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My favorite math game that makes learning division much easier

My favorite game to make learning division soooo much easier {Review}

I’ll admit it … I’ve never been a fan of long division.

And except for my one “mathy” kid, none of my kids have been either.

It’s hard. It makes your brain work. And it has soooooo many steps!

Fortunately, you can make division a little bit easier for your kids (and yourself) by playing games that introduce division skills BEFORE you get to long division.

And today I want to share one of my FAVORITE pre-division games with you!

CLICK HERE to check out Prime Climb for your homeschool!

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Hey guys, it's ToriAnn Perkey here. From my homeschool to your homeschool, is long division or division in general something that your kids love or something that your kids not so love so much? Yeah, in my home, division is just one of those things that is not a beloved topic, and I get it.

One of my memories from elementary school is doing long division and just dreading it because it is hard. It makes the brain work. It's like [makes sound] so many steps, so many places to make mistakes.

Division is tricky, but today I want to share a resource with you that can make it just a little bit easier. Division, fractions, primes, factors -- all of that is going to be easier with this game that I want to share with you today.

It is called Prime Climb, and I love this game. I have loved this game since it showed up as a Kickstarter campaign in my newsfeed. It was about 3 or 4 years -- no, maybe -- yeah, 3 or 4 years ago. We grabbed this game. I have never regretted it.

This is one of my absolute favorite math games that we play in our house, and let me tell you all the reasons why I love this game. First of all, it's completely visual, and I was looking for visual games because I wanted games that my kids could play regardless of whether they were reading well or not -- because some of my kids have some of those struggles. And so they were old enough to be starting to learn more difficult math concepts but they couldn't read yet. So, I love the fact this math is completely visual.

Second, I love the fact that it's so visual that it works for visual learners as well as more right brain thinkers as well as the left brain thinkers -- and I have both. 

So, let me just give you an idea here. This is the game board, and let's make sure you guys can see it and this -- it's beautiful. It's absolutely beautiful. And it was put together by a couple of genuine mathematicians -- really strong ones.

And what's really, really -- oh my gosh, this is so cool -- is you'll notice down here the #2 is all gold, right? The #3 is all blue. Well, when you get to 4, you'll notice it's gold … and let me show you -- let me see if I can do this. It's got a divider in between that.

So, what you see is they've taken 2, and they've shown how by division it makes 4. If we come up to 6 -- ah, this game board. If we come up to 6, what you can see here -- maybe I can do this. Aha. If we come up to 6, it is the blue -- I can't do my colors. It's the green and the yellow combined. Did you see that? So, it's like yellow and green combined which is the 2 x 3. And then we get to 5 which is another prime, right? So, there's no -- it's just a solid prime, and then 7's a prime.

But if we come over here to say this red one, red's a 37 -- these are the prime factors. So, they don't get to be red. But once we get here ... once you get into the higher numbers ... any number that's completely prime is red, but any number that's created by other numbers is a division and a colorful combination mathematically -- visually with those.  So, 36 is a 3, a 3, and a 2, and a 2, and you'll notice that's factor trees.

Factor trees visually represented with colors.  Thirty five is your blue 5 and your purple 7. Okay, when I realized what they had one with every number up to 101, I really, really just sort of wigged out.  I was like [crazy happy sound 🙂].

So, what you do as you play this game is your goal is to move your piece all the way from the start to the center. And there's cards that give you different instructions about how fast you can move. There's dice that you roll. There's going backwards. There's going forwards. And there's the additional added step that you have to do factoring math to move forward or to move back. And depending on how complicated you make it determines how much math your kids need to know to be able to do this game. 

So, you're able to do at different levels. My 6 year old was able to figure it out, but my 10 year old and my 12 year old still enjoy playing. And as an adult and as teenagers, we still enjoy playing because it's one of those games that grows with you. It stretches your brain. It gets you thinking, so all the family can play.

So, Prime Climb is one of those games that is so packed with math at the same time it's fun, it's visual, it's going to keep you moving forward. And it's by people who understood that if they could take a math concept that was a little hard to understand and primes, factors -- all those things that go into division, into fractions -- and they could make it simpler, it was going to make everything after primes and factoring so much easier.

And this is one of those games that when my kids then get to division, get to those higher level things, they already understand what's going on. When they look at fractions, and they're trying to figure out how to come up with multiples, how to come up with all those things, these concepts that we've learned in Prime Climb and in other games like this are now embedded in their brain and moving them forward faster because they can see the concepts.

