Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Improving Math Skills with Math-Whizz {A TOS Review}

For the past several weeks the children have been practicing their math skills with Math-Whizz from Whizz Education

Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew we were given a full year's subscription for two children to try out this adaptable math tutorial program. We were thrilled when the company allowed us to add the other two children into the account as well. It was so very generous of them.  

This program is personalized to each student, and adapts as the children progress. When we first started with Math-Whizz, I had to fill in simple profile information for each child. I appreciate the emails I received as the parent, which gave tips on getting the most out of the program. As a parent, I have a parent dashboard, and each of the children have their own login information to get to their account. There are videos I can watch to help me understand the program and make sure the children are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Before getting into the lessons, each child had to take an assessment test to see what their math age was. When they first log into the program, they will see the following screen. They can't do anything else in the program until they take the test.

Prior to the assessment there is an informational video where "The Whizz Professor" explains the process. During the assessment they were given opportunities to practice the skill being tested through animated lessons, though they could choose to skip the practice once they understood the concept. A couple of the children took quite a while getting through the assessment, which I think was because they thought they had to do all the practice questions, though it does state they can skip them. This assessment tests the children on multiple topics, allowing them to exit the program for a break if needed. As the assessment can take between 20-45 minutes, this is quite helpful. After the assessment an email is sent to the parent which states the child's math age along with a topic they are doing well in and one they may need help in.

They can now start the program. They will now see the following screen when they log in.

The Console is where the children can find all their important information.

They will find such things as Buddy Requests, Challenges, their weekly stats, how many credits they have, any messages they may have received (for example, parents are able to send encouraging messages to the children, including animated stickers), and their buddy information. From here they can also get to their tutor, where they have their lessons. At the bottom of the screen there are several more buttons for them to choose from.

"Replay" allows the child to redo any of the lessons to try to improve their score.
"Topic Bank" has exercises to practice in various topics.
"Notice Board" gives the student different notices about the website, such as when new objects are available at the Whizz Shop.
"My Study" is the room where they can store their objects they buy from the shop, they can also decorate and they can also get to other parts of the site. In fact, this part of the site is where they go directly to from their home screen. 

The Study gives the child some of the same information as the console, but they also have access to such helps as a math dictionary and a tools section. They can also go to other "rooms" to play games, take care of pets, or go shopping. While using the program the children earn credits by finishing exercises and tests, and bonus credits are given for each 15 minutes they spend on the program. These credits can then be used in the shop or to play the games. 

When the child goes to their tutor, they have to do the lesson that is assigned to them. 

They will do the exercise and then take a test. They have to complete these to make "progressions" in the program. Of course, they can always work on past topics by going to "Replay." The program does want children to be progressing, however, so I make sure my children go to their tutor every day they get on the program, which is at least four times a week. They are to do at least one lesson and take the corresponding test. The length of time it takes to finish the lesson depends on how fast the child can work through it. The children can get through at least one, sometimes two, during their 15-20 minutes of their math computer time. The goal is to reach 90 minutes of math a week.

Here is a look at one of Amelia's lessons:

The student is given information that is needed for the topic.

Then the student answers some questions.

The child is given immediate feedback.

When all the questions are answered they get to see their progression screen where they are awarded their credits and get to see their avatar move along the screen.

Then the child takes the test.

They are again given immediate feedback for each question, and if they were incorrect, they are shown the correct answer.

After making sure they get some lesson time in, they are allowed to use the other features of the site.

The children really seem to enjoy the animated lessons; however, as this is a supplemental program, they don't really get all the information they need all the time. So, there are times they aren't sure what the program is expecting of them if they haven't learned that topic yet. For instance, Amelia was supposed to be turning fractions to decimals the other day, and she didn't understand how to do this. She found some information about it in the dictionary; showing a few different fractions and their equivalent decimals; however, it didn't teach her how to perform this operation.

As a parent, I do appreciate all the reports that I am able to access through the parent dashboard. 

I can get information for each individual child. I can see their math age, usage, and performance for different time frames. From the history I can see what they do on each day plus their scores. The "Progression" will show me which topics they progressed in. And a "Text Report" gives me text information about their progress. I can also send them messages from here. 

We have been quite happy with this program so far.

(Tabitha working  on parallel and perpendicular lines)

(Hannah was working on mental strategies for addition)

(Amelia was working on converting fractions to decimals)

(Harold was working on Place Value and Ordinal Numbers)

Tabitha is learning new skills that we haven't worked on yet and has reviewed some topics, helping to advance her math age, though it is already a year advanced. She says she loves it and enjoys the animations. She feels it is easier to understand with the animations. Hannah loves getting on Math-Whizz multiple times a day. Thankfully, as this is an online program, she is able to get on while at the Child Watch at the Y while I exercise. She especially enjoys playing with the tools section. Amelia has found the dictionary quite helpful when it comes to understanding concepts that are new to her. She also likes Tools, where she has been having fun playing with angles and working with money. And Harold is having fun learning math.

