Friday, December 30, 2011

TOS Crew REAL Homeschool Spanish Review!

REAL Homeschool Spanish
REAL Homeschool Spanish
In our quest to find a Spanish program with the right mix of basic knowledge and real life usability, our efforts fell short.

It's not enough to learn basic vocabulary.  A successful program must immerse the student in a new language, encouraging them to actually use it.  That is after all the way we all learned to speak --- through interactions with other people.

In our experience, Homeschool Spanish IS a R.E.A.L. curriculum for the whole family!.  (R.E.A.L. = Relax, enjoy, aspire, learn Spanish).

"The idea for a curriculum specifically catering to the homeschool environment arose when Dr. Williamson-Coria was unable to find time to sufficiently plan into her daily routine, a way for her own children to learn French.  This was even more frustrating due to the fact that she herself was a French Professor.  Dr. Williamson-Coria invested in various computer-based programs hoping to ease her heavy prep time.  After completion of various steps in these programs, she saw that her children were not able to communicate what they had just learned, nor were they sufficiently able to self direct their own learning.  She found that she would have to do these programs herself as part of her "prep" time in order to be able to guide them in their language learning.  She was back to the predicament of not having the time.

At the same time, she was giving Spanish classes to homeschoolers and was inspired when she observed how quickly they learned the materials and how conducive the home environment was to be able to really practice the language.  However, most material she could find for her classes were geared to classroom learning with large groups of students.

Dr. Williamson-Coria decided to develop a program that enabled the parents to learn along with their child, a program that was easy to use and would enable the home educator to help his/her children use the language as well as guide them in their language learning.  Dr. Coria wanted a product with ideas to help her incorporate language learning into her daily routine (as opposed to a "classroom") without taking up all her weekly or daily prep time.  She also wanted a product that could develop speaking ability.  Most programs work on reading, writing, listening and pronunciation, but not on using the language in a conversational and creative manner.  This program is build upon a conversational Spanish foundation.  New material is always presented through speaking the language and soliciting responses from the children.  As language is used through human contact in the read world, this program stresses the importance of interaction with others."

Homeschool Spanish is divided into 10 themed units with a total of 48 weeks of learning.  The author leaves it up to the parent to decide if this will cover 1 or 2 years of study.  Within each unit are between one to four sections each with vocabulary and Home Educator tips, Ideas for facilitating home learning, Grammar tidbits , Audio, BookActivity Book and Answer Key.

Beginning with Lesson 1, this program stresses communication as a way to learn.  Listening to the audio sections of each unit, the student is encouraged to repeat the words and phrases thus building confidence in pronunciation and assisting in memorization.  The activity sheets that go along with each unit are another aid in cementing new vocabulary and usage.

To help the parent with planning, there is a corresponding "Daily Curriculum Guide" at the beginning of each unit.  There's a planning sheet included to help you map it out as well.  The author suggests using the program 20-30 minutes per day to keep up momentum and new vocabulary fresh in the mind.

I found the sections,  "Tips to Get Started" and "Multiple Children Ideas" a helpful resource in establishing the flow of using this program in our homeschool.  I LOVE the author's philosophy of "You will learn to adapt the curriculum to the learning pace of your family".

Since I have a wide spread of ages using this curriculum - 8, 10, 13 AND 40+ (!), not only is finding a learning rhythm important, but finding the best WAY to teach each age group as well.

"REAL Homeschool Spanish was designed primarily for those Home Educators who have been introduced to Spanish in the past or who have learned another foreign language in the past and could apply their knowledge of learning a foreign language to Spanish.  So many parents feel they could teach their children Spanish if only they had the right material to help them accomplish this.  It is our belief that R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish will fill this need.  However, we feel that anyone who aspires to learn Spanish (despite not having learned a foreign language in the past), who's ambitious and methodical in their approach, and would like to learn Spanish as a family can use this program along with the Audio and enjoy their language learning experience."

I agree!  I do have a few years of Spanish under my belt, which I find helpful in teaching Spanish in my house.   I think this program is an excellent tool in teaching not only my children, but my husband as well!

