Shape Whiz Game Review

I have a great math game to share with you today.  It is a geometry game called Shape Whiz by SimplyFun.

Simply Fun

SimplyFun is an award winning nationally recognized creator of over 100 educational games and puzzles  for kids 3 through adult.

Some of the Fun Educational Games at SimplyFun

Some of the Fun Educational Games at SimplyFun

They have won over 150 awards over the years.  That is a whole lot of folks saying these games are amazing!  All of their games can be completed in 30 minutes or less.  Their games are easy to learn and don’t take much time, so they easily fit into everyone’s busy day in the classroom and after-school too.

Shape Whiz

Shape Whiz

Shape Whiz

Shape Whiz
Ages 10 and Up
2-4 Players
Retail $24
Wholesale $18

Shape Whiz comes with 80 Double Sided Shape Cards; 45 Blue Simple Shapes and 35 Green Complex Shapes.  On the Back of each shape card are the answers to match clue cards.  Shape Whiz also comes with 40 Double Sided Whiz Cards.

Components of the Shape Whiz Game

Components of the Shape Whiz Game

Skills Practiced

2D Geometry
Shape Measurement
Math Symbols
Eye Hand Coordination
Problem Solving
Speed Math

How We Used The Shape Whiz Game

I am so excited about using this game to teach my kids about geometry.  We have played table games several times this summer to bust boredom on hot and also rainy days and this game has come in handy just for fun.

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But Shape Whiz goes way beyond fun and is very educational.

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We practiced mastering the principles of geometry.   We used our basic knowledge of geometry knowledge and reasoning skills to figure out clues and find the shape described.

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It is a real challenge to try to be the fastest player to find the Shape Card that solves the Whiz Card question.

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You can to use a lot of concentration and other players can take your Shape Cards if they see the answer faster than you do.

We will definitely keep playing this geometry game weekly in our math learning practice through the school year.

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The first player to empty their Personal Shape Card Stack Wins!

How To Buy

SimplyFun offers four great ways to purchase their award winning educational games.  You can choose the option that is just right for you.

Retail

  • You can purchase AMAZING Educational Games and Puzzles at retail.

Hostess

  • You can host a Laugh and Learn Party.  Invite your friends and you can earn 15%-25% money back on their purchases, product points, and free thank you products too just by hosting a game party.

Play Saver Wholesale Member

  • You can become a Play Saver Wholesale Member for $19 which includes two free games (worth $27), and save 15% off every purchase. Each year that you purchase $100 wholesale, you will get free membership.  This is an terrific option for Homeschool Families.

Playologist

  • You can also become a sales associate called a Playologist.  This is your own business where you host parties and earn 25% on every game you sell, plus other bonusses and incentives. The Playologist statup fee is $149 and comes with 11 games (worth over $300), a business starter kit, free training, and your own website.

WishList

You can also make and save a WISHLIST on their site. I highly recommend you create a wish list and let family and friends know which of these amazing products you would like to get for birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, youth group, coops, clubs, etc. and also the ones you want to tell your spouse about (hint, hint) to use to support your homeschool curriculum, etc.  These games are fantastic!

I think I would enjoy hosting a party, maybe a Back to School or Christmas party, and share these wonderful products.  I would love to earn enough to pay for a Playologist kit and have plenty left over to buy gifts on my wish list.  This is an amazing opportunity to build your own library of educational games and puzzles!

SPECIAL OFFER 

Special savings offer for my readers.  SAVE 15% on your first purchase!  Use “SHREVIEW” Discount code (expires 7/31/2015) at checkout.

Social Media

Be sure to follow SimplyFun on their social media links for all the latest news and updates. They are a fantastic company and you will want to stay in the loop!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simplyfun
Twitter: https://twitter.com/simplyfun
Instagram: https://instagram.com/simplyfun/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/simplyfun/

Simply Fun Review

Be sure to read what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using games from SimplyFun with their families.

Crew Disclaimer

Home School In The Woods Project Passport Review

I am excited to share with you about wonderful product we will be using this fall called  Project Passport  World History Study: The Middle Ages by Home School In The Woods

Home School in the Woods Review

Home School In The Woods is a company created by a real homeschool family in 2002.  The Pak family understands the challenges of learning history in a way that is truthful, as well as easy to understand and remember.   They have created many wonderful uncensored historical homeschool curriculum resources for families, including amazing illustrated history timelines, lapbooks, notebooks, and unit studies.  The printable graphics and illustrations in the activities and the organization really gives this curriculum a special quality and I encourage everyone to check out their products and see which ones will work for your family.

Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages

Home School in the Woods Review

Format: CD or Download (Mac & PC Compatible)
Suggested grades: 3-8
For individual family use.
PDF Download Version $33.95
CD Version $34.95

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

This history product contains 25 lessons (or stops along the journey) that cover people, events in history, and geography from The Middle Ages about 400 AD to 1500 AD.   Some of the main historical events covered include:

  • Barbarian invasions,
  • Everyday Medieval life,
  • The structure of the classes,
  • Towns & guilds,
  • Science & invention,
  • Medieval education,
  • The arts,
  • Church history,
  • The castle,
  • The Crusades,
  • Knights,
  • Vikings,
  • Battles & wars

When your student is done, they will have made a passport that can be used for this and additional Project Passport Studies in history, a lapbook of all their research activities, a scrapbook of sights visited and project papers completed and a history timeline.  They will have several arts and craft souvenirs, file folder games, and recipes that they have made along the learning journey too.

Project Masters
The CD includes directions and printable masters for over 50 projects and activities.  This is very flexible. You can choose all of the the projects, or choose just a few of them that work best for your family!

Project Passport

Activities:

  • Creative Writing
  • File Folder Game
  • “Scrapbook of Sights” for storing notebook projects
  • Newspaper “The Medieval Times”
  • “Snapshot Moments in History” Scrapbook Timeline
  • “Postcards from Famous Folks”
  • Souvenir Craft Cards with a dozen 3-D projects to make
  • “Dining Out Guide” of Recipes
  • Lap Book Projects (over a dozen)
  • Dramatized Audio Tours
  • Travel Tips
  • Teacher Keys
  • Itinerary

Dramatized Audio Tours,
There is nearly an hour of listening on dramatized audio tours. Join “Knight in Shining Armor Tours” as Agatha (your tour guide) and Brian (your coach driver) take you on medieval excursions, such as a town on a Festival Day, a monastery where you will hear the sounds of Gregorian Chant, or the Battlefield of Hastings, and the Duke William of Normandy.

Travel Planner
The travel planner helps the teacher see the whole schedule.  They can see upcoming topics and projects at a glance and plan and gather supplies accordingly.  Use a three-ring binder to lay everything out for this history study including: Travel Tips, teacher keys, Additional Resources (should you wish to include more reading or viewing to enhance the study), and a Quick-Stop Itinerary.   Also included is a 3 ring binder notebook cover you can print in either color or black & white.  Putting everything in a binder will help you keep it neat and organized.

Notebook

Teachers Guide
The teacher’s Guide Book houses the reading Guide Book Text, the Travel Itineraries of project directions, as well as Travel Tips, teacher keys, and any of the other teacher helps.

Lapbook, Notebook, and Souvenirs
Throughout this history study,  students will accumulate many lapbook or notebook items they created from printouts and research activities to include in a final lapbook / notebook / scrapbook of the learning adventure.  Some of the specific activities include  “Snapshot Moments in History” timeline, Mapping the Barbarian Invasions, Famous People of the Crusades, Medieval Weaponry & Armor, The Coat of Arms, Illuminations, Pilgrims & Pilgrimages, etc.

We Love It!!!

All of my kids love this curriculum.  It is hands on and my kids love hands on unit studies on any subject, and this one is especially exciting.   We have this as our number one history and geography curriculum for this fall.   The Project Passports are designed to last at least 8 to 12 weeks in length.  That would mean doing two or three lessons per week.  However, this will project will stretch for 25 weeks if you choose to do one lesson a week, choose to do more of the projects suggested, and go deeper in the learning opportunities that are offered.  So I would personally recommend taking your time with this learning adventure and get as much from it as you can. It is quite the adventure and your kids are going to love it!

