Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Essential Skills Advantage

Reviewing the Complete Home Learning Suite from Essential Skills Advantage truly does put your student at an advantage with regards to academics. This online, supplemental learning curriculum gives your student the extra practice they may need to fully grasp grade level concepts. With over 14,000 online lessons your child will be more confident and is a great program for all types of learners. The Complete Home Learning Suite is a self-paced curriculum that is both fun and engaging for students K-6. The program has the ability to track your students progress and performance. If you have multiple students using the program, no problem. 


My 2nd and 4th grade kiddos worked through various lessons in a variety of subjects. The following subjects are included in the program:
  • Phonics and Reading (K-6)
  • Spelling (1-6)
  • Language and Grammar (3-6)
  • Math (K-6)
  • Geography (3-5)
  • Science (K-3)
The site is extremely user friendly. My kiddos had no issues navigating the site. The set up process was simple and easy. Adding students and tracking their progress is simple.

2nd/3rd Grade
Spelling Stumpers, Hear and Match, Star Score, Typing


My 2nd grader really loved working on her typing skills while practicing her spelling. By combining multiple skills she not only advanced her typing skills but it reinforced her confidence in spelling. The Star Scores give the child praise and a sense of accomplishment. 

Word Shapes, Comprehension, Word List


Little did my daughter know that she was learning new spelling words by completing word shapes. The words then were used to complete sentences for reading comprehension. We started out very simple but soon the lists became more challenging. 

Word Search, Concentration, Word Wizard, Jumbled Words


My daughter really enjoyed the concentration activity. For her it was more of a game. The variety of activities make learning fun instead of monotonous and boring. Many times my daughter got caught up in "the fun" and forgot that she was actually doing schoolwork.

Patterns and Counting 


I really liked the many ways that ESA used patterns to teach. Not only did my daughter have to think through basic patterns using colors, numbers, and words but she had to explain patterns using multiple choice. 

Unit Performance/Progress, Skip Counting, Patterns


Math is the one subject that my daughter does not particularly like. At first, she was very resistant to trying the various math activities but soon found them to be fun and not work. I saw her confidence grow as she successfully accomplished each level.

Categorizing, Lesson Options


Logical thinking is a vital part of the learning process. I was very pleased to see the many way in which ESA incorporated critical thinking into the learning process of the various activities.

4th/5th Grade
My incoming 5th grader has been working through the Geography sections. I do not focus a lot on history and geography in the elementary grades so this has been perfect for her. I plan on having her continue to work through the whole Geography for 4th and 5th grade this summer. She has enjoyed the lessons.


My daughter also worked through some of the 4th and 5th grade Math sections. Math is NOT a subject that my daughter enjoys and I am hoping that throughout the summer she can reinforce some of the key math concepts to make going into the next school year a bit easier.

She also did select lessons in the other subjects.

Essential Skills Advantage makes keeping up with your students progress a breeze.

When you go to My Class page you are able to access Marks & Report Cards and view:
  • View Marks
  • Report Cards
  • Print Certificates
Data stored includes:
  • Mastered
  • Attempts
  • First Score
  • Last Score
  • Highest Score
  • Time
  • Last Completed

The Complete Home Learning Suite has been a great supplement to our current curriculums. I would highly recommend this program to other parents and educators. Not only is the program great for reinforcing academic skills but I found that it filled in some gaps that our current curriculums have missed. The program has also given my children the opportunity to learn from a different perspective. Children tend to get comfortable learning in a particular way and it is great for them to learn concepts in different ways. I will definitely continue to use ESA throughout the summer and into the next school year.

To read more reviews click HERE.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Fast Flip


Fast Flip is a fun new games by BlueOrangeGames. We have a growing collection of games by this company and have NEVER been disappointed with any of the games. Fast Flip is for ages 7 and up, and for 2-8 players.

Fast Flip is a face paced game of recognition and reaction. The object of the game is to be the first player to find a match between two cards.