I admit that my family didn't get as far into this program as I would have like during this review period.  However, I am pleased with the quality of what they've done and their responsiveness to the program over all.

I have taken the time to look ahead and I like how the Author laid out the Grammar Tidbits and especially the use of Ser/Estar as well as the suggested activities for each unit.

With this coming New Year, I'll be making more of an effort to make learning a new language a daily discipline for our entire family.  Yes, we will continue to use this curriculum and cannot wait for their High School Version to be released sometime soon!

Take a look at these samples and Table of Contents to see if this program is right fit for your family.


Homeschool Spanish is for grade K-8th.
Pricing is as follows:
Book Bundle (Book, Activity Book, Answer Book & Audio Files) $49.95      Downloaded
Book Bundle (same as above PLUS Daily Curriculum Guide) $59.95          Downloaded
Hard Copy $89.95
Hard Copy PLUS Daily Curriculum Guide $99.95


Here's what other crew members are saying!

Disclaimer: I received this program free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Snow in Florida????!!

Why yes, at the top of every hour starting at 6 pm to be exact!

Snow in Florida?
Snow in Florida?

Ok, so it's not REAL snow, but for the tropics, it's not half bad!

Snow in Florida?
The 'town square' before snow.....

Snow in Florida?
Here it comes....

Snow in Florida?
SEE!  It's snowing, it's snowing, it's snowing!  REALLY, it IS !

Being from the North, I had a real hankering to see some lights 'en mass' and experience some 'snow' in order to get a real feel for Winter and Christmas.  When it's 80 degrees and sunny, it's tough to trick the mind that it is indeed December!

'snowball fight'.  (
My 10 year old, Mr. Personality, after a 'snowball fight'.  (If you use your imagination, it's just like snow, just not as cold.....or as wet.....

'Ice' Skating rink complete with some really strange 'ice' skates that are used on some sort of material that is like a huge dry erase board!!!
'Ice' Skating rink complete with some really strange 'ice' skates that are used on some sort of material that is like a huge dry erase board!!!

'Ice' Skating rink complete with some really strange 'ice' skates that are used on some sort of material that is like a huge dry erase board!!!
I know, it's hard to take anyone serious who talks about it 'snowing' while walking through the public fountain area  during Christmastime!

Trees alight with twinkle and Spanish Moss!
Trees alight with twinkle and Spanish Moss!
 Just want to wish all my readers a very happy and safe New Year!


Happy New Year from Homeschool Circus!
Happy New Year from Homeschool Circus!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Make it Yourself Gingerbread Train vs. Chocolate Holiday House

Continuing our Christmas festivities, we decided to have a battle of the edible crafting kits.

In this corner......

The Gingerbread Train

Edible Gingerbread Train
Edible Gingerbread Train


And, in this corner.....


The Chocolate House

Edible Chocolate House
Edible Chocolate House


Starting with the Gingerbread Train:

Put together Gingerbread Train.  Looks easy enough!
Put together Gingerbread Train.  Looks easy enough!

Comes with a nice tray that the pieces fit down into and are 'cemented' with green icing
Comes with a nice tray that the pieces fit down into and are 'cemented' with green icing.

Comes with a nice tray that the pieces fit down into and are 'cemented' with green icing
Oldest brother and sister hard at 'work'.


Train is assembled.  Now for the CANDY ... I mean decorations.
Train is assembled.  Now for the CANDY ... I mean decorations.


Inside view - complete with Snowman rider!
Inside view - complete with Snowman rider!

Now for the Make it Yourself Holiday House!

Make it Yourself Holiday House
The kit!  Complete with reusable molds!

After melting the chocolate and pouring into the molds,  refrigerate for about 15 minutes and pop out onto a tray.  Looking good!
After melting the chocolate and pouring into the molds,  refrigerate for about 15 minutes and pop out onto a tray.  Looking good!

After making two sets of roof, side and front pieces, 'glue' the side walls to the front pieces with more melted chocolate.
After making two sets of roof, side and front pieces, 'glue' the side walls to the front pieces with more melted chocolate.  Refrigerate for another 15 minutes.

ext, attach the roof pieces with yet more melted chocolate
Next, attach the roof pieces with yet more melted chocolate!

