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Rosetta Stone Homeschool Level 1 {Review}

rosetta stone 1 Rosetta Stone is a company well known for their language learning software. Did you know that they also have a special version of their language software geared specifically for homeschoolers?

Their homeschool language software is one the children {and adults!} can work on at their own pace and is fully interactive. The software provides up to five levels of instruction in some languages and begins with the foundation of listening comprehension, reading and writing. Rosetta Stone offers 31 different languages in their homeschool language software.

rosetta stone 2One of the features of the Homeschool software is that parents are able to see their children’s progress ~ which exercises have been completed, how much time they have spent learning and also test scores. Parents can also print off progress reports and lesson plans to save for documentation. Full features include:

  • Lesson Planning ~ predefined lesson plans
  • Full Year Curriculum~ the software is designed to guide students through in one level in a scholastic year.
  • Testing ~ students are tested periodically throughout the year and reviews are based on their scores.

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Another feature of the program are the audio CDs that help reinforce what students are learning. The Audio Companion CDs can be listened to while traveling in the car or loaded onto a student’s mp3 player for additional practice.

In the Box

Here is a look inside the box of our Spanish {Latin America} Level 1 for Homeschool:

  • Application CD
  • Language CD
  • Audio Companion™ CDs
  • User’s Guide – Discusses the basics of the Rosetta Stone program
  • Parent’s Guide – Aids the parent in lesson planning, tracking student progress, and effectively using Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3 in a homeschool environment
  • Headset with microphone
  • Quick Start Activation Card
  • Supplemental Education Materials CD includes printable files for:
    • Table of contents
    • Scripts for each lesson
    • An index to all words in the program
    • Student workbook including a quiz for each lesson
    • Unit tests
    • Answer key for workbooks and tests

Purchasing Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Homeschool ranges in price from $229 to $299 a level, but does offer ‘bundles’. Levels 1-3 may be purchased for $539 and Levels 1-5 may be purchased together for $699.

Product purchases include free shipping in the continental US and from now until February 15, 2010 they are offering a 10% discount on all personal and homeschool product purchases. Rosetta Stone also offers a 6 month money back guarantee on all of their products.


This review is based on my own experiences and gives my honest opinion.

Peel & Stick Chalkboards

~ This is a post from my other blog a few weeks back ~

Right around Christmas I visited a friend who had a beautiful chalkboard that she made all by herself using some lovely chalkboard paints and excess molding and all that great stuff. And I was all ready to make one for myself.

Except that I didn’t want to be a crazy-crafty and all.

Instead I found some LOVELY Peel & Stick Chalkboard Panels from Wallies. And they are WONDERFUL!! There are 4 in a pack and each piece is 9″ x 12″. You can put all four together in any direction/shape you want and make your own chalkboard. I bought two packs so that I had a total of 8 panels to work with.


The best part is they are removable, reusable and will stick practically anywhere. On the fronts of cabinets, walls, etc… They don’t leave any residue on the walls and if you get tired of them, you can move them somewhere else without having to repaint or patch holes. I am loving them.

There is no residue left over on the squares from the chalk when you clean them. I’ve just been using a dry paper towel and wiping them clean with that – haven’t even used water yet.

If you don’t feel like drilling, painting or going through a lot of work, these might be handy for you to have in your house too – check the Wallies out!

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Geo Puzzles ~ I’ll Buy Them All…

I do believe that I have a new favorite toy in our house. Our kids love to do puzzles and this little gem has added a touch of ‘education’ into the mix.

And if the truth be told, I’m learning something at the same time.

I’ve been eyeing this particular GeoPuzzle Europe for a few weeks and wavered back and forth on ordering it. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

Let me tell you, I’m about ready to plop the whole lot of them into my cart and checkout.

But I’m pacing myself. ‘Cause I’m disciplined like that. haha.

The Geo Puzzles are so worth it! They run about $15 apiece with free shipping (I put them in my left sidebar widget for you to see). We bought the one that focuses on Europe, since that’s the continent we’re studying, and many of the pieces are shaped like the individual countries. The puzzle pieces also includes the names of the countries and their capitals along with any major bodies of water. The girls are having a great time with them and learning exactly how the countries all fit together.

Although I haven’t bought them all (yet), I do have some of the others in my cart now. Waiting patiently until we start studying those continents.

If I last that long.

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Write Shop: Storybuilders

Until recently I had not heard of WriteShop, a company that has writing programs for children from PreK through high school. They sent me two Ebooks Story Builders: World of Animals and StoryBuilders: World of Sports to use with our girls and review – and both of my girls have loved them!

Laurianna enjoys writing stories on her own, but when it comes times for a specific writing assignment, both she and McKenna start whining and complaining when they have to write more than one sentence. Needless to say, assigned writing is not always a joy during our school time.

We started using the StoryBuilders as a fun activity/creative writing assignment and McKenna alone began writing unbelievable amounts! Primarily we’ve used StoryBuilders: World of Animals ($7.95). First we printed off word cards and sorted them into piles. The word cards can either be printed onto different colors of paper and sorted accordingly, or you can print them off using colored ink and sort them that way. Each card deck/color represents a different part of a story: character, character trait, plot and setting.

