Sunya- The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying and Dividing Review

 

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}
 

Math facts are something that a lot of kids, mine included, struggle with. Learning my math facts never came easy to me and it seems that my kids inherited the same struggles. We do all sorts of things to make learning our facts fun and one of the things we’ve recently been doing is playing a new game from Sunya Publishing called The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying and Dividing. These products aren’t *quite* ready for purchasing yet, but they will soon be, and you can keep an eye on the website for details if this is something that you think you’d be interested in using with your kids.

As I mentioned, Sunya is a pretty new company and so when we agreed to review this set we got kind of a sneak peek which was very cool. I don’t get to try things out before they are available to everyone very often, so this was something I very much looked forward to. This set includes:

  • Instrustional Game Booklet/Instructions
  • Multiplying & Dividing Playing cards (60 cards)
  • Multiplying & Dividing Number Line Tool
  • Math & Science Fact Cards (30)

 

This game is geared for ages 9 and up, but if your child has their multiplication & division facts memorized and are younger than 9, could easily play as well. Needless to say, my younger kids did NOT play this game with us, although they did enjoy watching. Maybe they soaked up some math facts just by watching…..I can hope!

 

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}
 

The black and white, spiral bound instruction booklet leads you through the rules and ways to play. I would probably take this apart and have it laminated if this was a game my children wanted to play over and over because the booklet is paper and will tear/wear if handled often. There are a few full color pages inside, but it is a mostly black and white instruction, which is fine. Nothing is lost because of it.

This was the one place I did find this game to be awkward. The instructional manual is 25 pages long and very detailed, almost too much detail. I needed to read through these instructions many times over before we could begin playing. There are several visual examples of game play, etc, but the instructions could use to be simplified and condensed for ease of use. There is no possible way that my kids could have figured out how to play without an adult. It was just too complicated and wordy to easily grasp the way the game is played. After I practiced playing on my own and read through the instructions several times, we were able to begin our play.

We chose to play the multiplication game since we have a couple of kids learning those facts right now. To play, one player is the dealer and as the dealer, they place a number sentence on the table (ex. 4 x 6 = 24). Each player is then dealt 4 cards and play begins. Each player must use the cards in their hand to make a new number sentence. If they cannot do that, they need to draw cards from the deck until they have a card that they can use to make a new number sentence.

The first player to play all of their cards and say SUNYA! (which is the Sanskrit word for empty) is the winner and as such, they get to draw a card from the fact card pile. They get to ask the other players the question and see if they can answer.

The game has additional instructions for making it more challenging and for more advanced players. We decided to just play the simplest form because we aren’t ready for the more advanced options, but it is nice to know that we have those options when we are ready for them.

My final thoughts:

After we fully understood the game and started playing, my older girls really enjoyed this game and found it to be a lot of fun. They didn’t think it was too difficult and found it to be enjoyable. I thought that they were doing a really great job of using these math facts and several times they made a number sentence that I didn’t think they would see in their hands. I was surprised and delighted by that!

 

 

 

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}
Crew Disclaimer

Introductory Science From Science Shepherd Review

We love science in all forms around here, but it tends to be one of the subjects that gets the least amount of traditional curriculum in our house. We usually do a loose combination of child led and interest based science, so I was looking forward to something that was a little more traditional and that wouldn’t require much out of me. It is getting close to the end of the school year after all….I’m starting to get tired. Let me tell you a little more about the Introductory Science level B program from Science Shepherd. I think you’ll love it, too.

Science Shepherd Review
.

Science Shepherd is a video based program with an additional workbook that you use along with the videos. Because my kids are fans of workbooks, this type of set-up is always a plus for our style of learning. You have a the choice of level A workbooks for children 6-8 years old and level B workbooks for children 9-11 years old. This makes it so nice if you are teaching at different age groups like we are, you would just need to purchase additional workbooks at the appropriate level. I like using one curriculum for all of the kids at once. It makes things so simple on the teacher :)

The videos are the main component of the curriculum and they are amazing. We loved them and they are seriously the highlight of our day. The videos are fairly short, just a few minutes each. The set for the video teaching is cute, too, it looks like the nightly news! My girls thought that was a lot of fun and they enjoyed Dr. Scott Hardin as well. He’s the man who developed the lessons and he also teaches them. He’s really great and though the lessons were short, they are packed with information from a Godly viewpoint that I very much appreciated. While Dr. Hardin is talking about the lesson, pictures and other imagrey are shown on the screens behind him to enhance the lesson. We found the images to be beautiful!