Add gum drops, peppermint swirls and mini jaw breakers.
Melt the white chocolate to use as decorating 'glue' and  icicles.  Add gum drops, peppermint swirls and mini jaw breakers.
Roof decorations
Roof decorations.

So, which kit won?
So, which kit won?
Honestly, it was a LANDSLIDE!!!!


Of course sampling went on upon opening each of the kits.  Early on we discovered that the Gingerbread Train was a mess of hard, cardboard-like, nutmeg-overload YUCK!  And, the icing wouldn't hold the pieces together.  Since it was unanimously decided that no one would be eating this concoction, the remaining pieces were glued together with a GLUE GUN!!!

The Chocolate Holiday House was easy to put together, fun and made of edible c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e....

So, the ribbon goes to:

The Chocolate Holiday House!  Grab your fork and join us!!!!  Hurry, because it won't last long!


The Chocolate Holiday House!  Grab your fork and join us!!!!  Hurry, because it won't last long!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Make a Keepsake / Family Heirloom Tablecloth!

I can't take credit for this fabulous idea!  Before Thanksgiving another homeschooling Mom posted pictures of an awesome 'Thankful Tablecloth' she created with her family.  After she explained how easy it was and relatively inexpensive (well under $20), I knew I HAD to make one as well.


How to Make a Keepsake / Family Heirloom Tablecloth!

The original "Thanksgiving Tablecloth" included thankful quotes from each member of the family and a corresponding scripture.  We decided on a slightly different take.  We omitted writing our 'thanksgivings' on it until next year and choosing a blessing verse.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up (Mao's China)

This week we studied Mao's China.

We didn't do formal school this week.  In between visiting with friends and Christmas preparation, we spent this week reading and relaxing learning more about Modern China.

Selected reading about Mao's China
Selected reading about Mao's China

That's a short and sweet wrap up for this week!  Join us next time for The Korean War!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up (Gandhi's India & Pakistani Independence) - December 18

This week we spent learning more about Modern India.


Our readings sparked a very good conversation regarding Margaret Sanger (Planned Parenthood), Hitler, Gandhi and their belief on population growth/suppression.

From Gandhi to Mother Teresa was one aspect of  Modern India we studied!
From Gandhi to Mother Teresa was one aspect of
Modern India we studied!

In addition to studies, we are also gearing up for the Christmas Season.  My daughter had her ballet recital and attended an American Girl party where she got to dress up as Kirsten celebrating St. Lucia Day.
St. Lucia crown, just like the American Girl Kirsten
My daughter in her St. Lucia crown, just like the American Girl Kirsten!

And, what would Christmas be without COOKIES!!!!  After 10 dozen, I lost count.....

Yum - the best part of baking cookies
Yum - the best part of baking cookies!

Some of the Christmas cookies boxed up and ready to go
Some of the Christmas cookies boxed up and ready to go!

For our Christmas craft this week, we made beaded candy cane ornaments!


Beaded candy cane ornament craft.
Beaded candy cane ornament craft.

Join us next time for Mao's China!



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Coming Soon - K5 Learning Review!

K5 Learning
K5 Learning


K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.


I am looking forward to reviewing K5 and sharing it with all of you very soon!

Monday, December 12, 2011

TOS Crew Vintage Remedies for Guys Review!

Vintage Remedies for Guys
Vintage Remedies for Guys


Vintage Remedies for Guys
Ages 7-13
$45

"The projects in this manual are designed to be parent-son projects and will require your full involvement and attention for safety.  While we provide educational information, always use common sense when treating any illness in your home and don't hesitate to seek professional guidance if necessary.  This book is designed to introduce young men to wellness not to prepare them to be independent in their health matters."


Vintage Remedies for Guys is a 200+ page curriculum which is broken down into 18 flexible chapters.  It can be used in a co-op setting or one on one and is a perfect way to teach your 7-13 year old boys the basics of a healthy, natural lifestyle enabling them to discern real vs. synthetic foods and products on the market.  And, more importantly, WHY they should choose real over synthetic.


