TOS Crew Review — Go go Kabongo!


I love when education comes cleverly disguised in fun games, my kids do, too. Go Go Kabongo while still in beta form has plenty of educational fun to offer its subscribers. This is geared toward 4-7 year olds and since I have two that fall in the category, we figured we could give it a try.

At first my daughter thought the characters were a little creepy, but they have a quirky appeal to them and she was won over pretty quickly.

For example, here’s Karl:

You might catch him saying chuckle worthy things like, “I have never felt better . . . unfortunately.” I don’t know that the kids grasped his humor, but I couldn’t help snickering as they played.

Product: Go Go Kabongo

Details: An online world for kids to build pre-reading skills in a fun, interactive environment that rewards them for learning.  Each habitat offers three different learning games and a different alien-like host to take you through them. The games involve letter recognition, sound identification, sequences, mazes, and more.

Price: $4.95 per habitat, but if you sign  up now you can get two free. There currently are three total. This is a one time purchase.

What we loved . . .

  • Builds pre-reading skills. While my kids are kind of more in the early reader category they did still enjoy these games. However, they are definitely geared toward the pre-reader as I would say most of the games are to help build reading readiness. They seem like they would be effective in doing this, but I didn’t have any non-readers to test it out on, except my 10 month old and he doesn’t know how to use the mouse, yet.
  • Offers rewards. Each game provides rewards that they can choose. Sometimes they can pick a sticker for the comic book area, a decoration for their treehouse, or an item for their skate park.
  • Easily navigable. My kids found their way around without any help from me. They easily knew what to do by listening to the characters and following the arrows. If they weren’t reading they might have needed some help finding the map and knowing what the items were that they hovered over initially. After playing a couple times they would likely remember what was where, but they would likely not be able to read “Avatar Maker” and “Comic Book Maker.”
  • Helpful emails. Each week you receive an email update about what your child did that week. If they were not there the email lets you know they were missed. If they did an activity you will get an entry like this in the email:
  • Game Level Skill
    Design A Door 4 Spatial Awareness: Being able to visually determine the placement of objects in space helps readers begin to identify sight words and particular letter groups as representing certain sounds.
  • More on the email. The email also gives you tips on extending the activities and topics that they cover as well as other online resources that you might find helpful.

Some considerations . . .

  • Beta version. As a beta version you will still find some glitchy areas. Sometimes the rewards for the games would be blank rather than images of their choices. Sometimes they would say, “Decoration 22,” and sometimes they do what they are supposed to.
  • Limited habitats. Each habitat has three activities so you are basically able to get up to 9 minigames total. I expect they will add more as the site grows, but for now it offers somewhat limited gaming variety. However, at a price of $4.95 for three games, you’re not going to go wrong either.

Go Go Kabongo was a winner with my kids. Not fantastically so, but they did enjoy it and played it in their free time on occasion. A couple of the activities involved identifying certain letters (b then p then d) and this was great for my child that struggles with reversals at times. The characters were cute, as long as you could get past their creepiness, the games were simple, but fun, and my kids did enjoy decorating their treehouse and tweaking their avatar. Lots of winning elements in a program that can benefit the pre-reader in your house.

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 GoGoKabongo 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.


Let the party begin!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

If you aren’t stopping in from the blog party, just a word of explanation — every year the great ladies over at 5 minutes for Mom host a party just for bloggers and their groupies. We all get to stand up and tell a little about ourselves and invite everyone into our corner of the world for a little look-see. So, if you already know, and hopefully love, this site, you won’t find much new in this post, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep reading if you want to . . .

However, if you are stopping by from the Ultimate Blog Party, I want to extend a warm welcome to my little home on the web made especially for all those Chicagoland area homeschoolers. We are still working on thawing out, still scraping windows on our cars, still yearning for that first spring flower. But, we are also still doing school and loving it.

The Chicago area is packed with ideas and opportunities for homeschoolers. I have poured hours of free time over the last couple years into helping these events get a little more notice and become a little more findable to area homeschoolers. I do occasionally blog about my life as a homeschooler, various fun stuff I find on the web for homeschoolers, tips I have learned in the 9 years since we started kindergarten with our oldest, and practical balancing act advice. About half of the posts that I write are geared toward Chicago area residents since that is where I call home.