I will mention that the program does use "new" math, though so far, this hasn't caused any issues. And I really don't have problems with looking at math problems in different ways, as long as I can teach them other strategies as well. Thankfully, because we are homeschooling, I can keep track of what they are learning, and how they are learning it. 

You can find Math-Whizz on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
You can find Whizz Education on Facebook, YouTube, and Google+

Don't forget to click the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates thought of the program.

Math-Whizz {Whizz Education Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: October 31, 2018 (w/linky) - Venture Club Harvest Party

Our church has Venture Club that the children really enjoy going to. Each fall they have a harvest festival where the children dress up as Bible characters and have to come up with three clues for their friends to guess who they are. Then they do a craft, play games, and have snack. The church has been doing this for years. I still remember when my older children used to go.

The children usually come up with their own costumes, as I'm not really good at it. Amelia and Harold worked together this year, but Tabitha and Hannah came up with their own ideas.

Costume time

Amelia and Harold

1- How long can you tread water?
there were two more, but I can't remember them right now.



1- My husband's name starts with E, and rhymes with my name.
2- I prayed for something for a long time.
3- God finally gave me what I wanted after I promised to give it to Him.



1- I saved the Jews.
2- I became queen.

Craft time

Game time:

They are given around 10 or 15 tickets which they can use for the different games. 

There is Barracuda Bay which is quite popular. They fish over the curtain and are awarded surprise prizes. 

A ticket will get a child five pennies to toss at these tables. They get to keep whatever their pennies touch.

There was a nerf gun shooting game.

Did I mention Barracuda Bay was popular?

And a duck pond where each duck had a number which represented how many pieces of candy they got to choose out of the bowl.

And Bobbing for Bananas (with bare feet)

There was also Pin the Stem on the Pumpkin, which I don't have a shot of without other Venture Club children in.

Then they went upstairs to hear a story about a pumpkin.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

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 on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.

Littles Learning Link Up: October 30, 2018: Paper Bag Owl Craft

 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (usually toward the beginning of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my early elementary children (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
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.

What have we been up to?

We have been keeping busy, trying to stay on track with our My Father's World Rome to the Reformation curriculum. We are keeping up with most of our history and Bible reading, though we are a bit behind in a couple of books. As usual, we have fallen a bit behind in science, art, and music. Granted, we have had the opportunity to do some added art using a Master Kitz project from Kidzaw (one of our current review products). The children each made their own Starry Sky paintings. Here are some sneak peaks; however, I am keeping the finished product pictures for the review which will post next week. 

Let's move on to today's craft. 

I was trying to think of something different to do, something that was still a fallish theme, but not pumpkins again. I had this picture book out about fall, and there was a owl sitting in a tree in front of a huge harvest moon. And what did I happen to see in our living room? A paper bag owl Tabitha had made when she was working with Hannah a while back. So, today's craft is all thanks to Tabitha. 

Paper Bag Owl Craft

Here is what you will need:

Brown paper lunch bags
Construction paper: Yellow, black, orange, brown, and other various colors for accessories
Glue sticks
Black Markers

In preparation I cut out the following for each child:

2 yellow circles
2 small black circles
1 orange triangle
2 orange feet (shaped like rounded-off triangles)

The children started by gluing on the yellow eyes, the black pupils, the beaks, and the feet.

Then they used the black markers to draw feathers on the paper bag, and add details to the eyes and feet.

We also added a bow to the girl owl and a bowtie to the boy owl using two triangles glued together at the points.

Then we traced their hands onto brown paper for the wings. Make sure the fingers are closed.

The children then crunched the newspaper into balls for the stuffing.

Then we attached the wings to the sides of the bags.

Didn't Tabitha come up with a cute craft?

Let's take a look at that review schedule real quick:

A couple of weeks ago I shared my review for St. Bartholomew's Eve from Heirloom Audio Productions. This week I will be posting my review of Math-Whizz from Whizz Education

In November I will be sharing reviews for two products. The first will be of the MasterKitz from Kidzaw that I mentioned above. And then I will share about Guitar360 later in the month. Tabitha and my husband were both thrilled to find out we were going to be learning to play guitar.

Here are a few things I would like to share with you:

Pumpkin Fun Round Up
(Some wonderfully fun pumpkin ideas, no jack-o-lanterns involved)

Torn Paper Pumpkins

Two-Sided Paper Plate Pumpkins

And, seeing as Thanksgiving less than a month away. . . 

Thanksgiving Round Up

Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 8 wonderful post linked up. I will be featuring the most clicked on post, plus one randomly selected 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:

Ta'Neisha from Marriage, Motherhood, & Makeup shared Marble Shaving Cream Art.

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

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