Covering topics such as real food, nutrition, wellness, body care and green living, author Jessie Hawkins does a wonderful job of opening the door and setting the stage for future healthy habits using a warm teaching approach complete with hands-on activities and projects that encourage the pursuit of natural health.


I love how this book is specifically designed for their age and is also written at their level.  It can be read on their own, but, I choose to read the chapters with them and then work on the projects together.


I was very impressed at the wealth of topics included.  Some of which are:
Cheese making
Homemade deodorant
Profiles of popular herbs
How to make a poultice and other natural first aid
Recognizing real food
True healthy snacking
Treasure hunting at the grocery store
Natural cleaning
Green gifts


We were able to get through most of the first section which is on Food, Nutrition and Culinary Skills.  Being growing boys, this will probably be the high point of the book in their opinion!  Much of the information presented they already knew, but what they really liked was that it was written right to them and included activities that were doable, fun and yummy!



 In addition to enjoying this particular book, I like where the author is coming from:


"Jessie Hawkins, founded Vintage Remedies to answer the growing need of women and mothers everywhere to have a reliable source to turn to for answers to their natural health questions.  What began as a a small consulting practice blossomed into multiple written works, an extensive website filled with tips and formulas for natural living and more recently, the Vintage Remedies School of Natural Health, which educates individuals throughout the world about the safe and effective use of herbal remedies and natural health.  More recently, she established the new Essential Series through Vintage Remedies and Natural Living certification programs, enabling certified Natural Living educators to teach wellness classes to individuals in small group settings."
I give this curriculum an 'A' and will continue to use it throughout the year.  I'm also considering using the study for teens and possibly an online course for myself next year. 


To learn more about Vintage Remedies and their products for ages 2 through adult PLUS browse online courses, visit their website at:  www.vintageremedies.com.  

Here's what other crew members are saying!

Disclaimer:  I received this curriculum free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

The World of Science Book Review


If you have children there are a few reference books that you simply MUST own!


World of Science - a must have Science resource
World of Science - a must have Science resource

To facilitate curiosity or help with current studies a good home library should at least include:

*A book of Bible facts
*A book of History (in a time-line format)
*A book of General Science facts
*A book of Animal facts

*An Atlas

World of Science is filled with photos, descriptive illustrations and interesting facts.  This would make a wonderful addition to your home library!

Why do science?
Why should science be studied?  Science can help us see the intricacies of God's creation, allowing for enormous advancements in our world.  Various deadly diseases have been eradicated, harnessing electricity has allowed us to better regulate our environment, and we have developed devices that can enrich our lives, such as mobile phones, cars, planes, computers and the Internet.  Most people live longer, more comfortable, healthier lives than ever before.  

Without restraint or godly wisdom, science can become a tool of devastation.  Throughout the past several hundred years, there have been those like Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, and Francis Bacon who saw God's handiwork in the world around them.   Their scientific discoveries brought both glory to God and benefits to humanity.  

May an inspired new group of young scientists rise up today.

This 248 paged book is broken down into 7 sections:

1 - Matter and Chemicals

All substances, matter and chemicals - from a pin-head to a star-are made of atoms.  The atoms join or bond together to form molecules.  Atoms and molecules can separate and then join together in new combinations.  This is chemical change.  Matter exists in three main states:  solids, liquids and gases.

2 - Energy, Motion and Machines

Energy is the ability to make things happen and cause changes.  It exists in many forms, such as sound, light, electricity and chemicals.  Moving objects also possess a type of energy, kinetic energy.  Using energy and principles of mechanics and movement, we combine simple machines, such as levers and wheels, into enormously complex ones.

3 - Electricity and Magnetism

Electricity is a type of energy based on the movement of bits of atoms, called electrons.  Magnetism is a mysterious and invisible force that can push or pull.  Electricity produces magnetism, and magnetism produces electricity.  Together they are the basis of innumerable machines, from motors to computers.


4 - Light and Sound

Some types of energy are in the form of up-and-down waves.  They include sound and light - but the nature of their waves is very different.  Sound is moving atoms and molecules.  Light is combined electricity and magnetism.  Both are sensed by the body, and are used to convey information.

