Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service - Homeschool Review Crew

I often find myself trawling the Internet for ideas and lesson plans, so when the chance came to review the Educeri Lesson Subscription Service from Educeri ....... Educeri a division of DataWORKS I was keen to give it a go. I was given a 12 month subscription to review.

Educeri is an online site full of ready to teach lesson plans. They currently have over a thousand lessons available across grades K-12 covering topics in;
  • Math
  • Science
  • English Language Arts
  • History
  • Art
  • P.E.
  • Music
  • Spanish
  • English Language Development
The site is fairly easy to navigate. Once logged in you can choose to view all lessons, browse by topic, browse by grade or search for a specific lesson. You simply click 'Teach Lesson' to view.

The lesson is presented like a slide show and you have to click to move to the next slide. Each page usually has a few sentences of information, some helpful tips (in boxes) and some problems shown underneath. After you have read the information and worked out the answers, you click and the next few slides walk you step by step systematically through the problem. There are marker and eraser functions you can use through the mouse control but we found it easier to just say the answer and click to see it solved.

At the end of each lesson there is a detailed overview giving you the learning objectives, vocabulary, common core correlations and most of the lessons have printable handouts available so your students can practise what was covered in the lesson.

We used Educeri as a supplement to our existing lessons, for example Rose has been looking at quadrilaterals in geometry and I found a lesson that tied in perfectly.

The lessons aren't really interactive but I sat with her and helped her read the info and she took great pleasure in 'seeing' if her answer was correct as she clicked to the next slide.

Whereas Sunflower was quiet capable of using this on her own, she just browsed the list and picked out lessons that she wanted (I did set her a few to supplement areas we were currently studying) - she particularly loved the lesson on Australian Indigenous Rock Art.

I really liked the level of detail in the lessons and it was nice to have  prepped lessons to hand on days when I wasn't on top form. I was impressed by the breadth of topics covered in math, science and english arts, we used a number of them and I have plans to use many more : )

I would like to see some audio included in the lessons, especially for the younger ages. I am excited to see what new lessons will be added to other areas (especially Art).

You can purchase an annual subscription for $75 or opt for monthly subscriptions at $7. Educeri offer a 30 day free trial so you can see how it works for your family.

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the Homeschool Review Crew.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Asia group activity day

Our activity day last month - sorry for posting it late but was hit with health problems.

I will be honest and say this topic (one the kids voted for) filled us parents with dread - that said, we all managed to create some amazing activities.

We looked at the Mongolian Empire, lifestyle and how they made felt.

Studied the Terracotta Army and had a go at making our own.

Looked at the countries in Asia and drew their flags for the giant map.

Read all about moon lanterns and had a go at lantern making.

Explored Rangoli and drew our own.

Made edible maps of the rivers and mountains in Asia.

I was very impressed by one childs' take on Mt.Everest - the tallest mountain of marshmallows :)

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy - Homeschool Review Crew

I was so excited to get a chance to review the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy from Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc. Sunflower is doing an arts award in film and has been begging for a programme like this, in fact she squealed when I told her what we were going to review.

The Online Christian Filmmakers Academy has been created by Ken and Zac Lawrence, a father and son team who have been producing, acting and directing since 2004 and have run numerous film camps. They took their combined experience and created an amazing online film school.

The course starts with an introductory video and is then broken down into 5 modules

  • Camera - broken down into six lessons, it starts by introducing you to the camera, educated you on lenses, frame rates, shutter speed, tripods and more.
  • Cinematography and Lighting - consists of 15 lessons and covers topics including; hard & soft light, types of light, painting with light, framing, depth of field, green screen, setting up an interview and more.
  • Sound - has 6 lessons covering sound equipment, microphones, field recorders, location recording etc.
  • Pre-production - this has 5 lessons covering various aspects of writing the Screenplay, paperwork, creating the team etc.
  • Production - this is a 5 lesson module covering; the crew, set management, how to direct, filming step by step and more.

They are currently creating additional content that will be added throughout the year. 
The Modules are easy to navigate (and are even marked off when you have completed them) and each lesson ranges in length from 2 - 25 mins and show some great hands on examples and tips. Once a lesson video has been watched there are various download bonus templates, documents and interviews with a quiz at the end of each module.

The lessons are packed full of information but so easy to follow that even a novice like me has improved. I loved that you can move through at your own pace and that the entire family can all use the same subscription (lovely cost saving). They really impressed me with the level of examples shown and that they have even thought about the type of basic equipment you would have available at home (camera and lights) and included suggestions for how to improve basic equipment (plans for a PVC shoulder rig anyone?). 

Sunflower loved that the lessons were so engaging and especially loved the tips they gave, in her words 'this is the best school work I've ever done'. She has been working on several story boards and its been lovely to see her enthusiasm and excitement for the work. She has even tried to incorporate a 'green screen' into her background.
The Online Christian Filmmakers Academy is available for $299 for a 12 month subscription. but until November 30th, 2016 They are offering a $100 discount with the code FALLCREW16  

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the Homeschool Review Crew

Friday, 7 October 2016

Everyday Education, LLC - Homeschool Reveiw Crew

My strengths lie in the sciences and math, not language arts.I am aware that we haven't studied how to write essays and we have only dabbled in grammar so when the chance came to review Everyday Education, LLC I was keen to jump on board. We chose Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers (high school into college) in the hope it would pull my skills up to speed and give Lilly (14) a head start. 

Excellence In Literature Handbook For Writers is compiled by Janice Campbell. Janice worked with Ian Johnston to combined and adapted two books he wrote into a guidebook for the writing process and a one stop reference guide that I can see us using for years. 

The Handbook For Writers is a 420 page e-book covering High School to College. It is designed to help improve your writing skills and provide a much needed reference guide. The topics cover everything from basic grammar to creating topic sentence outlines, writing formal papers, paragraph structure, writing for college etc. 

The first section focuses on teaching you how to write, looks at differentiating between facts and fiction, how to construct a thesis, essay models and instructions (paragraph structure etc) 

The second section is the reference guide and focuses on correct grammar, punctuation usage and writing mechanics. There are nine chapters in this section covering

  • Phrases, Clauses, Sentences - covering citations, compound subjects,scientific/technical writing, literary analysis, sentence classification, complex sentences, punctuation etc. 
  • Words - covering spelling, nouns, pronouns, jargon, abbreviations etc. 
  • Basic Punctuation - covers dashes, brackets, semi colon, ellipses etc. 
  • Pronouns and possessive forms 
  • Parallel Structure 
  • Modifiers, Gerunds, Infinitives 
  • Clarity, Logic, and Structure 
  • References And Bibliographies 
  • Formats - this looks at various formatting principles for essays and research papers. 
The Handbook for writers is the most complete writing resource l have ever seen and has already delivered results. Lilly read through a couple of sections on literary analysis which have helped her immensely with her coursework. The Handbook is amazingly adaptable, it can be a basis for lessons, can be used independently or you can just dip in and out for helpful tips and corrections.

The Handbook for Writers is available as an e-book for $29, as a 
printed - spiral bound book for $39 or as a set of both for $49.

You can see what my crew mates thought of this, Perfect Reading and Working it Out: Poetry Analysis over at the Homeschool Review Crew

Sunday, 18 September 2016

You've gotta love homeschooling....

.... when it looks like this.

where else can you sit in a sunny garden, playing with geese and catching up on your English Literature assignment?
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