La La Logic ~ A Brain Training Curriculum {A Crew Review}

If you are a regular reader of my blog you might know that I am a strong proponent of neurodevelopment activities that lay the foundation for learning.  Even older students and adults can benefit from increasing audio and visual memory skills as well other skills that help organize the brain’s ability to process information. When I looked at the samples at the La La Logic website, I knew I wanted to use the La La Logic Curriculum with Supergirl even though she is beyond the suggested age range. 

La La Logic ~ Brain Training Curiculum for young children. Has both online and offline components. Read review by Tess at Circling Through This Life

What is the La La Logic Program?

This curriculum includes 100 weeks of materials comprised of three components:  The Brain Challenge (Online), Worksheet (Offline), and Enrichment Activities (Offline). Weekly lesson plans include all three parts. The offline components include worksheets and enrichment activities the parent or teacher can downloads and print. The PDF download also includes a tracking page with check off boxes for each day for the three components as well as space for the parent/teacher to record answers to questions such as: what did your child enjoy most? what were the challenges faced this week? and what are your goals for next week?

Brain Challenge

This is the fun, game like portion of the program and is completed online. The Brain Challenge can be used on the computer or on a device such as the iPad or Kindle Fire. This component is designed for the attention span of young children so students can complete the challenge in 5 to 10 minutes a day.

Each Brain Challenge includes a variety of brain training exercises that keep a student interested and engaged. The activities progress in difficulty from week to week and focus on different aspects of cognitive abilities. Within each week the  Brain Challenge presents an average of five cognitive building activities. Most of these include 3-5 repetitions of the activity. Some of the cognitive abilities include pattern recognition, visual memory, visual perception, number sense, logic, reasoning, patterns, sequencing, and spatial recognition.

 Samples of the Brain Challenge Activities ~ La La Logic Curricum review by Tess at Circling Through This Life

When a student makes a mistake, the program encourages the child to try again. The program provides lots of positive reinforcement with cheers and music when the correct answer is given. This provides motivation to keep going. Each weekly session ends with a celebratory You Did It! encouragement. 


This offline component offers fine motor skill practice such as cutting, gluing, coloring, and manipulating paper in addition to reinforcing the cognitive abilities presented in the Brain Challenge.

La La Logic Worsheet component offers fine motor skills in addition to practicing logic and reasonng skills

There is one worksheet for each week. Instructions for completing the worksheet are conveniently located right on the worksheet.  The graphic below shows some of the different worksheet activities but do not show the full worksheet with the instructions.

Samples of the Worksheets from La La Logic Curriculum review by Tess at Circling Through This Life


Enrichment sets provide extension activities. Many of these would work well for slightly older children using the program and could take the place of some regular school assignments. The enrichment activities are scheduled for twice a week. These are much more academic and could easily count for language arts or other school assignments. One of our favorite enrichment activities was perfect for replacing math that day. Skills included money, counting backwards, and dividing! La La Logic provided “star shaped cookies” to cut out.  We supplied pennies.  We talked about how many cookies she could buy if they cost 1 cent each.  How many could she buy if they cost 2 cents each.  We counted backwards using a rhyme.

Extra Practice and Continuous Mode

The Brain Challenge is available in a Continuous Mode that has more a game feel and can be used when the student wants to play computer games. In Continuous Mode the program does not stop after one session. You can choose to start at any section but it does not currently keep track of where you left off playing.

If the student needs extra practice or just really enjoys a particular activity you can access the Brain Challenge activities through the Extra Practice link next to the child’s name. This allows you to pick the specific activity and progress with that skill.

La La Logic provides the opportunity for extra practice!

Using La La Logic Curriculum

The suggested weekly schedule lays out the program for a 4 day week with an optional 5th day. The schedule includes both the online and offline components. La La Logic suggests beginning with the first week even if using it with an older child.

Supergirl completes a worksheet to sharpen her reasoning skills.

They also suggest completing two weeks each week if you have an older child, so that you can move through the program more completely. To double up the program, you would follow the weekly schedule but on day 1 you would complete the activities for week 1 in the morning and week 2 in the afternoon and so on until you finished both sets at the end of the week.