5 - Earth and Life

Our home is a giant ball of rock, 7,930 miles across, spinning through space. It's surface is constantly changing.  Daily, weather patterns move over seas and land.  Yearly, volcanoes erupt and earthquakes split the landscape.  Over the years, rocks buckle into mountains and great continents drift around the globe.

6 - Space and Time

Away from daily life here on Earth, the Universe is a weird and truly wonderful place.  Stars are born and explode.  Star clusters, called galaxies, fly away from each other.  Straight lines are really bent, and time goes faster or slower.  Modern science explains some of these mind-boggling events - but not all.

7 - Science Experiments

The scientific method involves devising an idea or theory, making a prediction from it, and carrying out experiments to test it.  By trial and error we discount old theories and develop new ones, gradually moving toward greater understanding.  The practical work of projects, tests, and experiments is central to scientific progress.

Experiments include:  Plants & Animals, Chemistry, Air and Flight, Water, Sound, Light, Energy & Forces, Electricity & Magnetism.

As a bonus, Master Books has teamed up with My Father's World homeschool curriculum for this reprint.  This book is part of their 4-8th grade science curriculum (although it may be used with younger and older children as well).

There was only one small part of the book I didn't agree with and that is the presentation on page 166-7 regarding Greenhouse Gasses and Global Warming.  I should also comment that there is mention of Scientist Stephen Hawking and some of his achievements.  No mention is made of his religious views. 

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up (Establishment of Israel)

Flag of Israel
Flag of Israel

After wrapping up our study of World War II, we moved on to the establishment of Israel.  The boys' enjoyed looking at an actual travel guide with maps and descriptions of the towns they've been learning about.  Some of this week's reading included:

Modern Israel
Modern Israel


In the midst of the beginnings of Christmas hustle and bustle, the boys' did manage to get the next sections of their Modern American lapbooks done:  The U.N. and Cold War


United Nations (UN) and Cold War lapbook components
United Nations (UN) and Cold War lapbook components


My daughter started Multiplication Pizza Party lapbook and is really enjoying the first math puzzle and BINGO game!

Multiplication Pizza Party lapbook
Multiplication Pizza Party lapbook


Join us next time for a look at Gandhi and modern India.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Purposeful Planning ebook Review!

Take a weekend to plan your school year?
Take a weekend to plan your school year?




“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Proverbs 29:18


Where is the Lord leading your family?
Are you doing what you need to
do to get there?
How to get a vision for where the Lord wants your family to be.

In Purposeful Planning , Author Phyllis Sather talks openly about her reasons for scheduling yearly planning weekends.
"We decided we needed to begin to live our lives in a much more intentional way. We wanted to be more proactive in how we used our time and energy."
Though each family's reasons for needing to schedule this sort of weekend may vary, I think we all could be more proactive and deliberate in how we use our time and energy by setting better priorities!

"We live in constant tension between the urgent and the important."  -Charles Hummel
"We decided that in order to take control of our lives again we just had to take time to seek the Lord and plan for the things that were important to us."
Reading through this ebook really got me thinking about life and what we classify as important verses what is important to the Lord in regards to raising our children!

Instead of thinking of a weekend away as 'goal setting', the focus should be on "seeking the Lord's will for our lives and then striking out to do what we feel He is calling us to do."

Starting with 'planning to plan' the weekend itself, Phyllis walks the reader though all the aspects of using this period of time in seeking the Lord for your family.

Included are:
Practical helps and ideas to make it affordable
Whether or not to take the kids and why you should consider it
How to schedule time to talk and what to talk about
What to bring
How to take notes and why this is important
A usable format for the weekend

As a bonus, there are sections on encouragement for Dads, discretionary time usage, church, finances, celebrations and how planning weekends affect your children.

I admit that I do the majority of planning and pursing in our homeschool.  This is one resource I WILL be giving to my husband to read.  It is my hope that we will adopt our own version of the 'Planning Weekend' for our household.

Purposeful Planning also comes in handbook and MP3 formats and are available on the Proclaiming God's Faithfulness website.

It is easy to see why this ebook has been chosen for the second year in a row to be a part of The Old Schoolhouse's Starter Pack!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this ebook free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

TOS Crew FracTazmic from I See Cards Review!

