Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review of Digital Frog Homeschool Digital Field Trips

I recently had the opportunity to review several digital field trip programs that are made by Digital Frog International. I jumped at the chance, since I am always looking for ways to help my children explore and learn. Thank you to Educents and Digital Frog for giving me access to the programs for a short time in order to review them. I am giving an honest review as a former teacher and current homeschooling parent.

The first program I reviewed is titled "The Wetlands". I found this program to be comprehensive. The topics included were erosion, flooding, nutrient cycles, types of wetlands, conservation, and more. There were many animations that showed information like how a bog is formed. The animal adaptation section was interesting and informative. My children enjoyed clicking the numbers on the map to find information about different animals and plants.

The second program that I reviewed is titled "The Rainforest". I was impressed with the amount of information found in this program. The topics included food sources, animal behavior, geography, plants, pollen and seed dispersal, rainforest strata, and more. My children enjoyed learning about symbiotic relationships. Another hot topic in our house is eye shine which is the light reflected from the back of an animal's eye. Eye shine is usually observed when nocturnal animals are out and about at night. Also, the eco-conscious part of me loved the information included about human impact on the rain forest through logging, drug research, different types of agriculture, and more. This is a program we will use over and over again to learn about different topics or review information.

The third program I reviewed is titled "The Desert". My children were mesmerized by the animals and plants this field trip explored. My son asked if we could visit a desert in person. I told him we could schedule a trip in the next year. This field trip had five deserts available for exploration. This was a great surprise because the photographs and videos were not exactly the same. My children were very interested in animal locomotion which is different in sandy, hot environments than in other environments. We also enjoyed seeing the information about burrowing owls since we have burrowing owls in our hometown.

All three programs allow the user to click on an unknown word and get a definition. The three programs also had photographs and video of the animals and plants listed int he field trips. There are games in each of the programs which helped my children comprehend the information. I also appreciated the way each program used maps to help my children understand the geography and location of each field trip. Each program also has a numbered map which helps guide the user. I absolutely recommend this line of educational programs. Visiting wetlands, rainforests, and deserts is optimal. However, many of us cannot afford to visit these places which means a virtual field trip is an affordable and enjoyable way to learn.

Visit Educents here for great deals on products like Digital Field Trips from Digital Frog International.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Adventures in Grocery Shopping: Shopping with a Sensory Child

Here is a list of things that happened today while my youngest child and I were at the grocery store.

1. He climbed the cart.
2. He climbed me.
3. He shouted, though he didn't realize it was shouting. People smiled because it is still cute for a three year old to sing loudly in a store for a short time.
4. He laid in the floor.
5. He sang a quiet song after being reminded of his whisper voice which is really closer to my normal voice.
6. He threw his body on the floor and banged his head and hands on purpose because we could not purchase the juice size that eh wanted. It was the same brand and flavor, just not the same size. Apparently I was wrong to buy the larger size.
7.  I carried him for a few aisles.
8. He got down and ran full force up and down an empty aisle.
9. He organized the single soda bottles because they were not arranged to his liking. An older gentleman smiled and complimented my child on helping. (Thank you, sir! I appreciate the positive reinforcement!)
10. He shouted at me in a loud and screeching voice about the type of vegetables he wanted. He then backed away from me and fell on top of the cart wheel. He then cried and screeched more as he complained about vegetables AND falling down. (Yes, I scooped him up and held him for a bit while he calmed down.)
11. Eventually we made it to the paper towel aisle and dog food aisle. He then chose to walk backwards, not sure why, while singing and chattering. A lovely older woman giggled and said something kind, though I don't remember what at this time.
12. We went to the checkout area. He helped to use the coupons, pay, and chatted with the cashier. This may seem normal, but for a long time he ran screaming if anyone was a few feet from him. The cashier was closer than that.
13. He sang a LOUD song on the way to the car. It was titled "Heavy" because I said the cart was heavy.
14. We went home and I rested.

It was a fairly easy trip, to be honest. Busy, but not as busy as past trips. :)