Tuesday, April 28, 2015

La La Logic {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

If you're looking for a fun and engaging way to work on logic and critical thinking skills with your younger child, I highly suggest you look into La La Logic.  It was written by a homeschooling mother who wanted a program for her own children that worked on strengthening cognitive skills, rather than the heavy focus on academic skills that is so predominate in preschool programs.

For those of you know that anything about my beliefs regarding early childhood education, you can imagine I was excited to learn about this unique Preschool Program, and to be given the chance to review it.  Although it's labeled for preschoolers, don't let that fool you.  It was written for children 3-6 years old, but I'll tell you now, it can be used with younger or older children, depending on their ability and needs.

I am currently using this with Emory, who is five years old.  He was a very young Kindergartner when we started the year, so we've been taking it slow and having fun.  It's been a great year of learning and exploration with him, but I liked the idea of specifically working on his critical thinking skills.

How does La La Logic work?
La La Logic has 100 weeks of curriculum.  There is a weekly schedule, and each day's activities should take less than twenty minutes.  The activities will gradually increase in difficulty throughout the curriculum.  The program has three primary components--the brain challenge, worksheets, and enrichment activities.

Brain Challenge - This is an online activity for the child to complete.  It is interactive and can be played on the computer or some tablets.  It is scheduled twice each week, with a third scheduling being optional.

Each week you'll see a variety of activities that allow children to work on different skills, and these are always identified.  For instance in week 4 you'll read that your child will be identifying common attributes, working on visual spatial skills and color/shape identification, identifying small quantities, and memory building.  Those are just a few of the skills covered during the "games" called Gift Sorting, Odd One Out, Picture Building, Ladybug Matching and Flashlight Numbers.

The games are very short, and he only takes a few minutes to complete the online portion right now, never the full twenty.  Although the beginning is below Emory's level, I'm having him work in order, and he's never complained.  The variety of games in each week keeps it moving quickly.  Here's a visual of the type of activities they offer.

La La Logic Review

Worksheets - Each week there is a printable worksheet scheduled that also cover a variety of cognitive skills, but they are age appropriate (this is important for me) and include a wide range of activities like coloring, cutting, pasting, and drawing lines to match items.  This means they are developing fine motor skills as well.

This worksheet involved cutting, pasting and matching shadows.  It happened to line up with an insect study we were doing for science, so it was a perfect fit all around!

Enrichment Activities - These are suggestions for parents to do with household objects--scavenger hunts, word games, counting games, dramatic play and more.  The program describes them as fitting in with the Classical model of education, but I find the use of poetry, nature study, narration and hands-on science and math activities completely compatible with our Relaxed Charlotte Mason style as well.  This is the component that make La La Logic a true Preschool Curriculum to me.

Extra Practice
The fourth area is not a primary part of the curriculum, but can be very useful.

Continuous Mode - Starts at Session 1 (or wherever you choose) for continuous, uninterrupted progression through the Brain Challenges.

Learning Numerals - If your child does not know all of their numbers 0-9, they can complete the interactive "lessons" for practice.  Some lessons in the Brain Challenges assume that children can identify these numbers, so this area provides review.

Extra Practice Activities - These are individual skills from the Brain Challenges that are available if your child needs more practice in a certain area, or if they really like a specific activity.

La La Logic in Our Home
For the purpose of this review, we have stayed pretty close to the written schedule.  We only do the activities in the week they are assigned.  We don't skip ahead, as this goes against the advice of the creator, even for older students, because the lessons build on one another.  We also don't work in continuous mode, because I didn't want him to get bored with the program by doing too much at a time.  Emory is perfectly content with what I offer him, and it keeps things light and casual, but still fun.  We are relaxed homeschoolers, and I feel like this program is appropriately designed and paced for the developmental needs of young children exactly how it is written.

It is about so much more than being a computer game for young children.  The "meat" of the program, if you will, is in the material that the parent presents to the child with the worksheets and enrichment activities.  It's not about tracing letters repeatedly; instead it's very interactive and hands-on, which I love.

The only thing I wish is that there was a way to download the entire schedule/curriculum at one time.  As it is, I can see each one whenever I want (the lessons are not locked ahead of time), but but I can only open and print one at a time within its weekly lesson plan.

Otherwise, the program is easy to navigate.  Once you log into your account, your home screen shows you all of your students (up to 5 accounts) and you can choose to enter the curriculum, the extra practice, or continuous brain challenge.  Within the curriculum, you choose which week you are on, and then you can click on Brain Challenge, download the weekly worksheet/enrichment activities, or write notes about the week.  You can also mark the week completed so you know where you left off!  The tracking is a huge deal for me!

Would I Recommend It?
Yes!  For the price of $30 you get a lifetime subscription for up to five children.  For relaxed families, for families who appreciate the need for play-based learning, this program can definitely be used as your preschool curriculum.  I do not push curriculum in the preschool years, and I make that pretty clear.  This however, I would recommend.  This is not to teach reading or math, because that's not where I place my focus in the early years anyway, but for everything else that it offers.  It has the fun online element that young children like, without promoting too much screen time.  The worksheets are developmentally appropriate and the enrichment activities include stories, narration, math, comprehension activities, poetry, and so much more.  It would make a relaxed and well-rounded curriculum for the 3-6 year old age range!

For more information on La La Logic, check out their website and Facebook page, as well as the crew reviews!

La La Logic Review

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1 comment:

  1. This curriculum looks like fun and thank you for offering all the beautiful images. For a paid package it looks well worth it and I will recommend it. I believe this is a step up from all the other online curriculum because it also covers the worksheets and hands on activities like scavenger hunts. Let me know if there is a giveaway for the subscription in the future.