I love it, love it, love it.  So, if this is something you're interested in, fortunately you don't have to wait for another Kickstarter campaign. You can pick it up on Amazon. Just check up the link up above or down below -- wherever it is based on where you're watching this video. It's definitely going to be worth your time to check this out.

I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I bring you these videos every week so that you can be a super successful and confident homeschool mom.

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My favorite math game that makes learning division much easier
My favorite math game that makes learning division much easier
My favorite math game that makes learning division much easier
Homeschool math game Prime Climb review
Bananagrams game review to teach spelling

Toss the dreaded spelling list and play this game instead! {Bananagrams Review}

Spelling … how’s it going in your homeschool?

I look at spelling a lot like learning basic math facts. Absolutely important as a building block to higher level schooling -- but not always as exciting to learn.

Bananagrams game review to teach spelling


Over the years, I’ve tried so many different approaches -- memorizing basic lists, using copywork, playing tons of games -- and each has pros and cons.

What I’ve found is that the type of learner that I have really determines what kind of approach works best.

My wholistic thinkers do really well with games and spell check and copywork. Each time they see a word misspelled, it gets filed away … and over time their spelling continues to improve.

I’m always amazed because these wholistic-thinking kids are also the ones who seem to be allergic to lists and memorizing anything … it’s almost as if they need to just absorb the spelling through everyday exposure.

On the other side are my linear thinkers. They LOVE lists … and really need them to do well.

My dyslexic linear thinker must methodically and logically taught spelling -- helping her see the patterns and the connections. Her spelling is slowly improving through consistent focus.

My other non-dyslexic linear thinker uses the lists and immediately sees the connections on his own. He LOVES words. He also LOVES word games because spelling comes so naturally to him.

So with this mix of kids, I’ve found that a mixed approach to spelling has been effective. Some get lists, some get copywork.

But games are one way that we all can come together -- adjusting to accommodate the different skill levels.

I want to share with you one of my favorite word games that we’ve been able to adapt in several ways into our homeschool.

Play it straight -- or modify it to teach and review specific words. So much fun no matter how you to do it!

CLICK HERE to check Bananagrams out for your homeschool.

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7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hey everybody, it's ToriAnn Perkey. From my homeschool to your homeschool, do you have dreaded spelling lists? 

Do you pull out the spelling list and your kids go, "Oh Mom, not another spelling list!" 

Spelling is one of those things that we know our kids need to do when we're homeschooling.  Is there a way to do it that's more fun, more engaging, more exciting? Because I'm going to tell you that anything that is more fun, more engaging and more exciting is going to work so much better in your homeschool.  And throughout all the different homeschooling things that we did, I was always looking for ways to make the boring, the mundane, the write-it-down-5-times type of spelling list thing ... is there a way to make it more fun?  There almost always is. Which is why today I want to tell you about a really cool game that we used in our home instead of dreaded spelling list. And it's so multipurpose that we used it far beyond and continue to use it far beyond the ways that it's designed. And it is ... Bananagrams.  Yay!

Okay.  So, have you ever seen Bananagrams?  This is the cutest little package. It's a banana, right?  And when you open it up inside are these letter tiles. I'm just going to pull out a few.  And here we have like an F, and a V, and an I, and in a lot of ways at this point it seems a lot like Scrabble, but this game does not play like Scrabble.

First of all, these tiles are made out of plastic.  You probably can hear that, and they're smooth. I love the tactile feel of these tiles. And they're a little bit smaller than Scrabble tiles.  The second thing that I like about them -- or I like about this game -- is that when you're just playing the straight rules, it is so much faster than Scrabble.

I don't know if you ever get bored playing Scrabble.  I know there's lots of people who don't, but I do because I have to wait for everyone else to take their turn. And if you're playing with younger kids, and they're waiting, it's not going to work.

So, what's cool about Bananagrams is the gameplay. Everyone's playing at the same time.  They're building their own, individual Scrabble boards with the same cross patterns and things like that, but you are building them all at the same time. So everybody gets to play. And you can modify the rules for the younger kids versus the older kids so that everybody has an equal chance depending on where they are.

Now, when I first saw Bananagrams, I was really excited for my kids who knew how to spell because I knew we were going to have fun playing it and practicing spelling words. Practicing how to spell any word while you're playing a game is way more fun than learning a spelling list.