Have fun while learning fractions!

Have fun while learning fractions!
Have fun while learning fractions!



FracTazmic™ is a comprehensive interactive fun lesson in fractions that gives your child unlimited practice at their individual level.

Each brightly colored card displays fractions, along with eye catching graphics, to ensure reinforcement. Players will quickly identify the fractions on their cards and calculate their way to fun and learning! Fractazmic teaches fractions, numbers and measurement. 

FracTazmic 
2-4 players
Upper Elementary+
2-4 players
$6.95

The object of Fractazmic is to create as many "hands" as possible before running out of cards.  "Hands" are made by adding together fraction cards within a suit (color) to equal one.  The winner is the player with the most "hands".

The deck is broken down into three suits (color).  The sixteenths are red and are broken down into 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16 and 1/2.  The twelfths are blue and are broken down into 1/12, 1/6, 1/4, 1/3, 5/12, and 1/2.  The tenths are green and are broken down into 1/10, 1/5, 3/10, 2/5 and 1/2.

In each colored suit, the cards can be combined multiple ways to make a "hand" equaling 1.  For example:  1/4+1/6+1/2+1/12 = 1

To play with 2 players, deal 7 cards each.  For 3-4 players, each person gets 5 cards.  Remaining cards are placed faced-down and one card is placed face-up next to the stack --- this card starts the discard line.

Each player groups their cards into suits.

The player takes a card from either the discard line or stack.  (If it's from the discard line, the player must use that card to create a "hand" that equals 1).

Once you have a "hand" that equals 1, place the stack face-up in front of you.

If the player took a card from the stack and can not play it, the card is discarded on the discard line so that the previous cards can be seen.

Play continues clockwise until a player runs out of cards.  Whoever has the most "hands" wins!

Our experience:

I played Fractazmic with my 13, 10 and 8 year olds.  It was too challenging for my 8 year old, so, she played on "Mom's team".  My 10 and 13 year old both had problems remembering the equivalents within a suit, so, I made a cheat sheet to help them along.  It didn't take long until my 13 year old got the hang of it, but, my 10 year old sometimes needed to refer to the sheet for help.

I'd like to say that they loved this game....but, they thought it was 'ok'.  I can say that it did help their understanding of equivalent fractions.

Check out other card games (such as Pyramath) from I See Cards at iseecards.com

Here's what other crew members are saying.

Disclaimer:  I received a pack of cards in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, December 8, 2011

TOS Crew Siege Machines from Pitsco Review!

Pitsco Siege Machines

Pitsco Siege Machines
Pitsco Siege Machines

Trebuchet & Catapult Pack. Includes a Trebuchet & Catapult Kit and Siege Machines book for $21.95.   Great for ages 10+

What kid doesn't enjoy hurling projectiles through the air?  Why not combine it with actual siege machines and get your history/math/science in one fell-swoop?

That's where Pitsco Education's Siege Machines come in!

Pitsco Siege Machines catapult
Catapult
Pitsco Siege Machines trebuchet
Trebuchet

In assembling these kits, my 13 year old put together the Catapult by himself without any problems.

The Trebuchet was a different story.  My 10 year old started with it, then my 13 year old took over and finally Daddy had to step in.

However, once assembled, the fun really began!

The Siege Machines Book is designed to help teachers and students use the Pitsco Catapult and the Trebuchet Kits to teach or learn history, construction skills, math, science and even teamwork.  Teachers can use this book to develop activities and lesson plans for the classroom, but it can also be used by a student or student team working independently.

Whether directing an entire classroom or helping a single student complete a science fair project, Siege Machines covers a range of math and science topics.  But this book definitely launches loads of fun for students of all ages and their teachers.

Siege Machines Book is divided into two primary sections:  The Catapult and The Trebuchet.  At the end of the book is a listing of national standards addressed by the book's activities.

In the Catapult section, topics include Tension and Torsion and has the following experiments: Mass vs. Distance, Converting English to Metric, Calculating and Plotting Averages and Elasticity (Hooke's law).


video



The Treubuchet section covers Gravity & Leavers and Force & Motion.  The experiments include Predictions and Swinging Weights vs. Wheels.

