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Archive for the ‘TOS-Reviews’ Category

At Home in Dogwood Mudhole ~ Review

 

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 This review was one of the easiest reads I have had all year. Normally the reviews I have done have been for the kids and while they have been fun, having something to read just for fun was well FUN! I received  Franklin Sander’s first book Nothing That Eats! in the three part series  At Home In Dogwood Mudhole! After reading this teaser I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book.

Excerpt from the back of the book: When Y2K looms and modern life fails to satisfy, Franklin Sanders and wife Susan go from nuclear family to multigenerational farm. Despite Susan’s admonition that they acquire nothing that eats, they gain dogs, chickens, horses, cows, pigs, ducks and sheep. Their children move back in and bring their spouses, filling Dogwood Mudhole with grandchildren. It’s no Green Acres, but through sheer persistence and good humor, they learn to farm.  

 photo Franklin_Deal-300x451_zpsb3f59745.jpg  The biggest surprise for me was that Franklin Sander’s writes this book in a series of letters instead of in a storybook format. He tells us in the preface that He wrote these letters once a month for sixteen years recounting his family’s news for The Moneychanger, which is his monthly newsletter.    Another thing that I enjoyed about this book is that there are plenty of pictures and hand drawn maps to help you to relate to the family. Unfortunately some of the entries didn’t seem to flow just right for a book, while I’m sure they really worked for a monthly newspaper, reading them back to back in the book did confuse me sometimes. I also LOVED that he supported “roadside joints, mom-and-pop, family- and real people run businesses that he patronized” , he would give addresses and phone numbers that that readers can experience the charm of the south too!   We start this journey in June of 1995 and one of the last entries takes us to September 2002. We learn about his family and the family pets, we go on family vacations, see how they participate in civil war reenactments. After dealing with the IRS and Y2K looming right around the corner, what’s a family to do?  I hope you get your own copy of this book and see how the Sanders deal with Y2K and farming life!!   How did your family prepare for Y2K?  Nothing That Eats is available in paperback for $22.95 or $16.95 Kindle/ePUB/PDF

Volume Two: Best Thing We Ever Did is also available in paperback for $22.95 or $16.95 Kindle/ePUB/PDF

    I would recommend this book for teens and adults!     Check out what the Crew is saying!!Photobucket “Prices are accurate at the time of this review.”

 

 

Wishing you many Blessings Rainbow

Disclainer ©2011- 2013. Blessings from Homeschooling.

All rights reserved. Ask before using my stuff. Contact me @ blessingsfromhomeschooling@gmail.com

VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership ~ Review

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Have you heard about VocabularySpellingCity? I’m sure you have! We have used the free version for many years but over the last couple of weeks we were given the opportunity to review VocabularySpellingCity’s Premium Membership! While we enjoyed the free version having the Premium is so much better!!!

After you purchase the Premium Membership you create a parent account and then you can add up to 5 students into your class, and they can be all in different grades.The Teaching Resources page has many great features for you to use to set your child’s account. There are Language Arts Lessons, Articles, Useful Word Lists, & Help & Information, with tons of how to videos and helpful resources. After you have created your account and added your students you need to make a list, there are how to videos to help you if you get stuck, there are also premade Word Lists that you can use or you can add any words you want. So if your science curriculum has vocab word, or your history lesson, or any other words that you feel your child needs to know you can manually add them to a list.

Since Leann and Bella are in 2nd grade and I wasn’t sure about which words to put in, so I decided to use the Summer Program – grade 2 list. Once the lists are made you can then assign activities with due dates, you can add as many or as few as you would like. The girl’s first week was a bit overloaded with assignments. All of the activities are really fun and I had a hard time choosing which ones they should do, but I realized that if I only assign 4-5 activities a week then typically they would play other games just because they were fun and not because they had to!

Here’s a peek at a few of the fun filled games that they get to play!!

