April 30, 2015

La La Logic: A Critical Thinking based Preschool Curriculum {a Review}

We have been working on various preschool books and items with Baby Britches this year. He is wanting to "do school" but not quite ready for the full Kindergarten program I have planned. He loves using the computer for things, but I like to limit his screen time. He loves doing worksheets and activities, but I hate always having to find them to do. When I was picked to review La La Logic, I read about how it combines the best of online and offline activities in their Preschool Curriculum, I was curious to see if they would be able to provide the preschool program I was looking for. emphasizing

Product Information

La La Logic is critical thinking focused curriculum geared for preschoolers (or children ages 3-6). La La Logic is different from other curriculums because it incorporates online brain challenges that focus on specific cognitive skills--puzzles and activities found on childhood intelligence tests, like analogies, matrices, block designs and memory games--as well as offline enrichment activities like worksheets (that promote fine motor skills, pattern recognition, sequencing), short stories, poetry, games, and narration practice. The enrichment activities also use common items found in most households, making it easy to teach.

The preschool curriculum provides 100 weeks of content--along with a suggested schedule/lesson plan for each week's activities. The program is designed to be 4-5 days a week, but can easily be adapted for your own use base on your child's aptitude. 

La La Logic has the ability to track the progress of up to 5 children and costs just $29 per household one-time fee. Your account will not expire as you are paying for content, not time.

The online Brain Challenges work on PC, Mac, tablets, and mobile devices as long as they use the latest web browsers. 

We were given a lifetime membership to the Preschool Curriculum to review with Baby Britches.

How Did We Use This Product?

La-La Logic's start up information was sent via email. It was easy to get set up because as soon as you set up your child's account it starts! As you set up each child, you get to pick an icon for them. Baby Britches chose the "dinosaur"--the dragon. Just to see what it looks like with multiple students, I set up an imaginary second student.

Now when I log in I get this screen...
The first mistake I made was start at the BOTTOM where it said "start with..."and I discovered the ENDLESS brain challenges. I went back to the home page and realized that the curriculum itself was actually at the top. Clearly marked...ahem...La La Logic Curriculum. When I realized this, I felt sheepish, but hey. I wasn't the only one in our group to make the mistake! LOL!

When you click on the curriculum link, this takes you to the page noting all 100 weeks worth of material.


Now I simply click on a week and it will open up the agenda for that week. I love that when the week is completed, it will get marked off. This is great for keeping tabs of where we are in the material. 

Clicking week 7 opens up the agenda and goals for that week...
I can see the weekly schedule, can start the brain challenge for the week AND I can make notes about the week. Once it's completed, I can click the box noting we are finished and the week gets checked off.

The brain challenge is the online portion of the curriculum. It is a series of puzzles and activities promoting cognitive skills and critical thinking. The program suggests that the child does it WITH help the first time, but after sitting with me once, Baby Britches insisted that he could do it himself and he could.

There are all kind of activities, and each week's grouping gets more difficult in the skills required for completion of them. There are matching, sorting, pattern identification, reasoning, and puzzles. One of Baby Britches favorite was the matching--the one in the upper right. When he answered correctly the monkey did a silly dance. He loves the brain challenge and picked up on the necessary skills quickly.

If your child is having issues with some of the activities, you are able to provide them "extra practice" by clicking on the Extra Practice link on the home page. This opens up the opportunity to do some focused attention on skills.

Baby Britches likes doing these ones too and we do it whenever it's in the schedule.

Also included in this curriculum are the OFFLINE activities. One of these is a weekly worksheet. The worksheets provide time for the child to work on their fine motor skills like cutting, coloring, gluing, ect. (Included. As in, I don't have to find them and they match what is being studied!!!)
Some worksheet examples. All black and white which is great for the printer!
Baby Britches loves worksheets, but the amount of cutting I let him do depended on the activity because cutting can take FOREVER...so I did a lot of pre-cutting to make sure we didn't get bogged down.

You never know what kind of logic they will come up with as they work on their worksheets. Take this life cycles sequencing one...
When asked why he put the empty pot at the end, he matter of fact told me that the flower was dead. Okay then. Circle of Life complete. LOL.
The other portion of the curriculum is the Enrichment sets. There were two enrichment days in the weekly schedule and there are different activities for each one. Sometimes the enrichment is a short story or poem to be read on day 1. Then on day 2, the child narrates back the story and does a project of sorts to go with it. Some days it's games to play with the child where you lay out 3 items and then have them go away and come back and tell you what is missing. Some times it's singing songs with activities, like the cookie song to teach 1 to 1 or 2 to 1 concepts:
The enrichment sets were great and some of them I did including Little Britches for added support. He would be the scribe or he'd help Baby Britches with a narration or comprehension questions.
Working together to write down land animals vs sea animals
The last thing to mention is that the week's lessons are PRINTABLE so that you know exactly what needs to be done WITH space for you to jot down notes on how it went.

Weekly Schedule

The weekly worksheet

The Enrichment Set
We usually did one lesson per week, though we had two sick weeks and a stubborn week (aka. he didn't want to do anything) thrown in there. We will be starting week 7 next week.