My boys' had so much fun with these kits.  My husband and I thought the price, quality and educational value of these kits are exceptional.  We wholeheartedly recommend Pitsco Educational products! 


Check out other education packs, including robotics, alternative energy, engineering and more at 
Pitsco.com.

Here's what other crew members are saying.

Disclaimer:  I received this kit free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Blessings Come FROM Indiana !!!!

God's timing is perfect and He knew I could use some encouragement.

Yesterday I received a wonderful blessing from my Tapestry of Grace Secret Sister, Bonnie!  

Inside the box was a cute and wonderfully hand-made bear ornament!  Reminding me of the hours spent holding each of my sweet baby's and reading to them.



Cute Homemade / Handmade Christmas Ornament
Cute Homemade / Handmade Christmas Ornament!


....AND a Silly Tilly, a book illustrated by her husband!  How excellent is that?!


Silly Tilly!
Silly Tilly!


...AND some FABULOUS fudge....which I didn't get a picture of because it was devoured in no time flat!!!!

More Homemade / Handmade Ornaments
More Homemade / Handmade Ornaments


THANK YOU BONNIE for your hand made gifts, book and prayers!  Your ornament sits in a special part of the tree dedicated to my TOG Secret Sisters.  I am blessed for the third time in a row to have a secret sister who is very talented, crafty and artistic!  





Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hydraulic Arm from TeacherGeek Review!

Hydraulic Arm
Hydraulic Arm

Hydraulic Arm



What is TeacherGeek?  

"As a technology teacher, I found that we were constantly customizing project components for students, modifying existing products on the market to suit the particular needs of our lessons. The pieces never fit quite right, and having students try to reshape the parts was dangerous and took away from the overall focus of the lab. One day I decided there must be a better way, and TeacherGeek was born.

I began designing and manufacturing my own custom components to give students the best educational experience possible. What I had initially created as a solution to our own particular needs skyrocketed as more and more educators heard about my creations and wanted to order them for their own students. TeacherGeek continues to be a family-owned, customer-centered business with a staff of dedicated professionals. We love hearing about your experiences with our products. Thank you for being a part of our TeacherGeek family!"

 "We sell innovative products that teach students about engineering, math, science and technology while being just plain fun. Browse through our catalog and challenge your inner inventor, or check out some videos to see what our gizmos can do! We offer packaged activities as well as separate components—the possibilities are endless! Awesome teacher-created labs and guides are included for free with each of our activities."

Advanced Hydraulic Arm - Want to Learn about hydraulics/fluid mechanics and have fun too? Build the New TeacherGeek Advanced hydraulic arm. Our redesigned arm offers great reach and flexibility too, this true STEM activity teaches so much and it’s a great induction for students who have interest in robotics programs.

Our remotely operated hydraulic arm allow student to do so much more. The arm rotates at the base and at two pivot points and the gripper slides opens and closes allowing for better, tighter control and the ability to pick up smaller objects. The advanced arm has even more cylinders and components, offering increased functionality and endless possibilities! Run exciting competitions to see who can stack higher or faster.

We offer self-directed detailed arm instructions guilds designed to make learning quick, enjoyable and intuitive. Use our new quick start guild to learn about the TeacherGeek system. Now you are ready to design and construct your own!


Many teachers like to have their students build the stock hydraulic arm and then try and make engineer changes to it. This method introduces students to the basic concepts and methods before they are asked to engineer beyond them.  With the TeacherGeek system students learn how engineer and innovate as they build, fostering the design cycle and pure innovation. Add other TeacherGeek parts and found material make your own innovative design- The possibilities are endless.

$16.18 for a single set.  

Our experience:

Definitely NOT a toy, The Advanced Hydraulic Arm was a great teaching tool and introduction in fluid mechanics for my 10 and 13 year olds.  After my husband assembled the Arm (with the boys helping where they could), the fun began!
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From Bugs, Wind Turbines, Bridges and much more, check out all the wonderful AND affordable contraptions to enhance your homeschool from TeacherGeek.com



Disclaimer:  I received this kit free of charge in exchange for an honest review.