Cool Science Experiments ~ How to Build a Pop Rocket

We are all about cool science experiments so imagine how excited we are to have the opportunity to try one of the great experiments from Supercharged Science? {sponsored post} We learned how to make a Pop Rocket and I’m going to show you how it works, so you can make one, too.  But there’s more.  Supercharged Science is giving away  3-month enrollments to their e-Science program to two lucky Creekside Learning readers. Keep reading to find out more.

science experiments for kids

How to Make a Pop Rocket

 You will need:
-an M & M container or a Fuji film canister.
-water
-Alka-Seltzer tablets
-optional:  seltzer water or soda  [Read more…]

How We Use the Brave Writer Program + Win a Brave Writer Poetry Guide

April is National Poetry Month and our favorite folks over at Brave Writer are sponsoring a giveaway of Poetry Guides to three lucky Creekside Learning readers. But first, let me tell you about how our family uses the Brave Writer program.

How We Use the Brave Writer Program

The Brave Writer program was designed by Julie Bogart, a homeschooling mom of five, to help parents be a coach to their children’s writing voice. Our family has been using Brave Writer for two years and it has worked really well for us.  I love that this program grows with your kids. We started out in the Jot It Down phase, where my kids would dictate their writing, in their voice, to me. This year, my oldest is delving in to the Partnership Writing phase. In the fall, he hopes to try out his first on-line class (Brave Writer offers many).  

Most significant of all has been the difference I’ve seen in my kids when I ask them to write.  The Writer’s Jungle, which is the cornerstone of all the Brave Writer programs, has helped us leap to the Brave Writer lifestyle.

We went from [Read more…]

Homeschool Curriculum : What We Love This Year!

If you start your homeschool year around September–good news! You’re in the home stretch in February. It’s a great time to take stock of your homeschool curriculum. What did you start with?  What’s really working, sparking learning and going well? What are you just slogging away at, trying to make it through? 

Homeschool Curriculum  What We Love This Year

Here’s what’s working for us so far this school year.  [Read more…]

It’s Brave Writer Giveaway Time!

Brave Writer is our beloved language arts program. It’s not only a piece of curricula, it’s a total change in thinking about how your kids are learning, and not just about writing.

brave writer

{This is a sponsored post.}

I was so excited when Julie Bogart, the creator of Brave Writer, offered to do her biggest giveaway yet on Creekside Learning. There are going to be 5 winners of free Brave Writer products. So exciting! [Read more…]

Review: More Starfall

    My kids have long been fans of  Starfall, a free website for preschoolers and early elementary aged kids that teaches reading and language skills. Starfall also has additional content on their More Starfall component, which consists of more games and activities and expands on the skills taught on their orginal site.

The More Starfall program costs $35 for a one year subscription. So what do you get that is different than the original, free Starfall?  That’s what we’ve been exploring.

Firstly, you get math. That’s something not on the original Starfall. More Starfall covers a wide range of math concepts from identifying numbers to basic geometry concepts, measurement, addition and subtraction as well as multiplication and a couple of division activities.  While there is a wide range of skills covered, some of the topics have a lot of content and others have only a couple of activities. For example, the division component only has two activities.

The math skills begin with  number identification and rote counting, forwards and backwards. They work their way up from there to activities for times tables up to the number 9 , well suited to the level of math my 8 year old is doing.

The math games are cute and catchy. There are dancing potatoes that add numbers, bee-bopping chickadees that demonstrate subtraction, a bubble popping game that counts backwards from 100 to 0.

In addition to the math activities, my preschooler really enjoyed the songs and rhymes feature and you can set the songs to play on a continuous loop, so we’ve done that while we’re working a puzzle or playing something else nearby.

There are more phonics and reading options on More Starfall. You can see some of the stories available in the photo below. If your child is receptive to learning to read the phonics and stories on the original Starfall, then this would provide more options. This seems to be one of the meatier parts of the program, with lots of options and a variety of stories.

 Some things are the same on both the original Starfall and More Starfall: the calendar features and the ABC chart, for example. Those are both features my kids have used and loved on the original version. It would be nice to see all new things on More Starfall and perhaps, as the site is developed, they will add more new content.

The range of activities seems rather wide. There are things like color identification, which seemed more suited for toddlers. But the math and phonics components are really the bulk of this program and make it well worth exploring.  The price is great. I haven’t found anything out there that is even close to providing content like this for only $35 a year.

My review in a nutshell…
If you have a child about ages 3 to 8, who enjoys learning on the computer with colorful graphics, has benefitted from the original version of Starfall, then More Starfall would be a good option. If you have found, like I have, that math options via affordable computer/web-based programs are limited, then More Starfall is worth checking out. The math, in my opinion, is the biggest strength of the program, simply because there aren’t other programs that have this in that price range. The phonics and reading content of More Starfall is valuable as well.  There are other programs that do that, but they are stand-alone programs for that subject only.

I received the More Starfall program for free for one month for the purpose of trying and reviewing it.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own. For more information about my disclosure policy, click here.

To read more curriculum reviews, visit my Reviews Page and my Reviews Pinterest Board.