What Are Our Thoughts on The Product?

Baby Britches: 
"I like the dancing monkey. And using the computer."

Baby Britches liked the brain challenge and always wanted to do more. he really likes the worksheets and most of the enrichment activities. He didn't like it when the stories were long or didn't have enough action to keep him interested. He went through everything quickly and we did at least one lesson a week, depending on what was involved, but a couple weeks we did two. As usual, we also had days where he didn't want to do anything but the online brain challenges. He also made up little songs to sing about the name. So funny. Now when he is doing school, he asks if he can do La La Logic.

Me:
I really enjoyed using La La Logic with Baby Britches. It was very "open and go" with little extra needed to implement any of the activities.

Pros:
*Portable on Any Device with Internet
I loved that I could have Baby Britches work on the Brain Challenge on my Kindle. This allowed us to take it with us or let him work on it while his brother was using the laptop. I have a Kindle Fire HD and he was able to do all of the activities without problems.

*Online and Offline Activities
There is always the fear of too much screen time. With this curriculum, the screen time is very minimal. Some days it takes just a mere 10 minutes for him to finish the set. The rest of the time is spent in the offline worksheet and enrichment activities.

*Weekly Schedule Printed
I loved being able to print out the weekly schedule and to be able to make notes on it. It was a great guideline.

*Short Activities
I put this as a pro because at the age of 4, the activities need to be fairly concise and too the point. I found that this curriculum could be done within about 20 minutes tops. Perfect for the age group.

*Access to all 100 weeks at once
The purchase of the program, grants you access to ALL of the 100 weeks of activities at once. There is no expiration or time limit, so I can access them whenever I want do. This is ideal for home school.

*Continuous Brain Challenge mode
I love that if I want, I can have him work on the continuous brain challenge mode which gives him endless puzzles and activities. Seriously. It's endless. I have to TAKE IT AWAY because it just won't stop and he keeps doing it. Great for car rides!

*Can go your own speed
With access to all 100 weeks of lesson, you are able to go whatever speed you need for your child. Some weeks we did more, some we did less. But I loved that I could do as much or as little as I needed to match his interest.

A few other pros include: Balanced worksheet ratio, Room for making notes, options for extra practice, notes lessons as completed, and is interdisciplinary with what is studied in the enrichment sets.

Now there are just a few cons I will mention, but not many...

Cons:
*Log In issues
I had issues some days with logging in. I would log in to the program, and then after clicking the links to start the curriculum, it would have me log in again. This didn't happen all the time, but it happened at least three times a week. Too many times.

*Some of the enrichment stories were too long, or too "boring"
I found that a few of the enrichment stories were too long and boring for my son. He lost interest and because he lost interest, we weren't able to complete the enrichment sets activities as most of them revolved around the story. I would like to see more of the short stories geared towards that level of understanding. For instance, the week 5 had a story about an Indian girl on the water and a little man telling her a fable about where water lilies came from. This story really wasn't that exciting--especially for a 4 year old boy, so we never finished the story any of the times we tried it. Thankfully there were still a few enrichment activities we could still do that weren't tied to the story much, but it would have been nice to have most preschool child friendly stories to read. Of course other children might have been very interested, but my older son wasn't too hot on it either.

*Notes input on the program are not available to access or printed out.
There is the option to make notes about your week on the week's data itself. I would like to be able to reference this as a whole and print it off. Some way to pull up all your notes you type in each week. It's almost useless to just have it there if you can't pull it up and print it off.
These notes here on this page. You can type them, but unless you open up each week, you can't see what you wrote
I really don't have any other cons, and the ones I mentioned are really minor. We didn't have any problems with the program itself in how it worked. It was very well done and Baby Britches liked it a lot.  It is an excellent balance of activities and I appreciated being able to have so many options on how to make it happen.

Will I continue to use this program?
Yes! I think it will be great to get Baby Britches ready for Kindergarten this fall. I love the brain challenges and see him continuing to use those in the future (road trips!!). I am curious to see how he progresses as it increases in difficulty.

Would I Recommend This Product?

I would absolutely recommend La La Logic looking for a preschool or early learning curriculum to give a good foundation for the education. Paying just $29 for access to the whole thing with a lifetime membership, is a price that can't be beat! Being able to have 5 different children signed up on it is also excellent. I loved that it combined online work with offline work and that it really did offer up an emphasis on logic and critical thinking. Other than having my printer to use, I didn't have to add anything I didn't already have in my house. It is easy to plan out weeks in advance and to put into practice for more than one child.

So far, it's one of the best curriculum I've seen for the preschool age--and I think there is enough meat in it to carry it over into early Kindergarten.

Want to Learn More?

We reviewed the preschool curriculum (a one time $29 per household fee) from La La Logic. You've learned what our thoughts are on it, but why not see what the 84 other crew members who reviewed it thought!
La La Logic Review
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*****
Well, I wanted to know if this curriculum would be everything I was desiring and I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was! I had never even heard of La La Logic before, but will be singing their praises to anyone seeking a great preschool curriculum!
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