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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: jollyliteracy.com–Can Do Cubes (TOS Review) #hsreviews #literacy #reading #phonics #interactivelearning

Can Do Cubes Review

My youngest two really enjoyed using Can Do Cubes by jollyliteracy.com (just2ducks LLC) for this review. 

If you read my Jolly Phonics review you probably saw that I mentioned the Can Do Cubes!   Here is the review I promised on those!

can do cubes_zpseesxem3sR3-2_zpseio8sycy

Can Do Cubes are wooden blocks, about 1 cubic inch in size.  The blocks have a different letter on each side.  They come in sets and are labeled with small numbers as well.

Cube 1 has letters s, a, t, i, p, n
Cube 2 has letters c, k, ck, e, h, r
Cube 3 has m, d, g, o, u, l
Cube 4 has f, b, ai, j, oa, ie


We only used the first 4 sets for this review.  There are 8 sets (27 blocks) in Stage One, and Stage Two includes 32 blocks, but the setup is different than Stage One. 

2016-07-25 10.42.12

We used the Can Do Cubes with Jolly Phonics.  I had my son sound out the letters for the words on the pages, he would slide the blocks closer together with each sound to visualize blending the sounds together.

The set comes with a booklet for each Stage of blocks, it also comes with an instruction DVD that shows you how to implement the blocks.  This was very helpful! There is a sound pronunciation guide in the booklet, and also on the DVD, a good tool to have!

Additionally, it comes with a CD with printable materials and a teacher’s guide. My youngest (almost 3 yo) has wanted to use the blocks every time she has seen my 5 yo use them!  The printable materials CD had some pages that were more her speed!  She was so happy to use them!

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The printable sheets we used had a picture of an object, and a square with a letter in it (the starting letter of the name of that object), they then matched the block with the square and said the letter name and sound, they would also say the name of the picture.  There is a space to write the letter as well (we aren’t there yet). 

These cubes are really great for hands on learning, especially for those kinesthetic/tactile learners!   They are recommended for use by the Dyslexia Action Institute. 

You could make games with them, roll some blocks and then see what words you could make!  You can say words, and have them find the letters to build the word. Use them for spelling tests or other activities in place of writing or in addition to writing… build it first, then write it!  They would work great with these Read, Write and Build Mats from Homeschool Creations.

I love that they also use letter combinations, not just individual letters.  This helps them learn the sounds that letters make when they are together!  It includes combinations like ck, or, ai, ie, nk, ng, th, qu, etc…

There is a sound pronunciation guide in the booklet, and also on the DVD, which is helpful! 

Your imagination is your only limitation for these blocks! 

These blocks are $95 plus tax (shipping is included).  They even have grammar cubes available (at the same cost). 

I would highly recommend them for the tactile learner in your family! 

Social Media Links:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jollyliteracy
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jollyliteracy
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jollyliteracy/

Can Do Cubes
Crew Disclaimer

Field Trip #216 Friday Blog Hop–Sandy Point State Park, MD


Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE!

We did another Park Quest this week!  We actually hit up two parks Tuckahoe Stake Park and Sandy Point State Park

A photo posted by Jen (@cgroveacademy) on

A photo posted by Jen (@cgroveacademy) on

Tuckahoe was a pretty easy nature trail hike, about a mile.

Sandy Point we had to answer some trivia type questions and draw pictures and then we hung at the beach for a few hours!

These two have been friends since like 4 mos old when us moms met at a roller and crawlers playgroup! 
10 years later!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: jollyliteracy.com–Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar (TOS Review) #hsreviews #literacy #reading #phonics #interactivelearning

jollyliteracy review

For this review we used Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar by jollyliteracy.com and just2ducks LLC.

We received the following items:

  • Jolly Phonics Teacher's Book in print letters
  • Jolly Phonics Student Book 1, 2 and 3
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher's Book in print letters
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Student Book
  • Jolly Songs in print letters
  • We used mostly the Jolly Phonics Student Book 1, Jolly Songs, and the Jolly Phonics Teacher’s Book.  I used this program with my 5 year old/Kindergartener. 

    jolly songs_zpsiyibgm0b

    He really enjoyed the Phonics book, however, he found it difficult to print in lowercase letters, as his writing is not on par with those skills as of yet.  I would have liked to have seen the early books in capital letters, since those are easier letters to form.  Due to this issue, we did the program mostly verbally, using Can Do Cubes (review to follow).  The Jolly Songs were a fun little addition to help him remember the sounds the letters make.  All my children enjoyed listening to this CD in the car, and guessing which letters the songs went to.  Each Jolly Phonics page (in book 1) has a new letter sound, and review letter sounds.  It has a color picture and action to go with the letter sound to help remember it (this also corresponds with the song).  There are writing lines for the new letter and the review letters.  There are color pictures to pick the pictures that start with the sound of the letter, and there are 4 words that contain that letter sound.  The words have dots under each sound made by the letters, to guide in sounding out and blending the sounds.  By the end of the book your child is writing and recognizing words. 

    I have a hard time with phonics books that require writing to read, my boys have always been advanced readers but not as advanced in writing.  I have always improvised with programs, using stamps, magnets, etc… The Can Do Cubes were great in this aspect (more on them later).  I have found that capital letters were a lot easier for their early writing stages, but many early writing books start with lower case, as does this book.

    2016-07-25 10.42.12

    I do LOVE that they did not introduce the letters in ABC order, but in sound frequency order, so that they are learning to sound out words by the third page.  In that same concept, letter s is the first letter, and was a VERY frustrating one for him to write, my 7 year old still struggles with S, so that was hard from the beginning.

    JP teacher book_zpsudbawy13

    student books_zpsdnh5ko2x

    Jolly Phonics book 2 introduces capital letters, it is more word based, as opposed to just letter sounds and combinations. Book 3 introduces bigger words and more writing, including sentences.

    grammar 1 student_zpszwixdf1ngrammar 1 teacher book_zpsdavrvv0c

    Jolly Grammar book 1 introduces a lot more dictation, focusing on spelling, as well as grammatical concepts, such as nouns, verbs and adjectives. 

    All the books include color pictures, to keep your child’s attention.  There are multiple activities for each concept to include all types of learners. 

    I really wanted my 7 year old to try this books, but alas he is stubborn and was not interested (this is a constant struggle).  I will definitely try again, however. 

    All in all, as far as a reading/phonics program goes, I think this is a solid program.  The writing aspect will vary from child to child.  If you have a child that is able to write at the same time they are ready to start reading, this is a perfect match!  If you have kids like mine, who are ahead in one area, and not the other… it makes a program like this one difficult to implement exactly as it was designed. 

    The multi-sensory aspects of this program are definitely a strong point!  I love that there are hand motions, and songs for each letter/letter combo.  The writing (if your child is able) is also a great way to absorb it.  I love that they are ‘reading’ by the 2nd page, which really helps build a child’s self esteem and confidence, which in turn encourages them to continue with the program and keep learning/reading!

    Social Media Links:
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/jollyliteracy
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/jollyliteracy
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jollyliteracy/

    Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review
    Crew Disclaimer


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