This didn't quite work for us or our schedule.  Instead we would follow the suggested schedule but do two days at one time.  This worked well for us at this time because many of the activities were easy and fun for her and she has the attention span to work for 20-30 minutes easily.

We took a spring break for Pascha and Holy Week and the Continuous Mode of the Brain Challenge was a perfect way to sneak in some educational work in the form of coveted Kindle Fire play time! Supergirl would use the Kindle Fire to access the Brain Challenge in Continuous Mode a couple of times a week on the days that we did not do the weekly Brain Challenge set.

Supergirl using Continuous Mode during her free play time using the Kindle Fire


My Thoughts

I think the program is suitable for a wider age range than the ages 3-6 listed on the website. I think this is also good for 1st and 2nd graders. I even think some 3rd grade students whose younger siblings are using the program would benefit from many of the enrichment activities. I think this brain training program is a fun way to practice foundational skills.  Though Supergirl has completed only 10 weeks of the program, I have jumped ahead and completed Brain Challenges from several weeks at different points. I am very impressed with this program.  We will continue to include La La Logic in our schedule adjusting our pace as the difficulty increases.

The Details:

  • The Vendor:  La La Logic  
  • Format: This program has both an online interactive component and a PDF download component comprised of worksheets and enrichment activities.
  • Price:  $29 This is a one time household fee for a lifetime membership! Pay once and set up accounts for up to 5 children! They offer a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.
  • NOTE:  Check out the FAQ page for answers to common questions.


La La Logic Review

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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.


What Kind of Home Schooler Am I?

I've never really known what to call myself.  I usually end up saying that I prefer a literature based approach to homeschooling with classical leanings.  I do not consider myself a classical home schooler though.

For the last couple of days I have been contemplating the question "What kind of home schooler am I?" and I've been playing with this quiz that a crew friend posted to the crew forum.

I love narration. I love Latin and Logic. I think children learn best when they are interested but I do think that sometimes they have to learn about things they are not interested in. I am the parent and I am responsible for their education. I think formal school before 7 isn't evil but I don't think it is necessary for many children. I think living books are fabulous and I think text books can be living books. I love using a literature based approach to history and science and geography. I think discussions are vitally important and a great way to interact with my kids about what they are learning. I think all people need to learn how to do things like garden, car maintenance, chores etc. but I do not think they should be part of a formal academic education. I would teach those things to my children whether they were home schooled, public schooled, private schooled, or parochial schooled.

I took the quiz several times and each time I got different results.  Why? Well, because I wasn’t sure how to answer the questions.  There is a statement and then you have to choose between strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree or strongly disagree. Some of the statements, my gut responded, it depends.

What Kind of Homeschooler am I  Circling Through This Life

For a statement such as “short lessons with focused attention are better than big chunks of time,” I shouted, in my head, “it depends on the child’s personality, the age of the child, and the subject matter!” 

There were some questions that I agreed with part of the statement but not the whole statement. “Great books from history and literature should be used in place of textbooks.”  Yes, I strongly agree that great books from history and literature should be used.  I disagree that they should be used in place of (or instead of) textbooks. I think textbooks have their place and a textbook can be a living book. I do label myself as a literature based home schooler but but but I use textbooks too!

I found the quiz valuable to help me understand myself and my approach to education. I am still hesitant to call myself a classical home schooler. I have never thought of myself as an unschooler but one thing that kept popping up high was unschooling!

Seriously? I think my favorite line from Princess Bride fits perfectly: “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”  I did read the Feedback post that breaks each approach down and lists the questions. According to that list, I am indeed an unschooler. But when I look at the definition of Unschooling from the Explanation of Philosophies I am not not not not an unschooler. A Key component of Unschooling is “Child led interest.”

I do think children learn best when they are interested, but I prefer a parent-directed approach that takes children’s personality, learning style, and interests into consideration when planning a course of study.

