Monday, March 7, 2016

Here To Help Learning {TOS Review}

Here to Help Learning Review
If you're looking for a fun and engaging writing program for your homeschooler, then please keep reading.  I may have found one that they will like!  Here to Help Learning is an online writing program for homeschoolers.  My eight year old had fun reviewing the Flight 1 Paragraph Writing course from Here to Help Learning, which is recommended for grades 1-3+.

My son has only recently started reading on his own, so writing is our next big step.  Here to Help Learning has really been a great resource, they really are here to help learn. :)

I will say, I was a bit sceptical at first.  I wasn't sure if my son would be interested in the videos, but to my surprise, he was often the one reminding me to do it.

We only did the program 2 days a week.  We would spend one day watching the videos and then the next day doing the worksheets.  Some days we did them together, depending on the mood of my little writer.  He often dictated and I would do the writing, so in photos you'll see my writing, but please know, it was his words!  He doesn't enjoy the actual writing part, we're still working on that.

The videos were engaging, and helped my son every step of the way, even showing him how to organise his worksheets.  My son enjoyed watching the videos, his favourite was the captain, Captain Knucklehead, which happened to be a dog.

Mrs. Mora is very cheerful and makes the work exciting and fun.  She does the work along with the students and helps encourage them to do their work. 

There are 5 short videos for each lesson.  I really never timed them, but I don't think altogether they were more than 30-35 minutes.  For the older students, they would be longer.

The first video is the Pre-Flight Check list.  This video explains what the students need for the lesson and also reminds them to have a good attitude.

Next is the Flight Check In. This has the students turn in the previous work (this course would also be great for a co-op!) and get their notebooks ready for today's lesson.  Here Mrs. Mora also reviews the Memory Verse.  This is done in every lesson and my son has this almost memorized.

Then the Take Off.  Here there students work on the writing process. 

Then Full Throttle.  This is the meat of the lesson, so it's a bit longer video.  Here Mrs. Mora teaches the main lesson.  She is such a wonderful teacher and really had my son's attention! 

And lastly, Flying Solo.  Captain Knucklehead tells the students what work they are supposed to do on their own.

In the videos, as you see to the left, she is teaching a class.  I would also like to add that my son enjoyed seeing other students learning along with him.  I really think this would be a great program for a co-op.  We don't have one around us anymore (the downside to living so remote), but if I was in one, I'd recommend this.  I think there is a lot of benefits to doing this in a group.  Public speaking to a class with just one other doesn't have the same effect!

With every lesson there are a few pages that you need to print out.  Don't  worry, it's not a lot!  This is the student's worksheets for the day. 

These worksheets go into a binder, as you can see in the photo to the right.  There are several different sections, so if you have some dividers that would be helpful.  This is a really great resource for your student.  (And, can I add, will be great for those who do portfolios!) 

My son has enjoyed going back through the lessons he has completed and can already see areas where he has improved.  Which is such an encouragement and motivation to him!

As I mentioned above, he has dictated a lot of his work to me.  He is in 3rd grade and has really just clicked with reading, so writing is our new adventure! 

I have really liked how they start small, with just filling in some words that describe a photo, and then using those words they begin writing sentences.  It slowly builds their confidence, and I know that in no time my son will be writing stories longer than a paragraph!

There are games and activities throughout the course.  My son's favourite part was the Sentence-No Sentence game.   It's a fun game where you say a complete sentence or half of a sentence and then they say what it is - sentence or no sentence.  He has really learned a lot with this game.  I also use this time to remind him that a sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a period (or other punctuation mark). 

So, overall, I really highly recommend Here to Help Learning.  It has added an extra element to our homeschool curriculum that I didn't realize was missing.  I'm not always big on online courses, but I've really enjoyed this one.

Our local libraries have a contest coming up where you can enter a book that you have written.  I've mentioned this to Cody, and he was excited about it.  I'll keep you all posted if he enters!

Working hard on his first paragraph.

Working on his memory verse.

"And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Colossians 3:17

Some writing work my son did all by himself!

"If you're not willing to learn, no one can help you.
If you're determined to learn, no one can stop you."
~Mrs. Mora

Pricing.  I know this is what you're really waiting for!  If you want to give it a try, there is a free one day membership.  If you just want to give it a go, it's only $6.99 a month, with your first 14 days free!  There is also a store if you prefer to use actual dvd's and workbooks.  We don't have the greatest internet, but we had no problems with the videos or printing out the worksheets.  This is the method I'd prefer.

So, let's ask my son.  What did you think of Here to Help Learning and the Flight 1 Paragraph Writing?
He gives it a big thumbs up!

Thank you Mrs. Mora!

On a side note, I really enjoyed reading more about Mrs. Mora here on their About Us page.

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