Flash Card: gives the word and the meaning. Great study tool! photo flashcard_zps3b3e1de7.jpg

 

Word-O-Rama – Game show host asks the question and the student guesses!! FUN!! photo wordorama_zps693e47d4.jpg

 

Letter Fall – Student moves the mouse back and forth trying to catch the right letters! photo letterfall_zps87fc7ce0.jpg

   Another great option is the App!

Courtesy of VocabularySpellingCity: Both free and Premium Members can log in through the app for easy access to their lists! Students of Premium Members can complete their assignments and parents and teachers also have easy access to their student records through the app. Premium students assigned to multiple teachers’ classes have the option to select the teacher whose assignments they wish to complete through the app.

Games available through the App. spelling3 So how do you know if your child likes it?? When it’s time for bed and this is what she is doing: spelling4    

VocabularySpellingCity is for ages K-12th grade.

Price: Families with up to 5 students $29.99 or Classrooms with up to 25 students $49.99, they also have pricing options for schools.

Typically the girls would work on VocabularySpellingCity for about 30 minutes a day. The assignments only took a few minutes to complete but then they would play other games.

Bella’s view: I really like this program, I LOVED playing all the different games!

Leann’s view: I LOVE IT!!! I have so much fun playing the games on my phone and on the computer! The only thing is that I wish Word Search was on the phone app.

My view: This program is super easy to set up and to monitor the kids progress. Having the word lists also helped to take a bit of the burden off of my shoulders, since I didn’t have to look through the books and come up with words. I love the progress tracker, I can tell how long each of the girls took to complete an assignment, how long they played each game, each time they log into their account, it also grades the tests for me! No more hunting for loose papers, everything is neatly put onto a sheet that is printable for your records.

I would recommend this program for ALL students. Whither you are a homeschooler, public school or private these games are a fun a helpful tool for all kids to learn a better vocabulary and spelling skills. 

  Check out what the Crew is saying!!Photobucket

“Prices are accurate at the time of this review.”

 

Wishing you many Blessings Rainbow

image ©2011- 2013. Blessings from Homeschooling.

All rights reserved. Ask before using my stuff. Contact me @ blessingsfromhomeschooling@gmail.com

Time4Learning ~ Review

Time4Learning

We had the pleasure of reviewing 2nd grade for Time4Learning. What is Time4Learing? Well I’m glad you asked, it is an online educational program that teaches preschool through high school! The cool thing about Time4Learning is that you can use it as a full curriculum, or as a supplement to your existing curriculum.  This program is not for only homeschooler, if your child is in public school or private school you can use this for extra help, after school fun or during the summer to keep them on track!

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For this review we received a 6 month subscription for Leann. Leann was excited to get to do school on the computer. Time4Learning allows the student to use one grade level below and one above, so if your child needs a little more help in a certain area, no problem or if they need more challenging work on a certain subject, no problem. Time4Learning covers spelling, phonics, reading comprehension, vocabulary, math, social studies, science.

Here is the lesson plans for each grade:

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As the parent I had to set up the accounts and answer a few question so they knew what assignments to assign to Leann. The student actually has their own account with a log in name and password, Leann had no problem logging in on her own. After setting up the program and adding it to her bookmark page (for easy access) I sat down with her and showed her each section. Leann had access to LA extensions, Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. I even showed her the Playground. The Playground is filled with fun educational games that the kids get to play, but to enter the playground your child needs to do a minimum of 15 minutes of school work. As the parent, you can set up playground time, you can set up which subjects you want your child to do each day, you can even put a time limit on how long they can be on each subject.

In the Parent’s Area, there are many useful tools available. You have access to a forum where you can chat with other parents using Time4Learning. I did not set any timer on Leann’s work. I allowed her to pick and choose which subjects she wanted to learn and allowed her to work at her own pace.

Leann at first really enjoyed being a “big kid” and being able to work on the computer. But soon the novelty wore off and it became just school. Leann typically started her day with LA extensions, which works on vocabulary and facts on different subjects.  Activities include  a puzzle, a story; which has options for reading: Read to Me, Read Aloud, Read by Myself and I Can Read.Then the student takes a quiz to check their comprehension. After the quiz they move onto Sounds, Letter & Words and under each activity is a printable resource to complete later on right then. There is another quiz at the end of those activities.