Little snippets about me in no particular order — Homeschooler, Christ follower, happily married, mom x6, page turner, nose wiper, baby snuggler, support group leader, and forever a learner.

Hope you can stay a while and find something worth your time. I’ve got reviews, favorite websites, and lots of tips on what to see and do in the Chicago area, especially from the educational angle.

TOS Crew Review — Big IQ Kids

Big IQ Title Banner

As my kids get older it is easy to focus on their core texts and let other, but still important, subjects slip a little. Just when I was grappling with how to keep on top of those little areas, Big IQ Kids came to my rescue.

This online program allows kids to learn independently in four essential areas — spelling, vocabulary, US geography, and math. They can just go with the flow of the program or you can customize it to their needs or your current academic focus. I was so grateful to be able to set it up initially, and then let my 6th and 8th graders run with it. I required them to do a lesson in spelling, vocab, and geography each day and it freed me up to work with my other kids knowing that these areas were covered.

Here is an example of the different levels of membership and what they offer you in just one area of the website:

My kids have really enjoyed using this and it takes little oversight on my part. They get excited about advancing and it has really helped my daughter’s spelling in particular. It was a great review of state information as well and has overall been a great fit to teach and review in the four areas covered on their site.

Product: Big IQ Kids

Details: An online program geared to kids K-8, and even adults. The program offers quizzing and lesson helps in spelling, vocabulary, math, and US Geography.

Price: Pricing has a lot of different options, see their pricing page for all the details, but basically, you can get the whole program for $19.99 per month, $99.99 a year. You can also purchase just portions of it for a month or year if you want to target learning in a certain area. Their full program for a full year is really the best price available.

What we loved . . .

  • Lots of free quizzing. Big IQ Kids offers some great stuff on their site that everyone can enjoy. You can have your child spend time quizzing on spelling, geography, math, and vocabulary. However, you cannot save their work or check their progress without setting up a membership that costs money. I think that’s fair. You can play around for free, but if you really want to track the progress and see the program become more customized to the user, you need to put in some money. To see if the premium options would be a good fit for you, you can enjoy a free 7 day full access trial.
  • Game rewards. My kids always love the games. In Big IQ Kids they earn coins for each lesson that they complete. The coins can then be spent in the “arcade.” There are a variety of games, some better than others, but both my kids that used the program found something they enjoyed and would willingly work toward the reward at the end of the lesson.
  • Email updates. Every time they take a quiz, pass a level, or do noteworthy work, I would get an email. It told me the percentage score and in many cases gave me specifics about what they missed. This was great to remind me to check in with them, to follow up on areas of struggle, and to praise them for the great job they were doing in the program.
  • Focuses on success. While the email updates did include their percentage and what they got wrong, it also encourages you to praise your child. My kids did not get discouraged by low scores, because they could repeatedly redo quizzes until they achieved the 100%. This was great. They weren’t stuck somewhere with a poor score, but continued to work hard to get to the next level or master the new content.
  • Great for independent learning. Both my kids that used the program did so with little or no help from me. I checked in with them a couple times a week, read the emails the program sent to me, and answered questions as they came up. I loved the simplicity of use for this and did not need to remind my kids once to get on the site to get their work done. They would even do extra work during their free time because they wanted to get to the next level in certain areas. I love programs that motivate the child to learn even when they don’t have to. 😉

Some considerations . . .

  • The site does contain ads. It may just be in the free portions of the site, but there are ads geared toward kids on the site in various places. Most of the ones that I saw were for games or vacation locations. I didn’t see any offensive ads, but there were ads.
  • The voice on the site is very computerized. At times we did have difficulty understanding some of their words, but most of it you could also read along, so it was not a problem to fill in the blanks left by the occasionally unintelligible host. In general this did not cause a problem, but it is something to be aware of.
  • More drill than instruction. My son commented that no matter how many times they asked him the vocab word he wasn’t going to get it right, because they didn’t give him any help in remembering the definition. They do tell the kids to write the words they get wrong and they do let them know their mistakes, but they try to teach it through repeated drills, not really teaching for understanding. This will be fine for some kids, but my son always needs to know the “why” so he struggled with this method of “teaching.” I was impressed that my kids were good about writing the words three times when the program told them to. However, it is really on the honors’ system that they follow through with this.
  • Might want to check the accuracy of state info. We live in Illinois, obviously, and so we know a bit about this state we live in. And, in the little blurb about our state in the geography section there was some less than accurate information. Just outdated stuff about O’hare and the building formerly known as the Sears Tower. Facts do change over time, and with how much information they carry I’m sure it is difficult to make sure it is all up to date. Well, I emailed them and within the next business day they had changed the information to reflect current data. They also recognized the need to verify the other state’s information. I definitely appreciated their speedy response and their desire to make sure their product is top quality.