I have elements from several of the categories. Perhaps I truly am an eclectic home schooler which the website defines as “Eclectic homeschooling means that a variety of philosophies and methods are used to come up with a unique mix that works for your family.” Yup that is me. Maybe I should come up with the Tess Approach and write a book called The Tess Education.

Visit the Eclectic Homeschool Blog to take the What Kind of Homeschooler Are You? Quiz for yourself. If you home educate, I’d love to hear what kind of home schooler you are, and if you are in the educational field, do you have a philosophy that you follow in your classroom? Is it influenced by district or school policy or do you have the freedom to teach in a style you prefer?


Random Five on Friday April 17th Edition

It’s Friday again!!!  Here’s Five Random Thoughts for this week:

1.  Today is April 17th.  50 years ago today my dad and my mom got married.  They had only known each other for something like 6 weeks before they got married and they were married until my dad died.

2. This year Western Easter fell one week before Pascha so Easter was our Palm Sunday and then we entered into Holy Week.  I've written about Holy Week and Great Lent in the past so today I thought I would just share a few of my past posts:

3.  The weather was supposed to be nasty last weekend. Surprisingly, it didn’t turn out to be as cold or as wet as weather.com predicated. It wasn’t exactly warm and sunny for our Agape Feast but at least the ground was dry and the kids didn’t get rained on when they did the Easter Treat Hunt.

Supergirl finds a prize on the Easter Treat Hunt!


4.  Pascha is the one Sunday a year that Orthodox Christians sleep in and eat breakfast before heading to church. In addition to Kulich and bacon and sausage, this year I made a family favorite: Cream Cheese and Bacon Scrambled Eggs.  It was so yummy! I tried something different though.  I did not beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add the cream cheese mix.  I just cracked the eggs directly into the cream cheese/butter/milk mix and whipped it all together.  Why didn’t I think of doing that sooner?  We baked it in a 9x13 glass dish.  If you haven’t tried them, you should!

5. It’s Bright Week and I am looking forward to Vespers tonight and liturgy tomorrow for Bright Saturday!


Random Five on Friday ~ Holy Friday Edition

1.  I have decided I like caviar.  It is a tradition in Russian style Orthodox churches to eat caviar on Lazarus Saturday.  I first tried caviar at a church function several years ago and so this was either the 2nd or 3rd time I have had it.  I'm fine so long as I don't think about what it is.  It's very salty and I think it's the saltiness that I like. It's very good spread on a slice of French bread.

Random Five April 10th Edition at Circling Through This Life ~ It's Holy Week!

2. While the Western Christian Churches celebrated Easter, the Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches (except those like in Finland who must follow the Gregorian Calendar), celebrated Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday 2015 ~ Turtlegirl carries the Festal Icon of the Great Entry into Jerusalem

3.  Holy Week is the most incredible, overwhelming, exhausting, exhilarating, fabulous and awesome week of the year. Each day has multiple church services.  I have never been to all of the services because there are something like 20.  Two services a day with some days offering three.  But I love this week!

4. We haven’t done any formal schooling this week, nor do we plan to do any formal real school days next week. Supergirl is super excited because we’ll be studying Knights and Castles and making a lapbook. She’s started watching the recommended DVD about castles this week and next weeks we’ll start reading some books. Don’t don’t tell her but I am pretty excited too.  Yes you’ll get to read all about it in two reviews! 

5. There are tiny bubbles of excitement exploding inside me today.  Pascha is coming! The beautiful hymns are already running through my head as I scramble to get us ready for services tonight and work on my to-do list for Pascha preparation!


Lazarus Saturday ~ The Dead Will Be Alive

Today, for most Eastern Orthodox Churches,  is Lazarus Saturday.  On this day we remember and celebrate how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.  This is a beautiful foreshadowing of the glorious Resurrection that we'll celebrate next week. 

Traditionally, children are often baptized on Lazarus Saturday. Honeybear’s godson was baptized on Lazarus Saturday so each year I think back and remember that day.

Honeybear becomes a godfather Lazarus Saturday!

