My daughters love audio books and I love seeing their imaginations expand as they listen. One thing they love to do is paint, or draw, whilst listening to their latest adventure. We discovered recently MajikKids. MajikKids says its audiostories help inspire kids imagination, creativity and joy sparkle. Each month MajikKids releases a new story with an adventure to enjoy. You can listen on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.
There are many things that I have enjoyed about MajikKids stories:
My girls love them (even though at age of 11 they are a little ‘old’)
They are narrated by multiple voices which makes it so engaging to listen too
They are fun to listen to as adults. My absolutely favourite is ‘Beyond the Wall: The untold story of Humpty Dumpty’. Honestly, you must listen and understand what ‘actually’ happened, this clever story had me smiling all day! Another one that has brought delight for us all was ‘The Other Side: the Untold Story of why the Chicken REALLY Crossed the Road’ – perhaps a question you may have wondered yourself?
They are a fair-trade publishing company which means all their staff get paid well
Bradley, the founder, writes the stories with his unschooled five year old son!
The stories use real words (not ‘little people’ words) which is refreshing, and they have good values embedded into them which are inspiring and rich.
I haven’t signed up for a subscription, as I feel my girls are a little too old, but for a $11 Canadian dollars a month (£6.90 at the time of writing this review) you can join the Majik Club and receive downloadable activity books and colouring books, to name a few of the benefits.
It is always a winner in the home ed world when you find a new FREE resource and this one with worth checking out.
We have been using Dreaming Spires since 2018, our 4 older teens have done a number of different English courses as well as Spanish and a couple of the summer mini-courses. They offer a wide variety of subjects and we have friends who have enjoyed some of their science and history courses. I initially used it to help our eldest get through his English Language GCSE (3 sons have now completed their English gcse successfully with DS) but I have been really impressed with the wide variety of literature they have read (and mostly enjoyed!) and the Charlotte Mason emphasis on reading Living Books and doing narration. There are also plenty of optional fun activities they can do alongside the more academic side of things and they get to do about three presentations a year as part of the course which is great experience.
The lessons take the form of a lecture from the teacher with slides to look at and the students communicate with each other and the teacher via the chat box at the side of the screen. The kids have made some really good friends through their classes and the chat forums on the site (though we do have to monitor how much time they spend chatting with their friends instead of working!).
You can do a 30 week year course (£365) with an additional ‘add on’ class if wanted (£140) or one of the 6 week crammer courses in January or summer courses (£120). We have found the courses quite home-work heavy (mainly lots of reading!) we found two courses (one English and one Spanish) just about manageable in addition to our other study commitments. Dreaming Spires came highly recommended to us from other families we knew and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others!! We have really enjoyed meeting other home-educating families from around the country through the connections the children have made as well!
My 9 year old son has just starting using these and so far, he’s doing really well. The apps work well on his iPad and they seem quite engaging. Once you’ve logged in, there is a short assessment so the program can analyse the level your child is at and provide the right level work for them. It then gives a new set of questions each week and then provides him with ‘7 a day’ questions to reinforce what he has learnt. There’s a couple of games he can play on each one too.
With DoodleMaths, you also get DoodleMultiply and with DoodleEnglish, you get DoodleSpell. On top of this, there is a parent app called DoodleConnect where you can track their progress and see how they are improving. After the initial assessment, your child is given a Doodle age which the level that the program thinks your child is at. My son is enjoying it, he collects stars as he completes questions and then you can use the stars to ‘buy’ parts for your robot. Designing and building his robot has been a big motivator for earning stars.
You can monitor how their Doodle age improves on the DoodleConnect app. It goes up to Year 9 in Maths and Year 6 in English. Just Doodle Maths is £12.99/month as is just Doodle English, however if you buy a subscription for them both is costs £16.99/month.
My 11 year son has been using Conquermaths for three months and has already worked his way through the Year 6 syllabus. He does around 3-4 hours a week broken into small sections. The website works really well and has videos that explain the topic and then questions for the child to answer to make sure they understand. As a parent, you can get weekly reports to keep track of what your child has been doing and many other features too. This is the first online program that my son has actively engaged with that hasn’t led to him having his ‘maths face’ as we call it!! If you have a problem or a question then the team at Conquermaths are really quick to reply. They have family plans for payment so it gets cheaper with more children. It starts at £19/month one child, £32/month two children etc but is cheaper if you pay for an annual subscription.
I was so excited when I learned about Odyssey. My family moves around the world every two years, which usually means new friends, new house, and new foods! With Odyssey, my kids can now meet and stay connected to their peers, no matter where we are living. In addition to that, I also can meet and connect with similar parents to support each other without all the drama and fighting that can happen in Facebook groups. While enmeshed in Odyssey, I can forget that I’m not in the mainstream and can discuss openly the different ways to work, un, or homeschool without judgement. I do try to teach my kids good digital citizenship, but having a safe space where I don’t have to worry allows me to relax a bit related to screentime!
Review written by Elizabeth and submitted by Streams.