If you've been homeschooling for very long, chances are good you may have heard of Learning Wrap-ups. If you haven't, you should check out the TOS Review Crew link at the end of this review, to find find out what other Crew Member thought of the physical product Learning Wrap-ups and Learning Palettes that they received for review.
In case you haven't really heard of them, Learning Wrap-ups and Learning Palettes are self-checking "Fact-practice" tools, that make learning and reinforcing facts more fun that basic flashcard style or worksheet style drills, and are a great option for the highly kinesthetic child. We have owned and used Learning Wrap-ups AND Learning Palettes for a number of years in our home, so I was curious about the new online product by Learning Wrap-ups, LearningPalette.com.
The best way to describe how LearningPalette.com works is to show you this video:
As we already own the physical version of the Learning Palette, my son was somewhat familiar with the concept of the online version, and he was intrigued with the idea of using the computer.
Here is our take on the online version of the Learning Palette.
- The colorful discs cannot be misplaced!
- Doesn’t take up any space in your house or on your bookshelf.
- The program times how long it takes to complete each card, so your student can try to improve their speed. For some of the Reading cards, it would take my son a while to figure out *all the words, so his initial times were in the 5-7 minute range. Once he had read all the words on the card one time through he would improve his time, ending up more in the 1-3 minute range, which made him much happier.
- The program also keeps track of which cards have been completed, which is a handy feature only available with an online version~ otherwise we have to rely on memory as to which cards have been finished.
- The ability to have all 35 math titles and 20 reading titles at your fingertips, especially for families with multi-ages.
- I personally missed the “Tactile” feel of the real discs (however, I didn't miss the potential of losing them, as mentioned above).
- Techie issues:
- Sometimes my son found it a little difficult to drag and drop the discs precisely where he wanted them, but I think that was more a function of using a laptop with a touchpad, than anything else. However, we aren’t set up for “mouse use” so we go with what we have.
- While it is “possible” to use it with the iPad, we were not terribly successful with using it on my iPad~ the discs weren’t recognized as being in place, so quickly decided that the iPad wasn't the best option for us.
- Sometimes the text for the reports on the screen of my laptop would be all scrunched together, so that it was hard to read.
Because the screen on my laptop is smaller than the physical Learning Palette, I was a little dismayed at the size of the print for some of the activity cards. However, I finally realized that there is a “magnifying glass” which can be used to zoom in on a specific area of the card (especially handy when working with the money cards). Problem Solved!
We found the Math cards to be the most useful for my son, as the structure of the Reading cards didn't totally follow his current progress, and some of them were harder for him to read on his own. However, that being said, as mentioned before, with the online version of the Learning Palette we are able to access every card and unit, so it was easy to hop around and find the cards that are the correct level for him to work with.
In this picture of the "Rhyming Words" cards, you can see from the lower left counter-clockwise that they go from just matching pictures of words that rhyme (easier for a non-reader) to matching a word with a rhyming picture (must be able to read simple long vowels) to matching two rhyming words (with some more difficult phonograms, and no picture clues). Generally speaking, I wouldn't use these as a "curriculum" per se, but as a tool to reinforce what is being learned each week.
If you want to try out LearningPalette.com you can try out the Free Demo that lets you access a limited number of specific cards, and you can visit Learning Wrap-Ups on Facebook and Twitter.
Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty
- Company: Learning Wrap-ups
- Product: LearningPalette.com Full Online Family Subscription
- Ages: K-5th grade
- Price: $60 for up to 5 users (Coupon code HOMESCHOOL will take off 20%)