But how do you use a game like this ... a bunch of random letter tiles ... how do you do that if your kids can't spell?  Well, the letter tiles themselves become these fabulous, fabulous kinesthetic tools to help kids spell. So, you can be laying out the tiles, you could have the spelling list, and you could say, "Okay, take the list and create me a grid like a Scrabble grid or a Bananagram grid using these words.  Can you do it?" Or you could take the tiles and you could lay them all out and you say, "Can you just find all the letters that go to your words?” Or what else could you do? Anything where the kids have to look at the word and spell it but they're doing it with tiles instead of with their hand writing on a piece of paper.

And I found that for my kinesthetic kids, those kinds of games were so, so, so much more effective.  We would even play games where the tiles are spread out across the floor and you have to run and get the tile, so there's that high movement.  So much better, so much more fun. And then you still have the game that you can play as they get to be better spellers, so it's multipurpose. You don't just have a manipulative sitting on your shelf waiting to be used for this one part of your curriculum or your one part of school, and then when it's done, you're done.  I like multipurpose. Way more effective. Yes!

So, if you are looking for a way to get rid of the boring way to do spelling and liven it up a little bit, then this little game right here is one that I would highly, highly recommend. And you can check it out on Amazon.  I'll put a link up above, down below, or wherever it is wherever you're watching this.

From my homeschool to your homeschool, I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I'm here to help you be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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Bananagrams game review to teach spelling
Bananagrams game review to teach spelling
Bananagrams game review to teach spelling
Build A-MAZE-ing Problem Solving Skills with Perplexus - Review

Build A-MAZE-ing Problem Solving Skills with Perplexus {Review}

No … not the gritty cleaner left in the sink after you scrub it.

I’m talking about GRIT … the ability to keep going when things get tough and see a goal all the way to the end?

It’s an absolutely essential skill to have as a successful adult.

And it’s also one that we talk about a lot in the homeschool community — although we like to say things like “getting my kids to finish” and “staying focused.”

Being able to stay with a task when it gets hard is something I’m working really hard to help my kids learn. I want them to know that failure only happens if they give up and that true success is measured by effort not by results.

How am I trying to do it?

1. I’m modeling the behavior myself (as much as I can).

2. When an assignment gets tough, they can take a break. But I expect them to come back and work through to the end.

3. I find “tough” physical work for them to do (moving rocks!) that pushes the muscles as well as the brain.

4. I look for fun ways to stretch their grittiness.

That last one is definitely where this week’s review fits in. The Perplexus toy is NOT easy. It takes patience and tenacity — two essential ingredients for grit.

And my kids play with them over and over. Which means they are building their grit muscles every time (even when they think they are just having fun).

They loved them so much, they collected them all. But these are two of their favorites:

Rookie: https://amzn.to/2u0X91g
Original: https://amzn.to/2u1nGvj

Love how sometimes the lessons can sneak in when they are least expecting them!

Practice math facts addition subtraction fun game

Your Kids Will WANT to Practice Math Facts {7Ate9 Review}

Do you ever get bored?

Whether it's the same meals over and over ... or the same clothing in your closet ... or the same homeschool workbook.

If you're like me, your brain at some point starts to say ... "Seriously ... can we do something different!?!"

Practice math facts addition subtraction fun game


That's why I'm constantly on the lookout for new and interesting ways to teach the same subjects.

And after 4 kids, basic math facts are DEFINITELY something that I want to do differently.

That's why I LOVE 7Ate9 ... a simple card game that review addition and subtraction in an exciting and different way.

While it's designed to be a speed game (which is awesome because I want those facts to be automatic), I've also slowed it down for kids who are still learning or who get stressed over having to go too fast.

Now that my kids are older, it's still a game that we pull out and play -- because it's fun even when you already KNOW your facts.

And who doesn't need a good basic review now and then?

Click HERE to check out 7Ate9 for your homeschool.

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Practice math facts addition subtraction fun game
Practice math facts addition subtraction fun game
Practice math facts addition subtraction fun game
Practice math facts addition subtraction fun game
Practice math facts addition subtraction fun game
Tell Tale Card Game Review - 3 Essential Writing Skills + Teach 1

3 Essential Writing Skills + Teach 1 with This Tell Tale Game {Review}

Ever feel frustrated because your kid doesn’t want to write?

Or do you wish you could simplify your language arts curriculum, save yourself some time, AND still produce great writers?

It’s totally possible to inspire a love of writing AND do it in less time and effort.

Because writing breaks down into THREE essential elements. And you can practice each element individually and to different degrees depending on what your child needs help with and what they are naturally good at.

What are these three essential elements that must be mastered in order to be a great writer?
Putting words on paper (or on a computer screen)
Getting content out of the brain in a coherent manner

Often, as moms, we try to lump all three of these skills together.