Language Arts is up next, with help in the Phonics department!

Math has numerous areas to work in. Leann did not care for the format of the math program. It tends to follow a public school curriculum: Learn the concept, do a worksheet (see below), take a quiz. 

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Next up is Science then Social Studies and both follow the pattern of listen to the lesson, do a worksheet, take a quiz.

Overall Leann enjoys getting on the computer and listening to the lessons. She has found out some very interesting stuff, like earth worms are easily seen after the rain because the rain gets into their homes and will drown them if they stay underground. We will continue to use Time4Learning as a supplement to our day.

Prices:

PreK – 8th Grade

$19.95 / student per month  & $14.95 / month for each additional PreK – 8th student

High School

$30 / student per month; Includes 4 Courses Check out what the Crew is saying about Time4Learning!Photobucket “Prices are accurate at time of review”  

Wishing you many Blessings Rainbow

image ©2011- 2013. Blessings from Homeschooling.

All rights reserved. Ask before using my stuff. Contact me @ blessingsfromhomeschooling@gmail.com

Doorposts ~ Review

Doorposts Logo

We had the pleasure of reviewing Beauty in the Heart; A Study of Godly Beauty for Young Women from Doorposts. This 186 page study contains 86 days of study in addition to 45 extra studies given at the end of each study. It is recommended for girls ages 10-12 and up to use this study. While this study is primary written for young ladies it is also appropriate for young men too. In a few place you will see an * which indicates there are alternate questions in the back of the book for the boys.

Price: $14.00

Recommended materials include a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Nave’s Topical Bible and a King James translation Bible. Highlighters or colored pencils are needed for marking passages in the Bible.

This study includes 10 Chapter on Beauty:

  • Beauty in Submission
  • Beauty in the Heart
  • Beauty in Trusting God
  • Beauty in Humility
  • Beauty in Modesty
  • Beauty in Serving
  • Beauty without Discretion
  • Beauty in Crisis
  • Beauty in the Gates
  • Beauty in Review

Each chapter/study is set up for a 7 day week. In each study there are gray boxes in the side margin that give optional instructions. Each day’s study will take five to twenty minutes to complete. Younger students might need help with some of the lessons.

How we used this study: At first I gave Amber, age 12, the study to do independently, but by day three she had her first hiccup.  In the instructions it tells you to mark certain words in your Bible a with a certain color marker, Amber had some trouble locating the words because she was using a different Bible translation. Once we figured that out it was a bit easier for her. Since our weekends tend to be more hectic, Amber used this study Monday through Fridays in the beginning of her school day.

Amber’s thoughts: While she enjoyed this study and plans to finish the book, she did think some of the questions repeated themselves. Also some of the reading was a bit too much in one sitting, she tended to get a bit bored rereading the same passages over and over again.

My thoughts: I thought this study is awesome and while it might be a bit much for Amber alone it makes for a perfect Mother Daughter Study!! We have had many great discussion after reading each day’s study. Beauty in the Heart; has helped this Mama explain to my preteen what the Bible has to say on Beauty. During this critical time in a young girls life, learning to express themselves with outward adornments and how the world views beauty; this study helps them to keep it all in perspective.

I would recommend this study for young ladies and again I think this is a perfect Mother-Daughter Study!!

***SPECIAL OFFER***

You may pre-order your copy of Beauty in the Heart and it will ship on August 29th but if you order before August 31st you will also receive a FREE copy of the e-book. To redeem this great offer use the code “beautyshop”

Check out what the Crew is saying about Doorposts!Photobucket “Prices are accurate at the time of this review.”

 

Wishing you many Blessings Rainbow

 

image©2011- 2013. Blessings from Homeschooling.