There are multiple ways you can play Fast Flip. 


Game 1 is called Flip It! Over a series of rounds, players simultaneously race to find matches. As cards are revealed from the center pile players scramble to be the first to find and call out a match. Be careful, because if you happen to call out the wrong answer you do not get a second chance. You will have to wait until the next round. The game is over when one card in the deck is left. The player with the most cards WINS.


Game 2 is called Token Grab! This game will utilize the tokens. During set-up 10 tokens are arranged face. Instead of calling out matches, players must quickly grab the correct token. Beware because other players in subsequent rounds can take one of your tokens if it is a match. When any player has four tokens the game ends and that player is the WINNER.


Game 3 is called Token Line! In this game tokens are arranged in a line during set-up. Tokens determine matches in each turn. For example, when a card is flipped up players look to the far left token in line to find a match. Whoever calls out the match wins the token. After 10 turns the player with the most tokens is the WINNER.

Any way you play, you will have fun! Competition is fierce and laughing and screaming is going to happen! The games are short enough that you can easily play all versions in one sitting.




Enjoy Some Fast Flip
Summer Fun!

Disclaimer: I received this game from Blue Orange for my honest review. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day is a very special day! It is a day that we set aside to honor and remember those that died while serving our country. Men and women in the Armed Forces sacrifice so much so that we can have freedom and protection against our enemies. As we get together with friends and family this Memorial Day let us not loose sight of what this day is about. Fly the flag, thank those we know who serve, and pray for those that have lost loved ones serving our country.
Army: "The Army Goes Rolling Along"

Marine Corps: "The Marine's Hymn"
Navy: "Anchors Aweigh"
Air Force: "Official U.S. Air Force Song"
Coast Guard: "Semper Paratus"



The U.S. Air Force Hymn


Lord, guard and guide the ones who fly
Through the great spaces of the sky;
Be with them traversing the air
In darkening storms or sunshine fair.

Thou who dost keep with tender might
The balanced birds in all their flight,
Thou of the tempered winds, be near,
That, having Thee, they know no fear.

Control their minds with instinct fit
What time, adventuring, they quit
The firm security of land;
Grant steadfast eye and skillful hand.

Aloft in solitudes of space,
Uphold them with Thy saving grace.
O God, protect the ones who fly
Through lonely ways beneath the sky. Amen.


The U.S. Army Hymn


Mighty is our Army and mighty is our Lord.
We stand for peace and liberty, our histories record.
Each soldier is a fortress; united we defend
The right our fathers died for, eternal without end.

One nation, one Army;
One people strong and free;
Tho' worshipping in different ways;
One God eternally. Amen.

Mighty are our soldiers; Yet humbly they must stand
Before the gates of heaven, where God is in command.
We speak with many voices, proclaim our living Lord;
But join in supplication, and serve with one accord.

One nation, one Army;
One people strong and free;
Tho' worshipping in different ways;
One God eternally. Amen.

Mighty are our soldiers! Above all else we pray
For courage, truth and guidance to lead us on our way.
To guard our people's freedom, our trust shall always be
An Army with its mission, A nation faithful free.

One nation, one Army;
One people strong and free;
Tho' worshipping in different ways;
One God eternally. Amen.


The U.S. Coast Guard Hymn

Eternal Father, Lord of Hosts
Watch o'er the ones who guard our coasts
Protect them from the raging seas
And give them light and life and peace.
Grant them from thy great throne above
The shield and shelter of thy love.

Lord, guard and guide the ones who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky
Be with them always in the air,
In darken storms or sunlight fair,
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!

Grant to them Your eternal peace, Oh Lord,
For they have followed your commandment,
That No Greater Love has he, who would give up his life for another. Amen.


The U.S. Navy Hymn

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, 
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea! 

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea! 

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour; 
From rock and tempest, fire and foe, 
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.


The U.S. Marine Corps Hymn
No official hymn


God Bless America
Activity Resources for Children