Once a card is picked from each pile, the kids put their story together using the “pieces” of the story they were given. To give you an idea of how it works, here are the words that McKenna had for her story: bat, confused, amusement park, and caught in a trap. The story she put together was:

Once there was a little boy who went in an amusement park. He found his bat. He said, “Why is it in here?” He was very confused. He saw a trap hanging from the ceiling. He was not fast enough, so he got caught in the trap!

While I realize not all of the story makes complete sense, this story was a huge step for McKenna! And she was so proud of the story and even drew pictures to go along with it.

There are several other StoryBuilder books available: World of People ($7.95) and Christmas Mini-Builder ($3.95). Each of the StoryBuilder Ebooks is available for immediate download and comes with the following:

  • 192 Story Builder cards in black print (to print on colored paper)
  • 192 Story Builder cards in colored print (to print on plain paper)
  • 48 blank cards
  • Ideas and instructions for use

While the StoryBuilders are not an entire curriculum for writing, they are a great activity to use once a week for getting the creative juices going. WriteShop does offer full writing programs for children Kindergarten through high school.

And as a bonus, The Old Schoolhouse Store is offering a FREE download this week for the StoryBuilders: World of Animals – a $7.95 value! Be sure to head there to take advantage of their great offer!

If you would like to read more on Write Shop, check out the Homeschool Crew blog and see what others are saying.

All About Homophones

A few months ago I reviewed a program All About Spelling by Marie Rippel. One that I will be using for years to come with our kiddos.

I am that much in love with the program.

Needless to say, I was thrilled beyond measure when they sent me a second product of theirs to review called All About Homophones: Your Complete Tool Kit. This is an amazing resource to help teach your children homophones quickly and easily (homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently…be/bee, sea/see, etc…).

All About Homophones comes with homophone worksheets, games and activities, and includes over 200 pages of teaching tools and resources for you to help teach your child about homophones. The graphics alone in the book are wonderful and the curriculum itself is even better!

My girls have loved playing card games such as Go Fish!, Pig, Old Maid and more to help in learning the different words and their meanings. The information is presented in such a fun and interactive way that the girls forgot we were doing school – and to me, that’s what learning is really all about!

Everything that you need for All About Homophones is included in the book you receive: reproducible pages for the card games, worksheets, graphic organizers, crossword puzzles, student record sheets, grade-level lists, teaching plans, and more! You can purchase a softcover printed copy ($19.95) or an ebook version ($17.95).

And if you haven’t heard about All About Spelling, check out my earlier review about their curriculum. The All About Homophones Tool Kit comes with a money-back guarantee too – 30 days, no questions asked. I’ll leave you with this fun translation from the homophone machine:

“Awl About Homophones is a grate tulle

two ewes inn you’re school thyme.”


See? Even I am having too much fun with it!

All About Spelling Review – Homeschool Spelling Tool

We received this product at no cost in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed are solely mine.

I thought we were perfectly fine with the spelling program that we were using until I started using All About Spelling with the girls. Now I’m hooked on this homeschool spelling program and thrilled that our kids look forward to spelling time and we love doing it together. We have worked our way through level one and will be starting level two soon.

Each lesson book in All About Spelling comes with a materials packet that includes: flashcards, index card dividers, tokens, progress charts, a completion certificate, and other tools to help you teach. The program also uses letter tiles that can be used in all six levels. The letter tiles are not included in the material pack of each level (so that you wouldn’t have six sets). They can be purchased separately for $12.95.

All About Spelling teaches “phonograms” – letter combinations that are the base for building words (a cd-rom of the sounds is also available for purchase if you would like to hear the exact sounds of each phonogram).

What I am loving about the program:

  1. The lessons are amazingly easy to follow: Step-by-step directions are given for each lesson in the level, including all the materials that you will need for the lesson.
  2. You can customize each lesson to your children’s needs. We went through the early lessons rather quickly and then paced the lessons at a rate that was comfortable for us.
  3. Review: Each lesson includes a way to review the steps and rules that have been taught in previous lessons, along with reinforcement for the lessons that were learned during that lesson.
  4. Hands-on materials: The program uses letter tiles that you can make magnetic to spell out the words and sounds that you are practicing. There are also flashcards included in the set along with the teacher’s manual. This hands-on aspect has really helped in our learning.
  5. Clear/direct spelling rules: All About Spelling teaches clear rules (and notes any exceptions if there are any to the rule) – even I’m learning a thing or two!
  6. It will be a complete curriculum from preschool to high school. It’s a one-stop spelling curriculum, and I LOVE that!
  7. Price!! Both the level one and level two sets are only $29.95 each and can be used in the years to come with younger children since the materials are not consumable (a HUGE plus for me!). Levels three and four are $39.95. If you are teaching more than one student at a time, you can order additional materials packets (for around $12.95 each).

There is nothing that I haven’t been pleased about with this curriculum – seriously! If you are interested in learning more about how to teach using All About Spelling, know that they a 100% learning satisfaction guarantee. This is definitely a program that we will be using through the years with our kids!

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This All About Spelling Review was written based on our personal use of the program. I was provided the program to review in exchange for my honest opinion.