All rights reserved. Ask before using my stuff. Contact me @ blessingsfromhomeschooling@gmail.com

Gryphon House ~ Review

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A couple of weeks ago we received in the mail, Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World from Gryphon House. Once Leann opened the package and realized this was an art program she literally did a little dance!! Needless to say she was just a tad bit excited to do some art projects!!

This 190 page art book travels around the globe, taking you on a journey through the different  continents. You get to visit Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America. Each chapter/continent is also broken up into different country or cultural groups. Suggested age group is K-5th grade, but my 7th grader had just as much fun creating these creations.

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Price: $16.95

Each continent has a brief intro to the area and a list of suggestive books to correlate with the project being done. Each project is Titled and has a easy to read key at the top of the page. Experience Level is based on 1, 2 or 3 stars, Art techniques tell you which medium you will be using; painting, sculpture, construction, drawing, collage, or painting. Planning and Preparations is pretty easy to follow, with a 1- all materials are likely to be found in you home, 2- all materials are familiar but may have to be found or purchased , 3- required materials that may be unfamiliar, but easily found in art stores or hardware stores.

 

Leann was so excited to start that we actually started our 1st project on the day we received our book in the mail. How does your table look when you do Art??©Blessingsfromhomeschooling

IMG_0959These Scarab Stones are courtesy of Egypt.IMG_0958  This little box comes from Norway!!

ImageAnd these Royal Fly Whisks hails from Ghana!! 

Do you struggle with Art? Do you feel as though your art projects don’t go hand and hand with other subject? Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World will help you. I would recommend this product to everyone!! It is super easy to follow, actually my kids did most of the projects on their own. My part was the actual reading of the books.

How we used this:

First we looked over the whole book, actually we did this numerous times! Then we picked which continent we wanted to learn a bit more about. Then we looked at crafts that we already had the supplies on hand for. I quick trip to the library for a few books, and a quick search on Google to back up my findings, we were ready for our lessons. I would give the girls just a bit of background information and then turn them loose to create…then once they were finished we would talk more about the process and how it might be different/same today. We would read some of the books and then we might go back and try the project again using a different process.

 

Check our what the Crew is saying about Gryphon House!!! Photobucket

“Prices are accurate at the time of this review.”

Wishing you many Blessings Rainbow

 

image ©2011- 2013. Blessings from Homeschooling.

All rights reserved. Ask before using my stuff. Contact me @ blessingsfromhomeschooling@gmail.com

Homeschool Programming ~ Review

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We have been given the opportunity to check out KidCoder Visual Basic Series from Homeschool Programming. For the last 8 weeks Amber and I have been learning all about computer language. KidCoder Visual Basic is a 2 semester course which can be bought together or separately. The 1st semester is called Windows Programming and the 2nd semester is Game Programming.

  KidCoder Visual Basic Series (6th-8th grades)

Each course comes with student activity starters, supplementary instructional documents, a Solution Guide, fully coded solutions for all activities, tests and answer keys, and guidance on evaluating projects.
 

kidcoderWindows Programming is a 213 page book that has 14 chapters, that will teach you the basics to writing your own computer program.   

*Window Programming starts off with a bit of history on the computer and quickly moves into the different parts of a computer. Chapter 2 is where you really start your first project with programming. Each chapter has 3-5 lessons, a Chapter Review and a “Your Turn”. In the You Turn section is where you actually get to use what you just learned about, it’s “your turn” to write a fun program.

 

Prices:

KidCoder: Windows Programming (Course Only) – $70.00

KidCoder: Windows Programming (Course & Video) – $85.00

KidCoder: Windows Programming (Video Only)- $20.00

*Pre-Requisites for this program: Your child should be familiar with using the keyboard, and mouse. Know how to open programs and run them. They should know how to save and retrieve files. Besides that this program will walk them through the program and demonstrate each concept to building their own computer program.

You can view some sample pages and watch the demo videos and check out the getting started guide too.

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Game Programming is a 238 page book that contains 14 chapters. This program will teach your child or even you how to write your own computer games. This program will build on your knowledge from Windows Programming.

