Saturday, October 27, 2012

Samson's Classroom ~ Schoolhouse Review


"This is really fun!" ~ Brynne, age 7

"I wish I could do the karate game for spelling today." ~ Eli, age 8

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These were some of our endorsements for Samson's Classroom, a fun online educational program that reinforces sight word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension for grades K-5. We have been reviewing this product for the Schoolhouse Review Crew for the past month or so. There were parts that we LOVED and parts that we didn't care for as much.

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Here's a breakdown:

Sight Words. My kids, ages 7 and 8 are already avid readers, so the Sight Words games were not beneficial to them. I did have them play each of the games, however, and they said that they were really fun. If they were emerging readers, I can see that this part of the program would have been extremely beneficial to them.

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Spelling. We use a spelling program in our regular studies that does not have my children learning designated spelling lists from which they take traditional spelling tests. So for our review period we put aside our regular spelling program to utilize Samson's Classroom. We chose spelling lists, already provided in the system with grade-level grouping, played the games through the week, and then took a written spelling test on those words at the end of the week.

Eli playing "Missing Letters".

We had mixed reviews on the spelling games.
  • The kids loved the karate chopping spelling game of "Missing Letters". In fact, they played it every day of the week. I am certain that this game helped them in getting perfect scores on their written spelling tests.
  • "Spelling Scramble" just did not make sense to us. The kids had trouble manipulating Samson and getting him to run in the direction they needed him to run. And, they were concentrating so hard on that, and the imminent defeat of Samson, that they got no spelling benefits from the game. 
  • And "Crunch Time" required that the kids know how to type fast enough to type the spelling word before the time ran out. They just couldn't do it and were, again, frustrated.
Reading. Okay, now this is what we REALLY loved! This part of the program allows you to chose from four levels. There are a bunch of short stories to read, and then comprehension questions to answer. We started on Level 1 and completed two stories per day, per child. They have had so much fun with this, and I plan to have them continue doing two stories per day until we get all the way through Level 4. Believe me, I get no complaints when it's time to get started.

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Set up for Samson's Classroom was a breeze. I was able to set up accounts for each child so that I could track their progress. I do have to log each of them in separately, and it would be nice if I could just click on each child on a menu when I log into my account. It seems that eliminating the steps of "Log Out" of one child and "Log In" of another would be helpful.

The Resource Center has lots of additional materials available, including worksheets, lesson plans, printable awards, and more.

The cost for Samson's Classroom is $30 per year for an individual membership and $50 per year for a family, with up to 4 users, and can be purchased by going to the Samson's Classroom website. It is available for both Mac and PC users.

I am not sure this is a program I would purchase for our family as it just does not fit with our individual schooling needs. Perhaps if you could purchase each of the sections a la carte, I might feel differently. However, I can see where it would be very beneficial and fun to a family with new readers. You can utilize some Free Demos to see if it would be a good fit for you.

To see what others though of this product, go to the Schoolhouse Review Crew website.

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{Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.}

1 comment:

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