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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Get Your Child's Math Education at the Correct Level with Thinkwell Online Learning! (review)

I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Over the past 2 years, I've shared quite a few different online programs with you, and especially math ones, as I know that is where a lot of parents struggle with at home teaching. Today's review about a wonderful online math program from Thinkwell is one that I really want you to know about! But it is also a little bitter sweet, as it's the last Homeschool Review Crew review we're doing (more on that in a bit)!

thinkwell homeschool logo

What makes this ne program different from some of the others, is that it has different courses for the upper years (regular (essentials) and honors) and it goes from Elelemntary through high school. Even college kids can use the upper courses for tutoring! High School Math  in fact iincludes everything from Algebra to Calculus.But our focus includes middle school 6th to 8th Grade Math (6th Grade to Pre-Algebra including Essentials and Honors) still, as Miss Grace put the brakes on an acceled=rated pace.
placement levels

I know other online math courses let you pick and choose your level, and give you a placement test. But I have to tell you that the Thinkwell placement test has come the closest in putting Miss Grace at her true math level. She is fighting me on Pre-Algebra, and Thinkwell caught this and instead of placing her in 8th grade essentials, it put her on her grade level, but in honors, so that she would be challanged, but still start off with confidence. 

I had actually back up the course year for more review to make sure she had mastered some things, so the course actually caught her in the right place for my planned out math course, so she was only reviewing the first lesson! But it is very easy to see where the videos and lessons can easily help tutor a child, who needs more at home help in math!

One of the unique things about Thinkwell is that it can be accessed 24/7 on any device that can access the internet and pplay videos. You aren't limited to a desktop or laptop! And while it has a traditional 12 month course subscription, if your child needs more time to finish the current level, you can purchase 1, 3, or 6 month extensions! This is so brilliant if you homeschool! year round! It lets you plot out your year, but allow for overlap into the next one, if you need it!

thinkwell lesson plan

And that's the thing- Thinkwell KNOWS what YOU- the teacher- need! They've developed day-by-day, week-by-week lesson plans to keep your student on track, but you don't have tos tick to them. We all know illness and special events happen! It's easy for your student to go at their own pace. They can go as quickly, with multiple days of lessons in one day,  or as slowly as you need .them to build mastery of a subject!AND YOU can print out the lesson plan, and check off lessons as they progress, and have for your records! Plus it helps to know what is coming up, so you know when your student may need more work time!

thinkwell student screen


Each Thinkwell course is made of of different lessons, divided into chapters for easier ccess. For example, in Miss Grace's level 7th Grade Honors Math there are 12 chapters, covering essential math and pre-algebra lessons.. 

thinkwell lesson chapter

Within each lesson itself, there are different subjects and each of those will have 5-10 minute lesson videos (in her level there are 320 of them!) , which as you can see are at the top of the screen (below). 

thinkwell lesson screen

As the instructor works a problem on his whiteboard on the left (under the video), the formulas show up on the right, on the student's whitebaord. This not only helps re-enforce the lesson, but it helps students follow along as it they were in a traditional classroom. Miss Grace found it really helpful for the pre-Algebra lessons, that he uses his hands, and points out what he is talking about ON THE WHITEBOARD. As a partial visual learner, this is key for her- it really helps her to understand what he is talking about, as he is doing it! Plus if she gets distracted for a moment, it is easy for her top stop and rewind the video and see what she missed! And she can do it as often as she needs. Which is a bit different than other programs. Plus, he has an American accent, so unlike other programs, he is easier to follow along with! . Besides the white boards, the screen also shows key ideas, and definitions of important terms, in red, so your student doesn't loose sight of them, as they are working. I love that closed captioning is available for all videos, as well as printable transcripts of the lesson, for those who need them!

sample exercise problem

As your child works through the lessons with the instrucor, there will be exercises for them to complete with the instrcutor, on their whiteboard screen. This helps students to drill over the lessons. Students can retake any exercise if they didn't get it the first time, or made an accidental mistake.Then they take an exercise , which works as a quiz.  As you can see, they get immeditae reaction to wrong answers, allowing them to review as they go, and help them with refocus on the drill. Plus if they have to, they can stop the exercise, and pick it back up later. Perfect for when you have an appointment, or other interruption!

thinkwell worksheet
Then you, or your child, can download the applicable worksheets for the lessons, and let your child have more exercises to work. I love that they are RIGHT there in the appropriate chapter, so you dont have to go to another screen to find them, like other programs, Some kids like having pencil and paper work! Answer keys are included, so no worries about having to work the sheets yourself! I love that each worksheet includes the level and topic, so you as the teacher can keep track of which worksheet if ro which student, if you have multiple children on the program!You CAN also purchase the workseets as a workbook if that is easier for you as well. (you can purchase the notes and quizzes separatedly too). 

sample quiz

From there, your student can take an end of lesson quiz and then at the end fo the chpater, a chpater test. All of these are autmatically graded for you!  Wen it is graded, it works through the answers with students, so they can see where they made the errors, if any, Those scores are all automatically stored in yoru childs gradebook, so you don't have to worry about keeping track of them! All the quizes and test can be accessed from the Assessment tab at any time during the course. This is helpful if your child already understands a chapter, they can test out' so to speak of that area, without having to go through the whole lesson to get to them!

I love how they even offer practice exams to use as a study tool before each test, for additional practice and understanding. Especially for upper levels and high school, this is just like traditional courses! Need to re-take a test? No problem. Just email Thinkwell, and they can arrange for your student to take it over again! Easy! The grade book scores are averaged this way: Quizzes: 30%, Chapter tests: 30%, Midterm: 20%, and Final: 20%. JUST like traditional classes! 

