Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL 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.
This past few months we have been given the opportunity to use 2 new digital learning programs that I am excited to tell you about. Spelling Shed and Math Shed have given my kids a new fun way to practice spelling skills and memorize math facts! The program offers a lot of ways for kids to practice skills. It is also an easy way for teachers, or homeschool parents to teach your students, give assignments and track their progress.
Get Started with Math Shed and Spelling Shed
Both Spelling Shed and Math Shed are web-based programs that provide math and spelling practice and curriculum options. Each program is run through the same website and Teacher Hub. The Teacher Hub makes it extremely easy for you to set up you students, and log in information. There is an informative training video, and quick start guides in the form of pptx, and pdf files.
The students tab made it extremely easy to set up usernames and passwords for my kids, so that they could log in to play the web based games. You can also track your kids progress and give them specific assignments to complete in the games. If you are teaching a whole class you have options to add kids to groups. Then, you are able to give assignments to entire groups at a time. Also, when your students log on they have the option to customize their own avatar for their profile. For my gamer boys this was a big plus!
The Teacher Hub has everything you need to be able to make the most of the program for your students. Math Shed and Spelling Shed can be used as practice and supplement other programs, or you can use it as your main curriculum. The teacher hub gives you access to printable pdf or powerpoint files that can be used for instruction in spelling and math. Make sure to take time to explore everything that is offered in the Teacher Hub to get the most out of this program!
Math Shed is a web based program that provides math fact practice for your children. My children and I have played many online games to practice math facts. There are far more options for what skills they can practice on this game than most others we have used. Instead of just being able to practice basic math facts using digits 1-20, I enjoyed that Math Shed took everything a step further. There are 6 different basic categories to practice in: Number Bonds, Times Tables, Powers of 10, Add and Subtract, Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check, and Negative Numbers. You can assign your students the specific skills that they need to practice easily in the teacher hub.
Number Bonds provides practice in addition and subtraction. These problems specifically work on number pairs that add up to 10, 20, and 100. These facts can be practiced with addition or subtraction. Basic number bonds to 10 would be problems like: 6 + ___ = 10 or 10 – 4 = _____. Number bonds to 20, and 100 include problems like: 100 – 65 = ____ or 15 + ____ = 20. Students can choose easy, medium, or hard difficulty levels. The harder the difficulty changes how questions are answered. Easy difficulty gives 3 answer choices, Medium gives 6 and Hard provides a calculator where answers are entered in.
The Times Tables option for the game opens up 5 more main options with many more specific choices for times tables practice. I loved that this practice goes so much further than most we have used. It is great for my older kids who have mastered basic times tables, but need the repetition and options to relate and expand their math skills. Basic math facts can be practiced with single facts or mixed. Single facts for beginners learning each of their time tables. Mixed gives many options for practicing basic times tables, all together, or a few groups at a time.
You can also choose to practice related facts together. In each of these categories you can practice as multiplication problems, division problems, or mixed. If your kids are ready for a bit more of a challenge the related plus decimals tab is where you should look. The easy, medium hard options are the same in times tables as number bonds, with more answer choices, and open ended responses.
Powers of 10
Powers of 10 in Math Shed gives practice with multiplying and dividing numbers in powers of 10. You can choose to work with numbers with 10, 100, 1000, or mixed options. Students who are ready can also practice multiplying or dividing decimals with powers of 10. So many fact practice web programs I have seen do not go beyond the basic facts. I was excited that this program has options for more advanced math practice for my older son ready to go beyond basic facts.
Add and Subtract
Add and Subtract gives options for practicing basic addition, subtraction or mixed problems. You can choose to practice with numbers within 10, 20 or 100. Or you can choose, to add 2 digit, 3 digit or 4 digit numbers. Problems can be practiced with solely addition or subtraction, or a mix or both. Difficulty level choices of Easy, Medium, or Hard work the same way as others the other options.
The “More” option in Math Shed provides more options for higher level students. Here you find practice with negative numbers and a year 4 multiplication tables check. The multiplication check gives 3 seconds to answer basic times tables facts. This fast moving quiz will give your students practice and you data, and what multiplication facts your older students should be practicing. Negative numbers are another options I was excited to see, as I know my soon to be 6th grader will soon need to practice working with these facts.
Math Shed Curriculum
If you are looking for math instruction to accompany Math Shed‘s Practice options, there are lessons for up to grade 6. The Math Shed curriculum includes powerpoint teaching slides that provide daily lesson presentations for the entire year of each grade. I have not used the lessons however I have previewed many of them. They are colorful and would be a great resource to introduce and teach new math concepts.
Spelling has always been a struggle for my boys. Therefore, I’m always excited to find ways to boost their spelling skills. Spelling Shed is an excellent resource to teach, and practice spelling words. First of all, it is bright an colorful, and the cute bee activities drew my kids in easily. The games were basic but spelling games but made for enjoyable practice for my boys.
The basic play option in Spelling Shed has 4 difficulty levels, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Extreme. Each difficulty mode uses the words, but adds in more letters to choose from each time. Easy mode also shows the student the word before asking them to spell it from the mixed up letters. The bonus games add in a bit more fun with Bee Keeper, a hangman like game which is great for spelling, but also reasoning skills. The Missing Word bonus game has students spell the word that completes a sentence. I loved this option and that it adds in some comprehension instead of just straight spelling.
Assignments and Curriculum
Just like in Math shed, Spelling Shed provides a large number of options in making assignments for your kids. The default lists when you enter the Spelling Shed Web game show stages, which follow the Spelling Shed’s own curriculum. These consist of word patterns and high frequency words. Spelling Shed makes printable pdf or powerpoint files of theses lesssons available to you in the Teacher Hub. The curriculum provides lessons and activities for each of their lists. We did not use this curriculum as we already have a spelling curriculum we have been using.
Spelling Shed gives you the options to change these default lists and set specific spelling practice assignments for you kids just like they do in Math Shed. Under the assignments option at the Teacher Hub it is simple to create assignments. In spelling you have the options to use pre-made curriculum with Spelling Shed Levels, Dolch sight word Lists, Fry 100 word lists, or UIL Grade level lists. However, Spelling Shed takes it a step further and also makes it possible for you to create your own lists. Meaning you have the option to take word lists from current spelling curriculum and have your kids practice the words you want them to work on. This is what we will be doing each week in the coming school year.
Is Math Shed and Spelling Shed for You?
Overall Math Shed and Spelling Shed have been an excellent addition to our homeschool. The games are easy to use, and flexible to fit exactly what all my kids need to practice. Because of the seemingly endless amount of options I can create assignments for my Kindergartner, 4th Grader, and 6th grader all within one program. This is great for a homeschool family like us who likes to keep consistent assignments for all their kids, but at appropriate levels. I have also found that these programs are perfect for us for the summer for a fun way to keep working their brains, and not forget spelling words and math facts that we have worked on through their school year.
If you have been looking for an easy to use program to give your kids regular Math Fact practice or Spelling practice I can highly recommend Math Shed and Spelling Shed. Whether you are looking for full curriculum options or a supplement, Math Shed and Spelling Shed may be exactly what you need!
Do you want to hear more? Many other homeschool families from the Review Crew have also had a chance to make Math Shed and Spelling Shed a part of their Homeschool day. Click below to hear what they have to say!