Thursday, May 28, 2020

Learning About Computer Science and Coding with Workman Publishing {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.



Tabitha had become interested in coding a while back when she had found a book at the library. She has since returned that book, but was quite interested when the opportunity arose for her to review Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook written by Grant Smith and published by Workman Publishing. I figured this was an important interest to encourage, seeing as computers are so important in everyday life. 


This 566-page, 8"x 6" softcover "Big Fat Notebook" is the newest of a series. There are also "Big Fat Notebook" study guides for Math, Science, American History, World History, and English Language Arts.  I love that these are put out by the makers of Brain Quest. Tabitha used to love her Brain Quest workbook when she was a preschooler, and so did I. So, I was quite intrigued to learn they had these books for middle schoolers (recommended ages 11-14). I am definitely contemplating adding the other books to our homeschool library.



This Computer Science and Coding study guide is recommended for those who may be having trouble with their computer science class, or with a coding project. Perhaps you already had a class and would like to refresh your memory, this would work as well. Tabitha has been using it to teach herself the basics, and I figured it would be a great way for me to learn, because well, computers and technology never really have been "my thing," and I would like to change that.

There are eight units in this "Big Fat Notebook," which are then broken down further into chapters (between 2-9 chapters for each unit, for a total of 39). Here are the subjects you and your students will learn about in this book. 
  • Unit 1: Computing Systems
  • Unit 2: Data and Analysis
  • Unit 3: Software Engineering
  • Unit 4: Algorithms and Programming
  • Unit 5: Universal Programming Principles
  • Unit 6: Programming with Scratch
  • Unit 7: Programming in Python
  • Unit 8:Web Development
I appreciate that the book starts with the basics, allowing the student to learn what computer science is and what computers really are, along with their background. I mean, yes, children these days use computers or tablets, or phones, all the time from a very young age, but I think there is definitely a benefit to understanding the basics. I love that it looks at what is and is not computer science. Sorry, no, playing a video game is NOT computer science. Programming your own IS. 

I really love the fact that the book looks like a notebook, complete with highlighting and doodles. As the student works through the book it helps to know the way it has been organized. 

Vocabulary words are highlighted in yellow and definitions are in boxes:


Important people, places, dates, and terms are written in blue:


There are doodles, graphics, and charts to show big ideas.


I really do love that humor is added with these graphics.


And the charts really help the visual learners.


And main ideas are underlined. 


Each chapter concludes with a "Check Your Knowledge" section.


The answers are then shared on the following pages.


Tabitha has been working though this book, doing about a chapter a week. She reads and then rereads if she needs to make sure she is comprehending. She takes notes in a notebook, and answer the questions there as well. Even though there is some room to answer questions in the book, I have found there isn't really enough to write out the answers all the time. So, we are using the book more as a study guide and textbook, keeping it fresh for younger siblings.




Though you do not have to work though the book in order, in fact it is color coded to be able to easily go to the unit you are interested in learning about, Tabitha prefers to work in order, as do I. Personally, I can't wait until she gets to the chapters on programming with Scratch and Python. It looks very interesting.

From what I have been able to tell, not being very knowledgeable myself in computer science, this book is a wonderful foundation for the age range it is meant for, along with beginners of any age (i.e. me as an adult with no clue). The information is laid out in an inviting fashion and makes learning fun. I definitely recommend this as an addition to your homeschool library. And I definitely want to look into the other books in this series.

You can find Workman Publishing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook.

Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook {Workman Publishing Reviews}

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #308: May 28, 2020

Welcome back to... 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around May 28th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)


Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above.  The spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past. Please follow the guidelines. I would hate to have to delete your link.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday post:

Gale from Exploring Biblical Places and Times shared



To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.



Happy Throwback Thursday!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Monday, May 25, 2020

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- May 26, 2020


Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

Featured Giveaways



Featured Reviews





If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife .

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #307: May 21, 2020

Welcome back to... 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around May 21st, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)


Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above.  The spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past. Please follow the guidelines. I would hate to have to delete your link.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday post:

Kristen from A Mom's Quest to Teach shared


To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.



Happy Throwback Thursday!


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Littles Learning Link Up: May 19th, 2020


   
Each month you will find:
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my elementary-age children and the preschoolers I work with at our homeschool co-op (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
  • The occasional round up post.
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

Here's a peek at what we have been up to in our homeschool.

Hmm, an update on our homeschool. Last week was a no-school week (as we school 5-6 weeks on, 1 week off). However, the children were still using Beyond the Stick Figure for art because that review was due last week. In fact, here's a look at some of the art created last week.