I am so impressed with this company and I personally would love to have all of the resources they have created for our homeschool.   We were sent their Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages for review and it is so huge, it will completely fill our history schedule this fall for our upcoming school year.  Here are just a few details to let you know more of what this about and I hope you will check them out and get started using them in your curriculum too.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Home School In The Woods on their social media links for all the latest news and updates.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoolinthewoods
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HSintheWoods
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hsinthewoods/
Google +: https://plus.google.com/b/109711152019235885312/+Homeschoolinthewoods/posts

Home School in the Woods Review

Be sure to check out what all the TOS Review Crew had to say about products from this amazing curriculum company.

Crew Disclaimer

Kid Approved Egg Burritos

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Our chickens have been on egg production overdrive this summer.   I am not complaining though.  We have enjoyed having an abundance of eggs because they were on strike all winter and I would have given anything for some fresh eggs then.  So I will take it while it’s available and not complain!

There are many ways of preserving eggs to keep them into the winter such as freezing out of the shell, boil them and pickle them in a sweet pickle or even beet juice, or storing whole eggs in buckets of sand in a cellar, and you can also crack them and dehydrate them to use in baking or smoothies later.  I have tried freezing them in the past and may put up some this way before winter arrives again.

I may put some eggs under a hen too and try to get her to hatch out some babies too.  It takes 5 to 7 months for a chicken to start laying eggs, so it is a long waiting process when you get started.  Then they usually lay 1 egg a day for a few months.  Then many stop laying for at least a month and up to three months in the winter depending on temperatures and the amount of daylight.  They also use this rest time to shed their feathers and grow new feathers each year.  Usually by their second or third year, the hens don’t lay every day, but maybe evey second or third day.  Most people butcher the hens for soup by their second season when they are less productive.

Lots of eggs

With farm fresh eggs, it is best to store them unwashed but wash them just before using.  This way they keep fresh longer. In the photo above you can see how the eggs look right out of the nest, some are very clean and some have a little dirt on them.  This won’t hurt the egg because they naturally have a protective barrior on the outside of the shell that protects them.  But once you wash them, you also wash away the protective barrier too.

Fertile egg yolk

Another wonderful thing about farm fresh eggs is that if there is a rooster around, your eggs will be fertile.  The yolks are also more yellow orange colored than store bought eggs and this is due to all the grass and insects the chickens eat all day and it creates an omega 3 richer egg.

I am thankful my kids love eggs and their favorite way to eat them is in Egg Burritos.  This is one of the fastest main dishes I make for my large family.  It cooks up in just a few minutes and is ready to serve.

Kid Approved Egg Burritos

Eggs (2 per person)

Butter for cooking

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Tortilla (any soft kind will do, there are many options for different diet needs)

Add In Options: cheese of your choice, sauted veggies, meat, salsa, guacamole, rice, leftovers, etc.

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Place a tablespoon or so of butter in a nonstick pan and add your eggs.  Scramble and continue to stir as they cook until desired doneness.

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Fill tortilla shells.  I find it very handy to place them in a cake pan while I am filling them as it helps hold up the sides of the burrito for me to fill.  Add cheese and even salsa if you wish and serve.  You can make these ahead, then cover and set in a warm oven until ready to eat.  They are also great frozen and reheated when needed.

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Eggs are such a great source of complete protein and easy to digest for most people.  They are delicious served anytime of day or night.  Eggs are very satisfying and help you feel full while nourishing your body.

Be blessed!

Melinda

Easy Roasted Roots

Do you like root vegetables?  I sure do.  One of the easiest way to make them is to roast them in the oven.  This method keeps all the flavor and nutrients in the vegetable instead of in your water or broth.  It also carmelizes the sugars in the vegetables and they taste really mild and sweet.

I enjoy eating several roasted root vegetables all together and taste the seperate flavor of each one.

CHOOSE YOUR ROOTS

You can use any roots that you like.  Some root vegetables have amazing health benefits and all are full of minerals and vitamins.  Here are some ideas:

Sweet Potatoes
Turnips
Radishes
Red Onion (or white or yellow)
Parsnips
Beets
Radishes
Potatoes
Carrots
Leeks
Etc.

Easy Roasted Roots

2 Sweet Potatoes
1 Parsnip
1 Red Onion
4 Beets
4 Carrots

Peel and chop your veggies to the desired size for cooking.  The smaller sizes will cook more quickly than the larger sizes because roots are very dense.  I like to leave my beets slightly larger than everything else because honestly I want the nutrition of part raw part cooked beets and this is the best way I have found to achieve that.  Bake in an oiled pan at 300 degrees until done, about 45 minutes or so.