We were quite pleased with Big IQ Kids in our home. It was a great fit for our current needs and I love the flexibility of pricing since you can just pay for what you want if you don’t want the complete package. It encouraged learning and really brought about improvement in the areas that it covered.  Love finding products like these that really fill a need.

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 Big IQ Kids 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.

TOS Crew Review — Reading Kingdom


Let me introduce you to a new friend of ours. My son named him Nate. This friendly owl is helping teach my kids to read and write, and doing a pretty good job of it, I might add.

Through Reading Kingdom, my 5, 7, and 9 year olds are interacting with letters and sounds in a brand new way. This program tackles more than just learning to read. It identifies six skills required for successful reading. The six skills are: sequencing, motor skills, sounds, meaning, grammar and comprehension. So, it doesn’t start with sounds, it starts with learning sequences. Kids also learn to type in the process since it is a computer based program and they must be able to type to interact with it.

After some time in the introductory levels, my son made it out of Letter Land. He was thrilled when he made it to the soccer field today:

Reading Kingdom focuses on whole word recognition and alternating between clicking correct words and then typing them out to reinforce the word. This is a great integration of learning styles and keeps the kids as active participants in the learning process. Great for active learners and for kids who might also struggle with reversals. The word-focus is clear and builds one step at a time.

Product: Reading Kingdom

Details: An online program that helps 4-10 year olds learn to read through a third grade level.

Price: $19.99 per month or $199.99 for a year. Additional children are $9.99 each per month

What we loved . . .

  • Game based, but solidly educational. While Reading Kingdom involves games and game type graphics, it is all about learning the skills needed to read. Children interact with helpful cartoon characters to begin building their reading vocabulary.
  • Rechecks learning. The program naturally includes quite a bit of review and retesting. This helps them to confirm mastery of the topics and skills. It is brief, so I did not find it boring to my kids, but it did make sure that they were ready to move on.
  • Teaches the little words. One of the foundational principles for Reading Kingdom is that much of our language is made up of those little words that hold the sentences together, but early readers often miss. So, they focus on them and drill them, and repeat them, and make sure that the kids notice them, read them, and understand them. I think this is a great component of the program.
  • Short sessions. Because reading does involve some tedious exercises, they break it down into very small lessons. If the kids are having fun and want to continue they can easily do more. But, they are not pressed to continue for 45 minutes or more on repetitive lessons that are helpful, but sometimes not very exciting. My son would do one lesson in a sitting, my daughter would sit for three or four. It was nice to have that flexibility and not feel like they were leaving in the middle of something.
  • Excellent program for kids that rush or struggle with letter order. My 9 year old has a tendency to rush. Although she can read, she likes to skip things, filling in the mental gaps as she goes. This program won’t allow that. She has to click what they tell her to. She has to type the letters they ask for. She has to spend the time to slowly make the progress and show what she knows. In order to do well she needs to make sure that she gets letters in the right order and at the right time to move on successfully.

Some considerations . . .