I was completely in love with the Christian, creationism viewpoint of this program, so if a secular or evolutionary view are what you are looking for, this isn’t going to be for you. The study starts out with the 6 days of creation and goes on to cover flying creatures, humans, astronomy, geology, plants, oceanography and so much more. It’s very well laid out into a 35 week course and is easily digestible in the small bits per day. I find that my kids learn so much more when they are given small bits of information over a longer period of time so, again, this worked out very well for us.

The workbook is the only other component to this program and we found that we liked it very much as well. It was straight to the lesson without any additional information or extras added to it. There are some questions to review what you had just learned, a puzzle or some other additional learning item and that was it for the day. There were a few extra activities like science projects with common items or research into a topic, but nothing too over the top or complicated and always on topic for the lesson. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated not needing to run to the store or skip a lesson because something was needed that we just don’t have. We live quite a long ways from a large town, so those types of surprises are always unwelcome. Thankfully, there were none of those with this program. Yay!

I am beyond happy with our experience and we will continue to love and enjoy Science Shepherd as our go-to science program. I’m so glad I was able to review this because I would have had no idea it even existed if I hadn’t!

 

 

Science Shepherd Review
Crew Disclaimer

Memoria Press Book Of Astronomy Review

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review
 

Since we spend some much time out and about in nature, especially during the late spring and summer months, I jumped at the chance to review the Book of Astronomy from Memoria Press. Memoria Press is one of my favorite vendors anyway, so it was really an exciting opportunity for us to get to do this review. Plus, astronomy is just so much FUN!

For this review, I received both a student book and a teachers guide. This is for grades 3+, so I purchased a second student book for my oldest and had both girls do those lessons while the twins listened in and absorbed that way. They wouldn’t get much out of it at this point, but they were interested in listening to the lessons, so I had one of the older girls read them out loud.

The study is broken up into 4 different units.Each unit has lessons and then a review at the end, which I really liked. It seemed to flow quite well and made it simple for the older girls to retain what they had just learned. In this study you will learn the constellations, the names of stars, it tells you when you can view specific constellations and stars in the sky (what seasons or months they appear), the zodiac, and information on the solar system. Students learn the name of the stars through memorization, so now my kids like to tell everyone what stars they are looking at. It’s pretty cool.

 

 

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review
 

You can expect that memorization to start right off the bat, because for the first  weeks you learn about and memorize the 15 brightest stars. The lessons break it down into 5 stars per week for the first 3 weeks. We love memorization, so it was a lot of fun for us but i you don’t do a lot of that in your school you may find it more challenging.

We found this to be a fun and seamless to incorporate into our current curriculum. Because the astronomy study mentions many Greek myths during the course of the study, my girls are now interested in learning more about that as well, so I went ahead and ordered the Memoria Press Ancient Greek mythology course as well. While the older girls will do this study after completing astronomy this time, I will be using these together with my younger girls in a couple of years because I think they compliment each other so well. We will also be cycling back through ancient history in our curriculum, so it will fit perfectly and I cannot wait to jump back into this!

I didn’t feel like this was a stressful or hard to use study. We were able to just open the books and get going the same day without ANY pre-prep from me. I really loved that for this tie of year when our courses are slowing down and we are wrapping up for the year. I appreciated the way the study was set up and my 3rd and 5th graders have absolutely LOVED doing it. They look forward to this study every day, which I love. It’s been very fun and I would absolutely use this again and again.

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review
Crew Disclaimer

Heroes of History Laura Ingalls Wilder Review

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review} 
 

We’ve been enjoying a Digital Unit Study for the book Heroes Of History- Laura Ingalls Wilder from YWAM Publishing these last few weeks. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I find much to write about inspired by Laura’s life in the books. I’ve always been a huge fan of her books and regularly read them each year. I find that I learn something new each and every time I read through them again!

