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TOS Crew Review — Pearson Education

May 23rd, 2011

  • Grade 1
  • Product: Pearson Education enVision MATH 2011

    Details: A full year math program for first grade in a consumable workbook. Each day the student removes a page from this book that measures about 11″ x 17″ and then folds their lesson in half like a booklet. They complete the booklet and can then stick it on their refrigerator or some other location for display. Contains 20 topics each with 4 to 13 lessons, a problem solving lesson, a test, reteaching material, a game, and “home-school” connection sheets.

    Price: $34.47 for the student book

    What we loved . . .

    • Made to display. Each lesson is made to be torn out of the book, folded in half, and put on display. When my son saw that he didn’t hesitate to get to work. As soon as we opened the package and he saw it was for him, he ripped out a page, worked hard at it, and put it right on our fridge. I love that motivation.
    • Fun to use. My son loved using the book. He liked the activities, the fun pictures, the ripping and folding. It is a very kid friendly product.
    • Internet connections. Although this is a paper product, it mentions web based games as well that reinforce the learning done on the page. I had to Google it to find them because the student book did not have the actual web address, but we did find it and were able to play the games that fit the activities online as well as  in hand.
    • Gentle math. If your child is just easing into math at this age this is a fairly gentle introduction. No speed drills, no sheets of adding and subtracting. Games, activities, application of math principles, mostly fun, hands-on learning.

    Some considerations . . .

    • Not a reasonably priced teacher book available. Since this is not really initially designed with the homeschooler in mind, the teacher’s guide is included in a $525 resource pack. Obviously not something you would purchase to help you teach one or two kids for a year. And, without it there were spots in the book that we had to make up as we went along. I don’t think we missed out on too much, but it would have been more beneficial if we had some instruction through certain segments. Even where to jump on the web was not included although I could figure it out with the help of Google.
    • Awkward shape. This book is ginormous. It would not fit on a bookshelf or in a backpack and barely fits in his arms when he carries it around. I assume it is made to fit in a school desk, but it is not a convenient size for at home use.
    • Doesn’t have much built in review. The book covers 20 topics, but doesn’t revisit them as you go. I prefer math programs that review at least every couple weeks to make sure that young minds don’t lose what they have already learned.

    While I did find this a cute book and one my son really enjoyed pulling out the pages and working through, I did not feel it was a good fit for homeschoolers the way it is right now. However, if you have a kids that loves workbooks and is always asking for more pencil and paper work like the big kids do, this would be a helpful book to have on hand. You can tear a page out, keep your child busy for a while, and then show off their work on your wall or fridge.

    For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

    Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge through Pearson Education as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.



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    TOS Crew Review — Kregel books

    May 6th, 2011

    My older three children read because they have to, but fortunately, the next couple actually enjoy reading. When our package from Kregel publishing arrived, Brooke was thrilled to find a book especially for her inside. Andi’s Indian Summer tells the story of a girl on a ranch in the late 1800s. Horses and indians, frogs and chores, brothers and friends all come together to make this a wonderful story for any early reader.

    And, when I went to ask my 1st grader how she was enjoying the book, my fourth grader piped in to tell me more details and how she enjoyed the story as well. That is a real testimony to the quality of this book because I never asked her to read it.

    Circle,C,Kregel,Susan,Marlow

    Product: Circle C Beginnings book

    Details: An early reader (roughly second grade level) book geared toward kids aged 6-9.  An engaging story about a girl and her horse and facing her fears. 76 pages.

    Price: $4.99

    What we loved . . .

    • Exciting story. The story is face paced and well written without feeling overly simplified it keeps the vocabulary appropriate for early readers while creating an interesting story with characters that they can relate to. The main character, a young girl, shares some of her frustration with being thought of as too little while also expressing the normal fears of a typical child.
    • Christian based. Susan Marlow does a wonderful job of weaving her faith naturally into the story line. Not a forced gospel message, or an artificial footnote. Andi and an Indian discuss their faith and missionaries in a very natural interaction. Not a significant part of the story line, but a reassurance that this is written from a Christian worldview.
    • Ideal for early readers ready for their first chapter books. My daughter is nearing the end of first grade and enjoyed reading this book on her own. It is kind of long, but she nibbled away at it chapter by chapter enjoying each morsel. My fourth grader easily read through it as well.
    • Additional resources. The Andi and Taffy website has some fun printouts and other resources to go along with the books. You can even purchase lapbooks if you would like to turn this into a unit study as well.
    • Cheerful drawings. The drawings are well done and cute, but I really appreciated that the kids looked cheerful in most of them. They usually didn’t focus on the sad or scary things mentioned, rather the drawings highlighted the happy smiles that came after reassurances and victories.
    • Vocabulary list. At the beginning of the book is a brief vocab list for readers to understand some of the places, names, and words that they might not be familiar with. I appreciate when authors do this because it shows that they are interested in educating not just entertaining. Marlow definitely does both.

    Some considerations . . .

    • Will leave you wanting more. If you get just one book, you will want more. Your child will almost certainly enjoy this and the activity pages that go along with it. May as well get the whole set to start with. 😉 This is the second book in a four book series (soon to be six books, I believe).
    • Might be a challenge for some early readers. My current early readers love a challenge and meaty reads, but this book would not have suited my older couple early on. They liked short stories with lots of pictures, even if the words were more difficult. This has less than a dozen pictures throughout the book, so your more visual child may struggle staying intrigued through the pages of text. You could definitely take turns reading, or break it up with the activity pages as well.

    We simply adored this book. It is so rare to find a well written kids’ book that is both interesting and has the values that I look for in a book. I love having a book that I can hand my children to read without hesitation and know that they will love it as well.

    For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

    Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge through Kregel Publications as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.



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