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Everything got nice and soft except for the center of the beets and that is what I want.  However, you can get the beets very soft by keeping all your veggies the same size and baking for the same length of time.  Again, if you leave some big and some small, the small ones will get soft all the way through but the larger ones will take longer to achieve if that is your desired result. Check on them often to be sure they are not burning and also to rotate them in the pan if needed.

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When they are done, they have the most amazing flavors.  You can use them many ways now like blend them into purees for soups or smoothies, pancakes and quickbreads, and also use them in roasted root sides and salads. YUM!!!

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Teen Prasso Review

I’ve got a great bible study tool for teens to tell you about!  It is called Prasso Ministries.  They sent us their Teen Prasso Homework Manual and Teacher’s Manual for review and I am impressed and putting this into our regular schoolwork for this fall for both my 15 year old and almost 13 year old, and mom and dad too.

Teen Prasso

Prasso is a Greek word and means to practice all the time.  It is about practicing our Christian faith on a daily, moment by moment basis.  Prasso Ministries is located in Greenville, SC.    Greenville is my favorite location as my home church is also located in Greenville, and so many of our favorite things to do are there too.   Since we moved to Indiana two years ago, but we have been blessed to watch our home church services live online.   We have visited local churches here, but it is not the same, and we sure miss being at our home church in Greenville in person.

Prasso has been equipping people (adults and teens) as desciples and missionaries for 21 years.   Prasso is in 11 states, 5 countries, and has been translated into 6 different languages.   The curriculum can be used independantly or as part of a larger group.   Prasso Ministries help people find hope, and equip people to be desciples of Christ.

What we received:

Homework Manual

TEEN PRASSO HOMEWORK MANUAL

Spiral bound, soft back

Retails for $15.00

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Lesson 1: God Your Heavenly Father
Lesson 2: God’s Love
Lesson 3: Why Doesn’t 1+2 Add Up in My Life?
Lesson 4: It’s All-Out War
Lesson 5: The Enemy’s Lies . . . And Where They Lead
Lesson 6: Pressure!
Lesson 7: Anger
Lesson 8: Forgiveness
Lesson 9: Two Brothers – Pride and Selfishness
Lesson 10: Refocus
Lesson 11: Prasso, Putting It All Into Practice
Lesson 12: The Journey

Teacher Manual

TEEN PRASSO TEACHERS MANUAL

Sprial bound, soft back

Retails for $35.00

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Lesson 1: The Right Beginning
Lesson 2: The Map
Lesson 3: The Bridge
Lesson 4: The Storm
Lesson 5: The Enemy
Lesson 6: Testimony
Lesson 7: The Two Opposing Fears
Lesson 8: Anger
Lesson 9: Forgiveness
Lesson 10: Pride
Lesson 11: Refocus
Lesson 12: To continually, habitually, and repeatedly practice God’s Word.
Lesson 13: Prasso – Eternal Eyeglasses

How we are using Teen Prasso:

The Teen Prasso program allows students to engage truth in an easy to use method that relates to them.  There are 13 weeks of lessons (1 introductory, plus 12).  The lessons incorporate teaching, testimonies, video, a story theme of 2 teen boys, a  6 days a week devotional bible study, 20 minute daily assignment in the student homework manual, application and discussion at the end of every lesson.

Prasso

My oldest son is working his way through the curriculum.

We read the lesson in the Teacher’s Manual.  There is a “Teaching Outline” for each lesson.  It lists the key verse, the story, the message, and reminds you to open the lesson and close the lesson with a prayer.

Next he works on the corresponding pages in the Student Homework Workbook.  He likes to use the phone as a digital dictionary and digital bible when he is writing out his answers and bible verses in his assignments.    Though it is designed to be used with a teacher, this curriculum is easy to do and he can work independently or we can work together.

I encourage everyone to try Teen Prasso for your youth.   We like it so much that I want to order a copy of the student maunals for my next oldest son, and also for my husband and myself.  It is a wonderful faith building curriculum.

Teen Prasso can be used for homeschool students, small group Bible studies, youth discipleship groups, youth counseling, youth retreats and conferences, or one-on-one mentoring. It is a great resource to grow your faith.