Miss Grace has really like the program better than other ones we have tried. I really think it is the combination of visual and practical, that she likes. Plus everything is explained the way she thinks! 
I love that there is no course planning or grading for me, making it a win- win for both of us! I am seriously debating on whether to sign ehr up for all her high school math courses with Thinkwell to not only save myself the aggravation factor, but to allow for better teaching for her, and grading for me! Youc an even get a course certificate once your hild has completed a course, in case you need it for your state, or for bumping up their transcript! 

You can sign up for a 14 day preview, to see if the program will work with your child. I LOVE this. Most programs only give you a week. But life happens, and sometimes that meas only a couple of lessons will get tried in a week. By giving you that extra 7 days, you can easily try out a full weeks woth of courses and see if your student likes the program! I know you're thinking, it seems more expensive than other courses. And it is, BUT you get more! The course is designed for your student to get mastery of a subject BEFORE moving on to another one. The program know not all kids are alike and allows for those differences to shine, We love it and your child will too!

Just click the box below, to see what my fellow reviewers thought about the diffferent levels of learning from Thinkwell:
6th to 8th Grade Math (Pre-Algebra) and High School Math  (Algebra to Calculus) {Thinkwell Reviews}

Be sure to follow Thinkwell on their social media pages to get information on discounts for their program, as well as for special offers, and interesting lessons: 

And speaking of Discount Codes, would you like one? 
Of course you would!

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Bless Their Little Giveaways Linky: November 19-26, 2019

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Book Review: Detecting the South in Fiction, Film and Television, ed by Deborah E. Barker and Theresa Starkey

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book from LSU Press, via EdelweissPlus free of charge, for review purposes on this blog. No compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, all opinions are my own



Detecting the South in Fiction, Film, & Television, edited by Deborah E. Barker and Theresa Starkey, examines the often-overlooked and undervalued impact of the U.S. South on the origins and development of the detective genre and film noir. This wide-ranging collection engages with ongoing discussions about genre, gender, social justice, critical race theory, popular culture, cinema, and mass media. Focusing on the South, these essays uncover three frequently interrelated themes: the acknowledgment of race as it relates to slavery, segregation, and discrimination; the role of land as a source of income, an ecologically threatened space, or a place of seclusion; and the continued presence of the southern gothic in recurring elements such as dilapidated plantation houses, swamps, family secrets, and the occult. Twenty-two critical essays probe how southern detective narratives intersect with popular genre forms such as neo-noir, hard-boiled fiction, the dark thriller, suburban noir, amateur sleuths, journalist detectives, and television police procedurals.

Alongside essays by scholars, Detecting the South in Fiction, Film, and Television presents pieces by authors of detective and crime fiction, including Megan Abbott and Ace Atkins, who address the extent to which the South and its artistic traditions influenced their own works. By considering the diversity of authors and characters associated with the genre, this accessible collection provides an overdue examination of the historical, political, and aesthetic contexts out of which the southern detective narrative emerged and continues to evolve.


Some of my favorite Southern authors are in this book, either as essay authors, or as subjects. It's an interesting look at not only how the South is presented, but also the ramifications of that. it makes the reader re-think what popular fiction does besides entertain-how it teaches (for good or bad), and can re-enforce ideas, that should be changed. The chapter on the TV show of Mayberry and how it fed an idealic small town concept into our consciousness was very interesting. It's a book to take a chapter at a time, to give yourself time to think on each one, before moving on to new ideas.It would be an interesting gift idea for the mystery lover!

About the Editors:

Deborah E. Barker, professor of English at the University of Mississippi, is the author of Reconstructing Violence: The Southern Rape Complex in Film and Literature and Aesthetics and Gender in American Literature: Portraits of the Woman Artist. She coedited, with Kathryn B. McKee, American Cinema and the Southern Imaginary.

Theresa Starkey is associate director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi. Her scholarship and creative work have appeared in the Oxford AmericanMississippi Review, and elsewhere.

Book Review: Death at Eden's End by Jo Allen

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book from Aria Books, via #netgalley, free of charge, for review purposes on this blog. No compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, all opinions are my own

 A brand new DCI Jude Satterthwaite crime mystery from the bestselling Jo Allen.

death at edens end cover


 When one-hundred-year-old Violet Ross is found dead at Eden's End, a luxury care home hidden in a secluded nook of the Lake District's Eden Valley it's tragic, of course, but not unexpected.

Except for the instantly recognisable look in her lifeless eyes... that of pure terror. DCI Jude Satterthwaite heads up the investigation, but as the deaths start to mount up it's clear that he, and DS Ashleigh O'Halloran need to uncover a long-buried secret before the killer strikes again...


 The second in the Lake District-set, DCI Jude Satterthwaite series, this book can be read as a stand alone book, thanks to the bits of background given by the author, that don't give away the plot of the original book in the series. This is an interesting mystery, as it starts out with what appears to be a normal death. But little things seem amiss, and when added together, make for a potential for murder. As Jude's team takes on the possible incident, things take a roll, and the mystery deepens. This is a new series to sink your teeth into, so don't miss it!

About the Author

Jo has been writing since she could first put pen to paper. Short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction...anything will do to fill a dull moment and give her imagination a little more exercise. Jo lives in Edinburgh but spends as much time as possible in the Lake District. Check out her website for more

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