this product at http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783654 to see more and decide if you think it would be something your family would enjoy.

***Disclaimer: I received this CD free of charge in exchange for my review of it. I received no other compensation.***

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Virtual Nerd

Math and science have never been my strong subjects, and a few of my kids are following in my footsteps. I reviewed a product that I thought was really good--a math and science tutor on the computer!!

Virtual Nerd is an online tool to help with math and science, and I was really impressed with it!
The concept (from the website) is easy:

My daughters and son are not exactly at the place in their math and science where the videos are, but I had them watch some of them anyway. I watched them, too. and I thought they were good. (and so did my kids.) Really good. The tutors were pleasant and knowledgeable, dressed in black shirts to help prevent distractions, and explained things clearly and simply in front of the whiteboard. It was not dry at all. Could I even go so far as to say it was sort of interesting? (coming from someone who isn't mathematically or scientifically bent!)

The subjects covered were Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Physics, with more on the way. You could search for the topic you wanted by keyword, topic, or textbook. While you watch the video, the problem is being displayed on the right side of the screen. If there are any questions or problems within the topic, there is a link for that, too. You'll go to another section to get the question answered. It is quite the set-up, if you ask me--very cool how you can go from one thing to another to get all your questions answered. You really shouldn't have any excuse to not understand with so many options!!

I found this on the website:

"Created by an expert tutor and a designer, Virtual Nerd gives students a new option to turn to when they need help. For a fraction of the cost of private tutoring, students gain access to hundreds of interactive step-by-step video tutorials that match up with the practice problems in their textbooks. Virtual Nerd's patent-pending e-Learning system anticipates students' questions, so they can easily drill down to related tutorials if they get confused. The innovative design makes it easy for students to stay focused. Plus, unique reporting features mean parents and teachers can stay involved with students' progress."

There are daily, weekly, monthly, and 3 month subscriptions, with varying costs. It would be handy to purchase a day or week "pass" if you are having specific problems with math and need immediate help, or a longer subscription if you know there will be lots of problems. It is not intended to replace a textbook or a teacher, but it is so good when there are problems to have some good explanations to help. That is exactly what you'll find on the Virtual Nerd website!!

It would be worth your while to check out the website : http://www.virtualnerd.com/ and see if it would be something that would be a help for your family. You can see prices, FAQ's, and other details concerning the product.

You can check out other review of this product at http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783627 and get even more opinions on it.

***I received a subscription to this online product in exchange for my review of it. I received no other compensation.***

Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy Classical Early Modern History Schedule

It's always nice to find a product to make our job as homeschoolers easier. I was sent a link for the Early Modern History Schedule from Easy Classical to review. I am just reviewing the schedule and how it could be used in a homeschool, but did not receive any of the books on the schedule to review.

This schedule, intended for grades K-6, includes history reading, writing, geography, hands on and other activities, read-alouds, quizzes, review questions, and a shopping list for the next week. What more would you need?? It has 36 weeks worth of schedules, plus 45+ pages of charts, sheet, and helps.

It is set up really well. It is easy to read and understand. I like having something in front of me to direct us, and this definitely fits the bill. It tells you what books you will read, and the activities to go along with them. It even has some symbols to let you know if you need to complete a mapping exercise or history summary, sing history songs, or complete a reading narration.

The notebook version of this product is $35.95. The digital version is $29.95. You can go to www.easyclassical.com to find out more about this product. It just may be a perfect fit for you and your family!

Check out other reviews of this product at http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/ to see what others say about this product.

***Disclaimer: I was giving a copy of this product free of charge in exchange for my review of it. I received no other compensation.***

Friday, January 7, 2011


I received a handy tool from See-N-Read that I would like to tell you about. It is a See-N-Read reading tool, and it is a practical reading intervention tool. From the website, it says it improves reader focus on the line being read, reduces distractions on the page, reduces word- and line-skipping and pattern glare, and reduces eye strain and fatigue. It puts text in manageable chunks, and helps with smooth eye movements on a page. There you have it--a BIG help with reading!

It is made out of a flexible material and has a reading window called a ReadBar. You place this on a page with words you are reading in the cutout window, and move it down the page. It's a very easy concept for a big job! You read the text in chunks and not individual words, so it is easier to stay focused and comprehend what you read. It helps you to see, focus, and remember, which are the goals of reading. The material surrounding the window is tinted, so you don't totally isolate the text in the window.

It is a handy tool. We found it to be somewhat hard for my little ones, but the older ones can manipulate it easier. It would be worth trying it out to see if it helps a problem reader. This morning I mentioned this product to my husband for the first time,and he said it sounded like something that would help him stay focused as he reads. I guess I'll have to loan it to him!

This product comes in different sizes. I got the book size, which is 5 1/2" x 3". The document size is 8 1/2" x 3". You can pick your size to help you meet your needs best.

The book size costs $2.99 for a one pack, $8.99 for a three pack, and $27.99 for a ten pack. It is a very cost-effective product, in my opinion. Look at the website see-n-read.com to check out this product, and see the other products available.

Try it out and see if it can make a difference with the readers in your family!

You can read other reviews of this product here:

***Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange of my honest review of it. I received no other compensation.***