Social Media

Follow Prasso Ministries on their Social Media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/PrassoMinistries?fref=ts

Prasso Ministries Review

Be sure to check out what other families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using this product in their home.

Crew Disclaimer

Cursive Logic Review

When you are ready to teach your kids to write in cursive, you will will want to consider using the CursiveLogic Workbook by CursiveLogic.

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This is a unique and easy to implement approach for kids to learn how to master writing in cursive letters.

What we received:

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96 page, hardback, spiral bound, full color workbook.
Contains both the teacher instructions, and the student practice pages.
Retails for $29.00

The first portion of each lesson teaches students to write each CursiveLogic letter string through a five-step process. After learning the string method, a student can begin writing connected letter groups and real words. After finishing four lessons, the student will be able to write the entire lowercase alphabet and to connect letters fluidly.

The student will learn how to form lowercase letters and capital letters. Students then practice cursive by tracing and then writing famous historical sayings.

The workbook contains three dry-erase surfaces that recap all of CursiveLogic’s exercises the student used to learn and practice the four CursiveLogic letter strings.  Dry-erase pages enable students to practice and review again and again.

Additional helpful tips, and printable practice pages are available through the CursiveLogic newsletter.

How we used the CursiveLogic Workbook:

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Each day, my son works in this notebook and loves it.  He is mastering writing in cursive and I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn about this resource.

tracing

He is learning the CursiveLogic method, and loves working in the workbook.  He is learning 4 different skill sets:

Letter shape:

CursiveLogic groups the lowercase alphabet into four groups based on the shape of the initial stroke of the letters.   The workbook teaches all of the similarly-shaped letters in the same lesson.

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Letter strings:

CursiveLogic teaches the similarl shaped letters in a connected flowing string. Letter strings teach students to connect letters,  students gain an understanding of the flow of cursive handwriting.

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CursiveLogic also uses visual and auditory cues to reinforce the shape patterns.  My son loves this curriculum.  He is an audio visual learner.  He usually hates to work in workbooks or to write, but he is loving his workbook.

writing cursive

Theme colors: 

Each shape string has a color—orange ovals, lime loops, silver swings, and mauve mounds.

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Verbal task analysis :

A simple, verbal saying that describes the path of the writing instrument as the letter shapes are formed.

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He is surprising himself (and me too) that he likes this curriculum and is mastering cursive writing skills.   I am really proud of him.  He has been a boy who previously hated to sit still and write.  But he really is enjoying mastering this skill and I don’t even have to ask him.  He does it all on his own.

I would encourage everyone to put this workbook on their homeschool curriculum list.

Social Media:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cursivelogic
Facebook: http://facebook.com/ilovecursive
Instagram: http://instagram.com/cursivelogic

CursiveLogic Review

Be sure to read what other families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using CursiveLogic Workbooks in their home.

Crew Disclaimer

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July America!

May God keep you, shine his face upon you, bless you, and give you peace, always and forever, until the day of His return!

God bless America!

 

A few gifts for you to enjoy:

My Beautiful America by Charlie Daniels

Gather Band singing The National Anthem

Essential Oil Kit Giveaway

I am personally giving away a doTerra Introductory Kit of essential oils to every new person who joins me on this health and wellness journey with a Wholesale Membership by July 30th, 2015.

Introduction To Essential Oils Kit

This kit includes a bottle of each of the 3 most used essential oils: Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint. It also comes with instructions for a variety of uses from personal care to home care and everything in between.

I am building a team of healthy minded folks who can encourage and support each other on the journey to a better life.

Health & Wellness

 

Why join?

First of all, with doTerra Certified Theraputic Grade Oils, you can help yourself become healthier, boost your immune system, and clean up your act (what you put in your body and how you care for your body, your home, your kids, your pets, etc)  with everyday essential oils and personal care products at wholesale prices.   Health and wellness begins at home and you are making a wise choice to add essential oils into your health and wellness journey.

Certified Theraputic Grade

Diamond Essential Oils Kit

Then as a member, you can get certified as a Wellness Advocate and help your family and friends become healthier too.  Share the good news of your new cleaner and greener lifestyle with them.  They will want to join you on the journey.

Third, you can improve your finances.   You can earn free product points (spend like cash) for all of your purchases.  You can also earn money for your sales when others place orders with you.

