Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review for Virtual Nerd

If you are anything like me, the thought of teaching upper level math always makes me crazy-nervous. As I mentioned a time or 76, I'm not a fan of numbers especially when they start involving letters... Anyway, this is where programs like this come into play for homeschoolers:

Virtual Nerd is an interactive, step-by-step online video tutorial program that helps students with pre-algebra, algebra I and II, and physics. There are plans to add several more upper level maths in the coming months and even a Biology course.

The tutorials are very easy to follow and are quite user-friendly. These are the minimum requirements for your computer in order to use Virtual Nerd:

*High speed Internet access
*Minimum of: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox 2, Apple Safari 2, Google Chrome 2, or Flash Player 9
*Screen/display resolution of 1024x768 pixels

There are four different pricing plans available that begin with a one-day subscription and go all the way to a premium one that gives you 24/7 monthly access for $49 per month. This sounds like alot at first, but when you factor in how much it costs to hire a personal tutor, this is actually rather cost effective.

If any of this interests you, you can check out their website here. And as always, you can read what my fellow reviewers thought of this product here.

Disclaimer: (Because I have to!) I was given a subscription to Virtual Nerd for 6 weeks to test in exchange for my review.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Review for Easy Classical

Recently, I received a digital copy of Early Modern History from Easy Classical to review. This is basically a schedule that lists books and activities that can be used with popular classical curricula such as Story of the World, The Veritas Press Cards and The Well Trained Mind (which isn't really a curriculum, but it is still supplementary to it). It also includes a full year's schedule of lesson plans, review questions and quizzes.

From the website:

All the hard work is done for you. We have researched classical curriculum choices, integrated subjects, and tested the schedules for ease of use. Easy Classical schedules break a full year of education down into specific, daily assignments that are adaptable to fit all styles of learning. You will cover everything simply by following the schedule. Lesson plans for history, science, language arts, physical education, and even art are included at no extra charge.

I personally appreciated the ease of use with this product. It was quite easy to follow and the directions were very clear and concise.

I also like that all of the legwork is done for you, as mentioned in the excerpt above. What homeschooling Mom doesn't need something that will save her the ever-valuable t-i-m-e?

Also, many of the recommended books are things that I already own. In other words, it "pulls" from many of the resources which are already staples to most homeschoolers.

And lastly, it's cost-effective. You can purchase the digital version of Early Modern History for just $29.95 (a GREAT price for lesson plans) and the printed version for $35.95

If you are interested, you can check out the website here: Easy Classical

You can also read what the other reviewers thought here: TOS Crew Blog: Easy Classical


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Math Facts Now Review

I must make the loud confession after 10 years of homeschooling that I hate flashcards. In the early days we used them pretty frequently, but it wasn't long before they would get lost or destroyed and I quickly became disenchanted. For years, we have used a program similar to this one online to drill our math facts, but a few months ago, I was given Math Facts Now to review and I am HOOKED! It's even better than the one that I was using and the kids have really enjoyed it.

What is it? Math Facts Now is a program available by download or CD-ROM that is used to drill your child(ren) on their addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts. You can customize it to drill the facts that your child needs the most work with, or you can put it together to mix all the numbers from 1-12. It's completely under your control. You can also decide how long the student has to answer each problem, how many problems you would like in each set, and how many times they have to re-enter incorrect problems.

The program also keeps tract of the problems that your child has difficulty with and repeats those problems several times throughout the lesson. There are progress reports that are available for printing, as well.

If you want to look into this program you can visit their website here: Math Facts Now There, you can either purchase the CD ROM or download the program for $15.95 They also have a trial version available on the website, which I also recommend.

I was given this product in exchange for my honest review. You can read what others on the TOS Crew thought by going to our blog here.