  • Program can be touchy at times. This is my biggest beef with a program that we really liked overall. My 7 year old daughter was getting really frustrated and bored stuck in the training part of the program (Letter Land and Sequences) and she is already a good beginner reader, so I figure I would help her out. **Ahem** I know, I should let them learn and not step in, but I knew she knew this stuff, she just kept making little mistakes in the way she entered the letters. So, I stepped in to save the day. Well, after a few minutes, I realized she was better off without me. 😉 On one screen I would type too fast and it would not register my typing. Another page I would try typing instead of clicking the letters and would get it wrong. I was taking her backwards instead of forwards. After a session of failure I did start to have it figured out and began to improve. A few more sessions and I got her out of Letter Land. She is now much more happily and successfully living in the land of Reading and Writing Level 1. And, we both learned a bit in the process.
  • Sometimes I didn’t know where they were going. They have some interesting exercises. They show a sequence of letters and then kids need to pick it out of a longer sequence of letters. They teach apostrophes and quotation marks.  And, while I’m sure they have a purpose, sometimes they just seemed cumbersome to the kids. I understand why the sequences are important, but they just seem to need an awful lot of repetition to get their point across.
  • NOT phonics based. In fact, the author is quite clearly against phonics instruction. She makes some claims that I disagree with regarding phonics, but I guess she is entitled to her professional opinion. I can see the benefit to combing whole language and phonics, but I have worked with too many kids to discredit phonics based programs entirely. I do agree that there are bad phonics programs out there, and many of her criticisms would hold true in those, but there are also great phonics programs that her criticism would not hold up against. To hear all of the differences between this and other reading programs, check out this document.
  • Would be nice if it repeated words at times. This is just a personal preference I suppose. But, there were times when my child would be celebrating a right answer and miss the instructions for the next screen, or would not hear the word they were supposed to type. There was no way to go back and hear it again and so they were left to guess what they were supposed to do.

This was an interesting program, definitely different than other reading program that we have used in the past. Some things we loved, some things that left me sour. You can see for yourself if this program is a great fit for your kids with their free trial. It would definitely be worth giving it a try, and if you have a struggling reader in your home, this could be the key that unlocks the world of reading for them. I would definitely encourage a melding of this with a phonics program, but it can give kids a confidence boost to get them on their way.

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 Reading Kingdom 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.

World Math day coming soon

Children from across the globe will be uniting in their quest to set a world record in answering mental arithmetic questions. We’d like to invite your child to be a part of this great education event involving more than two million students from hundreds of countries.  There is an exciting new format for 2011 with all new levels!  Your child can start practicing now by signing into with their Mathletics username and password!
Why should your child take part?
• World Math Day is the education event for the world!
• They will love it! Be part of setting a world record!
• It will create an amazing buzz around math.
• Designed for all ages and ability levels.
• Simple to register and participate.
• Great prizes. And it’s absolutely free!!
How will it work?
• If your child is already subscribed to Mathletics, they can use their existing username and password.
• They will take part in real-time mental arithmetic challenges and play live with other students around the globe.
• In 2010 more than two million students from 235 countries combined to correctly answer 479,732,613 questions. Can we break the record this year?
• All you need is internet access.
This year for the first time, through an international partnership with UNICEF, the competition will be used to raise money for UNICEF education programmes in Mozambique and Vietnam.
Students can seek donations from friends and family for their participation in World Math Day.  Donations will be pledged and tallied on the World Math Day website.  In 2011 we aim to unite the world in numbers and giving to help provide children all over the world with the education they deserve.
For more information, visit
Don’t forget to tell your child’s school about World Math Day too! Don’t delay – school registrations close February 28.

Click here to download the World Math Day FAQs.

TOS Crew Review — Speekee

Speekee logo

“Adios . . . Adios . . . Adios, my amigo, adios.”

Brooke started it, and soon Nathan and Faith joined in. Blake (13 years old) groaned a bit and tolerated their jubilant singing on the way to gym and swim. Paige couldn’t help singing along even though she hasn’t really watched the videos with them.

And so, Speekee has infiltrated our home. The irresistible jingles and repetitive dialogue are really teaching my kids some basic Spanish, and they are liking it.


Product: Speekee Spanish online learning videos

Details: An online Spanish learning program that includes videos, activity suggestions, and printable worksheets. Ten lessons in all to introduce a child to conversational Spanish.

Price: $7.50 per month

What we loved . . .