You can read my review here.

Plus they have been using EdShed for math and spelling practice. Harold has also been using Reading Kingdom daily. Tabitha has been learning about computer science and coding with a book from Workman Publishing. She has been working through the book independently and seems to be enjoying her time in the book. Next week I will be sharing my reviews of Reading Kingdom and Workman Publishing. And then in June there will be reviews EdShed (MathShed and SpellingShed) plus Page a Day Math. 

We are also going to start in with some history again, though we are doing some review using The Mayflower at Cape Cod (another new review product) plus Time Travelers: The American Revolution (not a review product, just a product I want to try from Homeschool in the Woods). 

I plan to get back to our My Father's World studies during the next school year. 

Unfortunately I have no more co-op lessons to post about. Hopefully co-op will start back up in the fall.

Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 3 wonderful posts linked up. I'll feature a randomly selected post and the most clicked on post.

Please, don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's randomly selected post is:


Gale from Imaginative Homeschool shared Learning Games for Elementary.

This week's most clicked on post is:



Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Littles Learning Link Up permalink please.



I am sharing over at

Homeschool Coffee Break

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Monday, May 18, 2020

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- May 19, 2020


Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

Featured Giveaways



Featured Reviews





If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife .


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, May 15, 2020

Math Practice with Math Essentials {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.




Tabitha has taken a break from her normal math curriculum to use Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School from Math Essentials. This is the same company that publishes Math Refresher for Adults, which I reviewed a couple of years ago, and some of my fellow Crew Mates have been currently reviewing. I had enjoyed the book I was using, and figured Tabitha could see what she thought about the book that was designed for her age group.


We received the 158-page, softcover book, plus we also have access to free online video lessons. The book is divided into eight topic sections, plus there is a final review section in the back, followed by the answer key. The book concludes with a Resource Center that contains a glossary, important symbols, and charts. 
   

Here is a list of the chapter topics the book is divided into:
  • Whole Numbers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percent
  • Geometry
  • Integers
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Word Problems
There is a section at the beginning of the book that explains the 8-step process in using the book. I took this to be more for classroom use, and have actually been allowing Tabitha to use the book independently. 

Each page has the same format. The top of the page has Speed Drills and Review Exercises. 


The idea of the speed drills is that I choose a number to put in the center of the circles and Tabitha gets to work on her math facts for both addition and multiplication.


I'll time her to see how fast she can get it done.


Next she will work on the review exercises if she feels she needs the practice. 

The middle of the page gives helpful hints for that page's lesson. Most of the time it will also show a couple of examples. There are then 12 problems to work out, 2 of which are labeled "S" for sample, or so we assume. And then at the bottom of the page there is a Problem Solving word problem.


Each lesson has a corresponding video lesson on the Math Essentials website.


The lessons are taught by the author of the book, Richard W. Fisher, winner of the "Intel Innovations in Teaching Award."  He will teach the lesson off-screen while the lesson appears on the "board."



Tabitha decided she wanted to start at the beginning of the book because she likes to work through things in order. I agreed with this decision because I wanted to make sure she was confident with all these essential skills that build upon each other. So she has been working through the Whole Numbers and Fractions sections of the book, most days working on one page, other times doing two or even on occasion three. The hints help her to make sure she is on track. 

She's worked through Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division of whole numbers, plus such topics as Identifying Fractions, Expressing them in their simplest form, adding and subtracting them. 


  Tabitha has enjoyed working through this book and I am glad she is able to ensure she knows all these essential math skills. What sort of surprised me though, was when I learned that the lessons are the exact same lessons, down to each and every problem, as the corresponding lessons in the Math Refreshers for Adults book. I honestly thought the lessons were going to be at a different level as the one was supposed to be for adults. So, technically, she has been reviewing the same material I reviewed two years ago. Granted, the Mastering Essential Math Skill Book 2 book is half the size as it doesn't include the pre-algebra and algebra that is in the second half of the Adult Refresher book. And she does have Speed Drills where the adult book does not. 

I'm not saying that makes it a bad book in any way. I'm just confused as to how one book is marketed for adults and the other for middle grades/high school. Plus, I would think a high school book should still have the pre-algebra and algebra section. I'm finding it difficult to determine what grades the book would be appropriate for. 

You can find Math Essentials on Facebook.

Don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates have to say about the Math Essentials book they reviewed. We had our choice of this Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School, Math Refresher for Adults, and No-Nonsense Algebra.



No-Nonsense Algebra, Math Refresher for Adults &  Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School {Math Essentials Reviews}
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