“Write down your ideas.”
“Let’s do a book report.”

But if your kid’s development in these three skills isn’t the same, they will struggle and get frustrated.

(For example, if they are FABULOUS at TELLING you a story, but they struggle to write the story down on paper!)

Being aware of each of these essential skills, and then tackling them individually, can sometimes be an excellent way to still develop great writers without all of the resistance.

Let’s break each of these skills down.

Putting Words on Paper

This is traditionally called “handwriting” and “typing.” The goal is for your kid to be able to legibly produce letters in some way.

For some kids, this comes so naturally. “Look mom! I just wrote the alphabet!”

They go from letters to printing sentences to cursive … and often they practice on their own because they love it. (It’s true … I had one, so I know it’s possible!)

However, there are other kids who putting pen to paper is HARD! Whether they struggle with some form of dysgraphia or they genuinely are just not interested, they have no interest in “practicing” how to write.

For these kids, breaking down the process of handwriting can be very very helpful. And practicing this skill IN ISOLATION makes it easier for them to learn what they need to learn.

My favorite resource for learning handwriting is Handwriting without Tears. We’ve been using this program with great success with my youngest this year!

Typing is also a valuable skill that you can teach young. We’ve used two different programs over the years.
Typing Instructor is a game that you install on your computer.
If your kid is a little older and you like FREE (who doesn’t?) and don’t mind a few ads, we’ve had great success with the online instruction of Typing Club this year.


If your kid can’t spell, they can’t communicate in writing very well.

I’ve learned over the years, it can be valuable to split spelling from content creation and handwriting. If your kid is struggling, isolating spelling allows them to focus on what they need help with without feeling the pressure to also produce something amazing.

My two favorite spelling curricula are:
Sequential Spelling (for my holistic, right-brained learners)
All about Spelling (for my logical, left-brained learners)

Content Creation

The last essential part of becoming a great writer is sharing great content.

Great content can be anything from an interesting story to a factual report to a summary of what your kid learned during the day.

Later in your kid’s schooling, writing will be how they organize and share their thoughts about what they are reading and learning. It’s one of the main ways others will assess how much they’ve understood and synthesized from a class.

I have found one of the ideal ways to prepare my kids to share great content is to encourage them to share their thoughts in an organized way as much as possible.

When kids are younger, one of the best ways to do this is through storytelling. Storytelling requires that a child structure their ideas (beginning, middle, and end) — AND emotionally connect with their ideas.

PLUS storytelling is FUN! So it’s much easier to get kids to practice when they are engaging in a storytelling game.

While there are many resources out there to help with storytelling, two of my favorites (because they are simple and easy) are:
Rory Story Cubes (See my previous review here.)
Tell Tale (see my video review below)
Handwriting, Spelling, Content Sharing — three essential skills.

As your kid works on writing, keeping each of these skills in mind will help you identify where the gaps or struggles are. You can focus on those … while still moving your kid’s ability to write forward.

If you want to check it out Tell Tale for your homeschool, CLICK here

Timeline History Game Review -- Fun for Ages 6 to 96

Timeline History Game — Fun for Ages 6 to 96 {Review}

Ready to take the challenge? … Do you or your kids know more about history?

Get ready for awesome learning and amazing bunny trails in this fabulous history timeline game for all ages.

Click HERE if you want to check Timeline out for your homeschool.

Grammar game review Silly Sentences homeschool

A Super Simple (and fun!) Way to Teach Grammar to Young Kids

Teach grammar to six year olds ... And have fun?!?

Oh, yeah!!

Check out this fabulous grammar game for elementary kids that I love playing too! We laugh like crazy!

Click HERE if you think you might want one for your homeschool.

DK Games: Silly Sentences Game Review - Grammar for Kids


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Confident Homeschool Secrets

7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)

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Grammar game review Silly Sentences homeschool
Grammar game review Silly Sentences homeschool
Grammar game review Silly Sentences homeschool
silly sentences dk games grammar game review
Gamewright Zeus on the Loose Review - Teach Math with Mythology

Teach Homeschool Math with Mythology {Review}

We love Zeus on the Loose!

Fabulous way to mix mythology and math … teaching mental arithmetic in a game that you can play quickly over and over.

Click HERE if you want to check it out for your homeschool.

Teach Writing with Rory Story Cubes Review - Let Your Imagination Roll

Teach Writing with Rory Story Cubes {Review}

One of my favorite little writing tools … easy to pull out. Easy to use. Lot’s of fun.

A writing staple for my homeschool.

Click HERE to check it out for your homeschool.