This is a pretty hefty unit study and I was SO EXCITED to get it started! My oldest was pretty excited as well, because she had just finished reading The Last Four Years and so this came at exactly the right time. We were also studying the westward expansion, so adding the real life stories to those we had already studied was a perfect fit.

This study includes:

  • The physical book
  • A digital download of the unit study
  • Access to the audiobook, too

I was thinking that these guides would be pretty expensive because there was just so much heft to them, but when I checked? $7.50. That made me VERY excited because I can order guides at that price anytime one of them would fit into our curriculum! Plus, these are nice books to have on the shelf for just reading through. Since we love history and anything historical, I can see us trying to pick up as many of these as we can.

The unit study is broke up into 2 sections- section 1 is the body of the study that includes essay questions, hands on activities, arts and crafts, social studies, and visual project ideas. Section 2 has the printable pages like maps for mapping, a timeline and the fun printable fact sheet that we really enjoyed.

There is also a section of quotes by Laura that you can use for copywork. My daughter like one of the quotes so much that she sketched it out on a piece of linen to embroider for her handiwork lessons. That was a very cool way to incorporate the study into our lives and I was so excited when she asked if there was a way to do it.

 

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}
 

We loved this unit study and as I mentioned before, we plan on purchasing more studies in the future. Heroes in History is a 26 book series of biographies that showcase men and women who helped to shape the course of history. These are wholesome books with people who have similar values as we do, so I can feel good reading about history AND my kids are learning about values that matter as well.

Kids will learn what is was like to live and exist in a time much different from their own, in one of the most exciting times in American History. This is a very rich and in depth unit study that could be used as a stand alone with just math added in to make it a complete curriculum It was very interesting for my girls (they all ended up listening to the audio book) and even though we had read through and talked about the Little House on the Prairie books, we found a LOT of new information to learn in this study.

These were great and if you’d like to see what other books are available to purchase and see what other reviewers had to say, you can click the link below to be taken to see those reviews.

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}
Crew Disclaimer

Apologia Writers In Residence Review


Writing is such an important skill to learn, and something that I love to do. Our oldest tends to get easily overwhelmed by the writing process. In the past we’ve given her assignments to complete and she’s almost immediately gets frustrated and her attitude makes it hard to complete her assignments. I was excited to explore the Apologia Educational Ministries page for Writers In Residence and see how it was laid out.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review 
First impressions

When I opened the workbook for the first time, I was impressed immediately. The workbook is large and the paper is excellent quality. The spiral binding is heavy duty so it can keep up with being opened by kids over and over and over again.

The first few pages are for parents, to give you an idea of the scope and sequence, how the work will be assessed and what you can expect from the program.

The part that excited me the most was HOW the lessons are laid out. In the first lesson, the student begins by brainstorming a time or place from their childhood. That’s it. One simple step to get the ball rolling and to make the creative process a little easier for the ones out there that have a harder time being creative in this way (like my oldest).

Next, you work through remembering favorite people or persons, favorite things you did with them, and details about that person. Then, you take it further by writing memory sentences. All of this takes the writing process and breaks it down into small, bite size pieces to work through quickly.

My challenging writer LOVED this curriculum. She loved how it was laid out, she loved thinking about and working through one simple piece at a time. For her, writing from an assignment feels overwhelming because she doesn’t have a huge imagination for writing. She’s creative and crafty with other things, but writing seems like such a HUGE thing and it’s too much at once. Now, she is learning to break it down into easy steps for every project she tackles.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
This is an all in one language arts program and once your student has worked through it, they have a writing portfolio for a keepsake. The program is bible based and has interviews sprinkled throughout with from Christian writers telling how the got their start or become a writer. Those we very interesting and something my girl liked to read through.

This program is ready to use out of the box with essentially no teacher set up. I did read through the text to know what to expect, but that was about all I had to do. I liked this because my older girl is ready for more independent learning and while i am ALWAYS available to help or ask questions, I do have 3 other kids who are studying as well, so items that allow any of them to work independently is great for me.

I’m very pleased with this program for the time we have spent with it. I think it’s reasonably priced and it is a fun way to teach writing and language arts concepts in any setting. I wish I would have know about it last year, because we could have put it to such good use :)

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Crew Disclaimer