This year though, I really listened. I mean as in over and over again and printed out the sheet music.   Rejoice, O Bethany. Lazarus was dead. Four days in the tomb dead. Jesus told Martha stop lamenting because her brother would live again.  Then Jesus goes to the tomb and cries out Lazarus arise! And he did. I don’t think I’ve really truly grasped the depth of that miracle, nor do I truly understand all of the implications for humanity.

This is a beautiful hymn for Lazarus Saturday. It is so beautiful that I had to write a blog post about it!

This part really got to me during the service Friday night:

“We, who are dead in sin, in Thee, O Jesus are made a live! We are made alive!”

I also love this bit:

“On this day God came to thee and in Him the dead are made a live as is right for He is the Life!” Listen and Enjoy!



Confession is Good for the Soul!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you might already know or remember that I was raised Catholic. One of the huge issues for me as a Catholic was the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It was very formalized and very intimidating. There were certain prayers that you had to say to the priest and then the priest might give you penance like saying 10 Hail Mary’s or praying the rosary.  Granted, I don’t recall ever having been given a penance like that but I was terrified of confession. I dreaded it.  I avoided it.  I did not feel good after it was over. I didn’t feel cleansed or healed. I felt frustrated at going through the motions of something that I did not understand. I went to confession less than a handful of times before I gave up on being Catholic in my 20s.

I spent nearly 20 years as a protestant. I read more books. I studied more theology. I read more scripture.  Usually with the disgruntled Catholic lens covering my eyes. I was convinced, at least for a short while that ritualistic liturgy type services with rote prayers and the same exact service every Sunday was wrong. Not just Catholic but any service like that, including Lutheran!  As time went by and I grew up more and more, I was less antagonistic over “ritual” religion but I was still anti-confession.  Why should I confess to another human being?  Why can’t I just say a prayer and tell God I’m sorry?

Confession is good for the soul. It restores joy, hope and brings healing to the heart.

I had a dread of the Orthodox Mystery of Reconciliation or Confession. Would it be the same as my experience growing up?  Would it just be something I avoided as much as I could? Would it truly be healing?  Were these people nuts, the ones who would tell me that they love confession?

There are prayers to say before confession and there are many different ways to do a Self-Examination but the process is less formal and rigid. At least my experience with Orthodox Confession is more inviting and less frightening. I do not need to be afraid that I will say the wrong prayer or forget the words I am supposed to say. It is much more conversational in tone. I pray before going to church and it is very helpful to read through a check list of self-examination.  There is one in my little red prayer book.

There are prayers that that priest says before confession but thankfully I do not have to have them memorized. I don’t say them.  I just hear them.  <grin>.  Sometimes the priest will say the prayer once when there are several who are waiting to confess and sometimes if there are only a couple of confessions he’ll read the prayers at the start of each individual confession.  For appointed prayer times, such as after a Vespers service there is someone who reads through the Psalms. Those who are waiting are quiet and contemplative. Maybe they dread confession as much as I do? I don’t know but I see demeanors change after confession.  The dread is gone.  The frowns are gone. I see the hope and the joy and the smiles.

I do find that Orthodox Confession is good for the soul.  It does bring healing, joy, and yes, reconciliation. Of course I am biased and agree that the Mystery of Reconciliation is more than just confessing my sins but I do think that as a protestant reading and praying through the Self-Examination Before Confession would have been good for my soul too.  The questions are tough. I realized that I do a whole lot more sinning than I am willing to admit even to myself and that I sin in far more ways than I thought possible. I was depressed and discouraged before going to confession but speaking with my priest, getting his advice, admonishment, and encouragement and participating in the prayers wiped away all the depression and discouragement.  Each time I participate in the Mystery, I come away with a renewed sense of Joy and Hope. I feel healed.  It’s difficult to explain and not exactly something I understand but I have become, over the years, a firm believer in regular and frequent confession.  I just have to get past that hurdle of fear and dread and remember the joy, hope, peace, and love that I feel afterwards.

Holy Week draws near, and I feel the stirrings of deep longing and excited anticipation. During Great Lent we begin by forgiving one another, we focus on our own repentance, and then we prepare for the Feast of Feasts, the foundation of Christian Faith, the Glorious Victory of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.