Thursday, September 15, 2016 for an elementary student {Homeschool Review Crew}

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Last Winter, I reviewed the Help Teaching Pro Subscription with my two high school students in mind. Lately I've been using the resources on with Lauren's elementary level schoolwork.

I've been searching for printable worksheets that would allow me to have a stash of schoolwork that's easy to grab-and-go when we're heading out the door for an appointment. (Many of her appointments are at the Children's hospital over an hour away. That's too much time to let pass by without at least some of it counting towards a day of school.)

It was difficult at first to find what I was looking for on I found some pages that taught individual reading strategies, including making inferences, finding the main idea, and determining the author's purpose. Unfortunately, within each skill, there was frequently just a single worksheet appropriate for her reading level.

I then found some literature and reading worksheets that offered questions about popular children's books, but I wasn't sure that I wanted to carry both a book and a worksheet with us. (Especially since I would need to check some of the books out of the library in order for her to do the work.)

Finally, I stumbled across exactly what I was looking for and did a little happy dance. has worksheets for more than 175 passages (tucked away under the heading "Informational Stories and Passages").

Not only were there a lot of choices for me to choose from, they were all nicely labeled with an approximate grade level and the Lexile measure (an indicator of readability). I was able to print out a variety of passages for Lauren to work with on our days spent in the car. The majority of the passages at the third or fourth grade level were roughly half a page long and had five multiple-choice questions to answer. The easier passages had primarily fact-based questions, but I noticed several questions requiring higher level thinking skills as the passages progressed in difficulty.

When I reviewed with Brennan last spring, I found that one of my favorite features is the ability to create my own worksheets and tests. Lauren's regular math curriculum follows a non-standard sequence and therefore I didn't find the premade worksheets for her grade to be particularly helpful. The math worksheet generator looked promising, though, because it would allow me to print worksheets for extra practice with a specific set of problems. For instance, for division problems, I could set a specific range for divisors, a specific range for quotients, whether or not the answer included a remainder, and how many problems were on each page. Unfortunately, the generator did not space out the problems enough so that Lauren could work the problems directly on the worksheet. (It's a little thing, but one that might make a difference when I'm trying to get her to finish a practice page while we're traveling.)

The test generator on is a lot more versatile. Right now, Lauren isn't studying a lot of material that I need to supplement with extra fact based practice. Before very long, however, it'll be time for me to start helping her study for her Science Olympiad events. Depending on which event she is assigned, she may have a lot of fact-based material to memorize and practice this year. One of the events she's most interested in is Microbe Mission. If she ends up doing that one, she'll need to memorize facts about nearly 50 diseases. I can easily create questions (multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank) about those diseases and then combine them to make practice tests for her to use prior to our competition in the spring.

A Help Teaching Pro Subscription costs $24.95 per year. It has materials appropriate for students of all ages, and even more importantly, it allows teachers to easily create study materials and tests that are customized to the subject and the student.

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