  • Foreign language without tears. We’ve tried so many foreign language program I could almost cry. Each one we either don’t learn from, get tired of, or just plain don’t like. Speekee has brought something new to our home — foreign language learning that kids love, and I do, too.
  • Full access. With the monthly fee you can watch and rewatch each video as much as you please. Your kids can watch on their own or as a group, with you or without. My kids did a little of all those arrangements. The printable worksheets can be printed out for as many of your kids as needed and you can even reprint their favorites to do more than once.
  • Likable characters. My kids enjoyed the mix of puppets and real people. The kids spoke clearly and didn’t seem overly scripted or fake. The puppets entertained while educating.
  • Immersion method. Speekee drops you right into the situations with Spanish speakers all around. There is the option of English subtitles which can be beneficial to some kids.
  • Nice accent. The actors all spoke Spanish well with a very natural pronunciation. It was easy to understand them and imitate their words.
  • Enjoyable pace. Not too fast, like some other adult immersion programs I have seen. And, not too slow or mundane like some that don’t seem to really help kids learn to converse. Speekee has a good balance of real life conversation and repetition to help a child learn new words without getting bored in the process.

Some considerations . . .

  • More for young kids.While anyone from preschool through adulthood could benefit from using Speekee, in our home it was more appreciated by the younger group. My 9 year old was okay with it, but it was the biggest hit with my 7 and 5 year olds.
  • Spain Spanish. Most of us in the United States would come in contact with Latin American Spanish rather than Spain Spanish. The accent varies slightly and some words and expressions are a bit different. You could think of it as the difference between our English and British English. We can definitely communicate together, but there will be a few differences. Most of the differences in Spanish I don’t think would make a big difference at the beginner level.
  • Needs repetition. Spanish will never be learned overnight. Kids will not likely watch the videos and instantly remember all the new phrases and songs taught in it. However, my kids did not mind watching the same videos more than once to cement the new vocabulary in their minds.
  • Helpful if parent watches along. While I was kind of hoping I could play the video and then go work with the older students on something I found that my younger kids absorbed and interacted the most with me right there. For example, Speekee would say, “Y tu?” and expect the kids to repeat the previous phrase. My kids didn’t understand that and were just sitting watching. Of course, they still picked it up and sang the songs with gusto throughout the day, but for them to get the most out of the video it is best to watch along with them.

Learning another language cannot start too young, and Speekee can be a great tool in drawing and keeping the attention of children as they learn Spanish.

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 Speekee 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.

TOS Crew Review — Talking Fingers


“Mom, how do you spell ‘truck’? Oh wait! I know because my typing program taught me!” I didn’t know if I should believe my five year old. His reading has been taking off, but to remember the ‘ck’ at the end of a short , short-vowel word? I was skeptical.

But, sure enough, he sounded it out and spelled it correctly, from the sometimes tricky ‘tr’ at the beginning to the two letter ‘k’ sound at the end. As he said, we owe that little milestone to Talking Fingers. Talking Fingers has quickly flown to celebrity status in our house. We received a one year license for three, so my 9 year old, 6 year old, and 5 year have been giving it a test drive.

Each of them benefited in a different way from the program. My 9 year old brushed up on her phonics and worked on her typing letter by letter making sure she typed them correctly. The 6 year old plowed through the material the same way she devours books right now, but didn’t spend too much time on the correct fingering. The five year old is steadily working through it and reinforcing the phonics that he is currently mastering.


The program begins with a catchy tune and then the typing hands take it away as they teach sounds and the corresponding key strokes on the computer keyboard through a game format. As each sound is introduced the hands show the proper way to type it, tells you the sound, and then leads you into various activities to learn the sound, practice typing it properly, identifying it in words, and hopefully rid the city of the “virus” that stole the letter sounds.

Product: Talking Fingers
Details : A program designed for K-3 graders that teaches spelling, reading, and phonics along with introductory typing.
Price : $35 for online version for one year for one student ($55 for 2, $70 for 3, etc.) They also have a CD version for $79.

What we loved . . .

  • Hands on and visual. All three of my kids really enjoyed this program. My six year old workbookaholic, my fourth grade anti-writing child, and my five year old that loves anything that is his. The program gives lots of opportunity to see and hear sounds and words and the typing offers a great way for kids who might despise picking up a pencil but need that kinesthetic reinforcement in their phonics studies.
  • Entertaining. Although my fourth grader found it a little babyish (it is designed for K-3), she was quickly won over by a program that keeps the user engaged and gives a very hands on approach to learning and reviewing phonics rules.
  • Multi-age. Each child will  glean different lessons from the program, but those just learning to read and those that need a refresher can enjoy these lessons.
  • Corresponding print material. On their website you can find little readers to print out and use in conjunction with the sounds they work with in Talking Fingers. Just check out the downloads.
  • Printable Certificates. I find them a little silly, but my kids love to print off the certificates after each letter that they complete. Proof that they really did learn something while “playing.”
  • Reports. The teacher/parent can log in and see what level of mastery the student is achieving. These are pretty basic reports and don’t show many specifics about what the child needs to work on. But, it does give you an idea of how well they are doing overall on the program.

