Monday, September 30, 2013

Crew Review: Fundanoodle

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I'm perpetually amused at how often my kids don't do things "according to the plan". From the time the twins were little, I have staunchly believed, and still do, in the idea of "better late than early", NOT pushing academics on young children, but letting them learn through play, delaying academics until they're 7-9. BUT, by the time the twins were approaching age 4, they were begging me to "do school" and so, we started. It was right for them, even though I still believe it isn't right for all children at that age.  Little Bit (now 4 1/2) moved things even younger, begging for school "like Sissies" when she was just past 3, and again, it's been right for her . . .

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Then she took things a step further. I am also a strong believer in hands-on learning, for all ages, but especially for little ones. Workbooks aren't something we use much, except when they come along as review products. But, guess what Little Bit LOVES LOVES LOVES!! That's right, workbooks . . . So, when I had the chance to review something from Fundanoodle, I figured she'd love it.  After looking over the various workbooks they were offering for review, I decided that a couple books from the Green (K-1st) would be the best fit for her. While I consider her to be preschool, not Kindergarten or 1st, the younger workbooks appeared to cover things she already knows, and I didn't want her to be bored with them. We ended up reviewing I Can Do Math Level 3  and Max and Alphie's Adventures Level 3.

While there were pages in both books that were still too advanced for her, and we skipped over those, overall, these have been a good fit for her level.

One of the first things I noticed about these workbooks is that they have a very sturdy, cardboard, back to them. That is AWESOME since we rarely sit at a table or desk to do schoolwork, in fact, one place where these have been PERFECT is during her older sisters' music lessons. We can sit on the floor in the room where the girls' have their lessons, and work quietly on these workbooks while we wait. The heavy cardboard backing makes that much easier than most "schoolwork" we do, that I have to remember to bring something along to use as a "desk".   Another thing that I probably appreciate more than most, is that the spiral is at the top, instead of the side.  I'm left-handed, and so is Little Bit.  Throughout my school days, I struggled with the fact that, because we write left to right, it can be challenging to write in workbooks and notebooks as a lefty. Spiral bindings are definitely easier than most, but having the binding at the top, makes it completely a non-issue, woo-hoo!!!

Little Bit LOVED that these books include stickers to put on each page after it's completed, and there's a designated place on the pages, to put the stickers. I think one reason that, most days, she begged, over and over for "just one more page" was to be able to put another sticker on! Gotta love that kind of motivation LOL.

 I Can Do Math Level 3 covers beginning addition and subtraction, along with time, patterns, and other skills. It is geared for K-1st Grade, so I expected it to be a tad advanced for Little Bit, but since the younger grade levels, seemed to focus on counting, which she's very proficient at already (I take no credit for teaching her to count, I don't even know how she learned, one day when she was still itty bitty (2ish), I realized that as she slid down the stairs, she was counting each step as she bumped across it, and could count the entire flight of stairs that way).  This worked well for her, she doesn't fully "get" addition/subtraction, but she could easily understand the picture problems in this book. I loved that, in the early subtraction pages, they showed, for example, for 5-3, 5 flowers, then told the child to cross out three of the flowers and write down how many were left. While the words "plus" and "minus" still confuse, Little Bit, she could easily do that, and seemed to find it great fun.
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The other book we reviewed was Max and Alphie's Adventures Level 3.  It reinforces a variety of skills including handwriting, letters, and numbers.  The first howevermany pages are handwriting, and, since Little Bit is younger (4 1/2) than the recommended age range (5-6), she wasn't real into it, she COULD do it, but didn't enjoy it, so after the first couple pages, we skipped on to other things. But once we got past those pages, she has enjoyed this book as well. Because it does offer more variety, there have been other sections that we skip over, but she's having fun, and I figure we can re-visit the skipped sections in a few months and see if she's ready for them yet.

Each of these workbooks is $5.99, which is a great price considering the quality of the workbooks, and the stickers that are included.

Overall, if you have a child who enjoys workbooks, I think these are a great option. The website has informative product descriptions to let you choose a book that fits your child's skill-level. The site also offers hands-on items, that look great! 

In addition to these workbooks, other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed other workbooks and some hands-on item. Click on the banner below to see what they thought.


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All prices are accurate at time of posting.

1 comment:

Fundanoodle said...

Thank you, so much, for taking the time to have Little Bit work with Fundanoodle! We're so thankful for the review and we're so glad you both enjoyed working with the workbooks. Hopefully, over time, she'll get even more comfortable with the exercises!