Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Microsoft Student - Review

As a homeschooling mom, I'm always eager to check out new educational products for my children. When I was offered an opportunity to review Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008, I was really excited to try it out.

Now? Now I can't imagine never having it! My kids have been having so much fun exploring all that the software has to offer, learning while playing (and not even realizing that they're learning).

It's appropriate for all ages, as each of my children have been able to utilize it (ages 18, 11, and 7). My youngest and I were just having fun playing with the Encarta Kids 2008 feature in which we had to identify different dog breeds (you can also play the cat version).

Matthew, my 11-year-old, explored all on his own, having the most fun with the Encarta encyclopedia section on wars (World War II being the most interesting to him).

I myself played around with the tutorials and created a PowerPoint presentation on the water cycle. I've never used PowerPoint so the tutorial provided by Microsoft Student was perfect for me. I learned all the basics of preparing a presentation in a matter of minutes.

My oldest is in her senior year and finds math to be the most challenging subject. Microsoft Student helps her with several of their tools, her favorite being a calculator ("calculator" really does not do this justice) that utilizes 3D technology to help her visualize whatever equation she's working on. It will also show graphs to further help her understand the problem.

This software is packed with other useful features, including homework help, geography, foreign languages, dictionary, thesaurus, and more.

My only complaint with the software is that it doesn't support Windows 2000. The only computer with Windows XP in our home is my laptop, which I use all the time. So I am battling with my kids constantly over who gets to use my computer.

Also, if you're interested in purchasing the software, I recommend that you purchase the actual CD rather than downloading it from the site, since I had problems downloading it (and I know others did too).

I highly recommend it for students of all ages. It's going on my "most valuable" educational resources list for sure!

For more information and/or to order, just click Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008

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