Some considerations . . .

  • Lengthy introduction. You can try it for free to see what I mean, but the kids do need to spend some time watching a video at the beginning to understand what they will be doing in the program and to introduce them to some of the characters. None of my kids complained about have to watch this little “cartoon” before getting to work.
  • Lets kids pass without passing. You can choose what the passing percentage is for each child, but it will still allow them to move on if they are doing well overall. So, my son’s spelling was below the passing expectation in the first couple levels, but he kept moving on. However, amazingly, his scores kept getting better with each level. I would not usually like a program done that way, but it still worked, at least for him.

Talking Fingers has been a hit with all three of my kids that tried it. While the ones who are reading independently worked through the levels fairly quickly it was a good review for them (and a good intro to proper typing), and my son who is just learning the sounds really benefited from this unique interaction with the phonemes he is learning.

Check it out for yourself with a demo version available online. If you do decide to order, you can find a form on that page to give you 20% off as well!

Each family will have a different experience with a product, so I would definitely encourage you to check out some other TOS Crew reviews on this product, over at the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This online program was provided to me free of charge through Talking Fingers 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.

Free webinar

The following is from an email from Lee Binz, the HomeScholar:

I’m pleased to announce a free webinar with Dr. Jay Wile, author of Exploring Creation with Chemistry.  Please join us – it’s sure to be encouraging, motivating, and meaningful!

Save the Date!
Tuesday September 21
4:00 pm Pacific Time

Join our Free Webinar with a Leading Homeschool Expert!
“Homeschooling: Discovering How and Why it Works”
By Dr. Jay Wile

Dr. Wile became involved in the homeschooling movement because of the excellent homeschool graduates he encountered  while he was on the faculty at Ball State University.  Over the years, he has followed the academic and professional literature to see how others have evaluated homeschooled students, and the results are clear: homeschooling works very well.  On average, homeschooled students are academically superior to their peers, and they are also socially well-adjusted.  In this talk, Dr. Wile reviews some of the studies that demonstrate these facts, and he also discusses why homeschooling works so well.

Join our Free Webinar!
“Homeschooling: Discovering How and Why it Works”
Presented by Dr. Jay Wile

Tuesday September 21
4:00 pm Pacific Time
5:00 Mountain Time
6:00 Central Time
7:00 Eastern Time

Register Here

Enjoy this free webinar!  And please share this information with your friends and your support group!  There are more free resources available on my website here: HomeScholar Freebies.

Writing mini-workshop

Last year I met Sarah through the writing of Jim Baumgardner and now he is helping others in their endeavor to write well or teach their children to write well. This is the third and final installment of the series ‘Fundamentals of Story Writing” by Jim Baumgardner of the Sarah Books Series, hosted over at Creative Learners.

Mr. Baumgardner, an award winning author, has shared with us over the last 2 months free lessons in story writing for our homeschool students of any age!  Thess articles have blessed my family, and many more! You can see the original articles by clicking here for #1 and here for #2.

For today’s third and final installment in the series, check out Creative Learners.

Writing programs

There are many great programs to help develop your child’s writing skills.

You may have heard of or used Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), or Writing Strands, or Write Shop, or a number of other programs.

I also recently came across this website that shares lots of great writing tips, In Our Write Minds. (written by a Write Shop author)

Last year I had the privilege of reviewing a well-written book called Sarah’s Wish. The author, Jim Baumgardner, has started writing a short series of posts to help parents help kids write.

Since writing is an area we plan to spend some time on we enjoyed reading the first post for our group Composition time today. He focuses on how to come up with ideas for your writing projects and his ideas really helped the wheels start turning in our house.

Check out his full post at Creative Learners, and be inspired!