Friday, April 23, 2010

Review: Super Star Games

It is no mystery that kids love learning through games. It sure is more exciting than worksheets and textbooks. However, learning games can be expensive, especially if they are only going to be used a short time. Many parents have opted to make their own games, but that can be time-consuming. There is now a solution for busy homeschooling moms and game-loving kids..Super Star Games.
All of the games are designed by Deborah Lott, who has also authored the at-home speech program Super Star Speech. Eleven games are available as an instant download and cover a broad range of subject areas for levels K-8th. A full list of available games with descriptions can be viewed here.

Of all the games available, Silly Snail, covering the parts of speech, fit in best with what we are currently studying. At first I thought my 5th grader might not appreciate the simple game board, which is a snail with the shell partitioned off in sections. However, the idea of playing a game instead of working out of a workbook definitely appealed to him and resulted in more cooperation than I typically have when covering parts of speech, a struggling area.

The instructions were straight forward, and there was no need to spend a great deal figuring out how to play. For Silly Snail, each player draws a sentence card and needs to identify the bold word's part of speech. If correct, the player gets to advance to the next space labeled with the correct part of speech. If incorrect, he simply doesn't advance. The first player to make it to the end of the game board wins.

Each game has easy to understand, but varying, goals for winning. Road to Revolution, Exploring Egypt, and Climb the Vine require players to answer a question correctly to advance on the board, with the one finishing first winning. The Inventors Game and Explorers of the World are a version of concentration or matching, each covering 24 pairs on the topic. Both of these games also have an alternative timeline version. The Insect Game, All About Animals, and Planets, Moon, and Stars have players collecting insect parts, animal groups and planets respectively each time they answer a question on the game card correctly. Lastly, Colony Quest and Covering the Continents have players racing to "settle" areas using their knowledge of the topic. Suggestions on modifying the game to suit older and younger players are also included.

As far as convenience, these games really can't be beat. Having a rough spot in your homeschool and want to inject some fun ways of learning...right now? A few clicks and use of a printer and you are up to speed. If it is a game you suspect you'll use only for a short time for reinforcement of the subject, regular paper will do. Card stock and laminated paper will withstand more long-lasting use. With the game file available on your computer, new copies can be printed anytime. For the $3.50 price tag, it is well worth having instant access and not having to create a game on my own.

While I didn't review Super Star Speech, also authored by Deborah Lott, I did want to mention this product. My youngest went through quite a bit of expensive speech therapy. When I first noticed his speech issues, I turned to the internet for activities I could do with him at home. However, my searches came up empty. Private speech therapy can be very costly and we've paid up to $100 an hour for specialists. I am thrilled to see an affordable speech program directed toward parents become available on the market, especially one written by a homeschooling mom who is a licensed speech language pathologist. It may not be a complete substitute for private therapy (for example, stuttering issues are not addressed in this program), but the cost of the materials are less than one private therapy session. Be sure to read the reviews of some of the TOS Crew members who did receive this product if you have a child with speech articulation issues.

Super Star Games for homeschool enrichment are available at CurrClick for $3.50 each or as low as $2 each when multiple games are purchased in a bundle. You may also be interested in checking out the Super Star Speech blog, which has some very useful information on addressing speech issues at home.

Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew's blog to read more reviews on this product and others.

Disclaimer: This review was provided as a result in my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew. I was provided the product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I strive to give a balanced overview of each product, detailing my opinion of both pros and cons and how the product worked for my family. What works for one family may not work for another. I encourage you to read reviews of other Crew members and research sufficiently to determine if any product will be a benefit to your homeschool. I am an All About Spelling affiliate and truly believe in the product, but desire most that you find a product that fits for your family.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Thanks for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed the games!