*We did not make it through to the Game Program, but while looking through the workbook I noticed that the text is very kid friendly. There is a brief review in chapter one and then you really get started designing your game in chapter 2. The format of this workbook if very similar to Windows Programming and looks as though it will flow very easily.

Prices

KidCoder: Game Programming (Course Only) – $70.00

KidCoder: Game Programming (Course & Video) – $85.00

KidCoder: Game Programming (Video Only)- $20.00

 

*Pre-Requisites for this program:Your child should be familiar with using the keyboard, and mouse. Know how to open programs and run them. They should know how to save and retrieve files. Your child should have completed and understand all KidCoder: Windows Programming topics.

 photo KC-YP2-VCD_MED_zpsb8bc8eb5.jpgGreat news for those who have audio/visual learners. There are optional videos available. These videos are designed to help and allows your learners to be more independent during this study.

 

Our Thought: I really liked the program and enjoyed the fact that it was so kid friendly and that I could allow Amber to work on her own. I would recommend this program for the kid who is tech savvy or possible looking to become a little more savvy!! Amber while she had no problem following the directions given wasn’t super thrilled with actually doing computer programming. Looks like she’s not the tech savvy one in this household! She had no actual complaints on the program, it just wasn’t her cup of tea!

  Check out what the Crew is saying about Homeschool Programming! Photobucket

“Prices are accurate at the time of this review.”

Wishing you many Blessings Rainbow

image ©2011- 2013. Blessings from Homeschooling.

All rights reserved. Ask before using my stuff. Contact me @ blessingsfromhomeschooling@gmail.com

Ed Douglas ~ Review

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We were picked to review Ed Douglas Publications, 25 Truths. Ed Douglas, the author, wrote his third book titled 25 Truths: Life Principles of the Happiest and Most Successful Among Us, as a guide book to help mange your life with 25 simple truths, that when followed can “lead to a happy and fulfilling life!”

This 150 page soft covered book is a easy read for teenagers and adults alike, recommended age is 6th -12th grade. You can go at your own pace, a truth a day or maybe a  truth a week, it is recommended that you stay on each truth until you have fully incorporated it into your life. Each truth is numbered and titled. Each truth is divided into 3 sections; There is a short quote or verse from the Bible, Each truth is explained and examples given in a few short paragraphs. A summary is given, and then a Workshop which is questions and discussion area.

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 Price: $12.50

How we used this book:

I read this book first, then I had Amber, age 12, read it on her own. She would do a truth a day as part of her quiet time in the mornings. After she completed the reading we would then discuss each truth and how it applied to our lives and how society has changed and why these truths are important.   Some of the examples might not be appropriate for every family. For example, truth 3 talks about extramarital affairs.  

Amber’s comments on the book: “I thought the book was good!! If more people followed these simple truths the world would be a better place!!”  

I felt that this book would be a wonderful reminder for our youth, which was one of the reasons I was excited to be picked to review this book. These 25 simple truths are a great reminder so that we can be better people. Having a almost teenager, and seeing what some of her friends post on social medias has had me cringing. Truth #3 “Watch What You Say, Do and Write” has special meaning with all of the social media that is out there. I especially like the summary: “Live life expecting that everything you say, do, or write will come out in the open.”

While some might look at this book and think these truths are too simple, I feel that this quick and easy to follow guide that is coming from someone other than the parent, friend of a parent, family member or even a church leader might make a bigger impact on our youth. And you as the parent might just be surprised on how these 25 Truths will help to change your life too!!

I would recommend this book!! You could also use it with younger kids. I would recommend reading it yourself and then paraphrasing it for the younger kids.

Check out what the Crew is saying about 25 Truths!!

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“Prices are accurate at the time of this review.”

Wishing you many Blessings Rainbow

image ©2011- 2013. Blessings from Homeschooling.

All rights reserved. Ask before using my stuff. Contact me @ blessingsfromhomeschooling@gmail.com

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