Wholesale Membership in doTerra is a win win for everybody!

 

 Wholesale Membership:

Wholesale Membership in doTerra Essential Oils includes:

  • 25% wholesale discount savings on every purchase,
  • your own website to place your orders and customer orders,
  • earns sales commissions on products you sell,
  • earn free product points (PV) for each purchase you make,
  • free product of the month club for loyalty orders (LVP),
  • free trainings to become a wellness advocate,
  • product promotions,
  • online support groups,
  • opportunities to travel, meet new people, and attend conferences too.

There are different levels of wholesale membership.  But every level will recieve the Introduct giveaway from me as my special gift to you to help you get started. Find the level of membership that best meets your needs. Everyone who joins me through my website by June 30th will receive the Introductory Essential Oils Kit Giveaway:

Membership Options:

7 Wholesale Membership Options.

Each option listed below includes wholesale membership.  Choose the option that fits you the best.  You can choose a basic Wholesale Membership or you can start off with an enrollment combo kit that will include a free Wholesale Membership (save $35) at a huge savings off the regular price of the kits:

Enrollment kits

  1. $35 Wholesale Membership
    (earn free product points each month for purchases, and earn 10% for sales)
  2. $150 Family Physicians Kit (save $16.67) and FREE Wholesale Membership (save $35)
    (plus 110 PV, earn free products points each month for purchases, and earn 10% for sales)
  3.  $195 Cleanse & Restore Kit (save $64.93) and FREE Wholesale Membership (save $35)
    (plus 125 PV, earn free products points each month for purchases, and earn 10% for sales)
  4. $275  Home Essentials Kit (save $91.57) and FREE Wholesale Membership (save $35)
    (plus 225 PV, earn free products points each month for purchases, and earn 10% for sales)
  5. $550 Natural Solutions Kit (save $113.25) and FREE Wholesale Membership (save $35)
    (plus 400 PV, earn free products each month for purchases, and earn 15% for sales)
  6. $1585  Every Oil Kit (save $284.70) and FREE Wholesale Membership (save $35)
    (plus 1400 PV, earn free products each month for purchases, and earn 20% for sales)
  7. $2550 Diamond Kit (save $730.93) and FREE Wholesale Membership (save $35)
    (plus 2000 PV, earn free products each month for purchases, and earn 25% for sales)

Ready to get started?

Go to my doTerra Weiser Natural and fill out the information and submit your wholesale membership.   When you join by JULY 30th, I will ship you the Introductory Kit to Essential Oils (retail value of $27) free as my special gift to thank you for you joining me.

Health and Wellness Starts At Home

Be wise and be blessed!!!

 

Please help me get the word out about this wonderful giveaway and share this post with your friends and family, your co-workers, groups you belong too, on your facebook page, etc.   Thank you in advance.

Tales from the Circle C Ranch Review

We have been having so much fun reading Tales from the Circle C Ranch.  We love these books! This is the second book by Susan Marlow from Circle C Adventures we have had the privilege to review.

Circle C Adventures

What We Received:

We received the Tales from the Circle C Ranch book, and also a PDF download of the corresponding Andrea Carter’s Tales From The Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook and Study Guide for the purpose of this review.

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

by Susan Marlow
Historical /Christian / Fiction /
160 pages
Paperback Book
For ages 9-14
Retails for $7.99

Lapbook

A Journey Through Learning: Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch, Learning Lapbook and Study Guide.

E-book PDF digital download.
39 pages
Instructions, study guide pages tying each chapter of the book with historical facts, and printout activities to create fun learning lapbooks.
Retails for $7.00

Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a book about a young girl named Andi (Andrea Carter) who lived in the late 1800’s.  The book is a collection of short stories about her life between 1874 to 1881 (about ages 6-13) and relates to the other Circle C series of books.  The author wrote this book to answer questions about Andi’s life sent in by her fans who read one or more of the other books.  Andi has a lot of fans!

How We Used This In Our Home.

We are having a blast with this book and study guide-lapbook combination.   Lapbooks and unit studies are some of our favorite ways to study.

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I received the reading book in the mail, and the lapbook PDF came in an email link.

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When I received the link to the PDF download, I printed it and put it into a three ring binder.

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The Lapbook is 39 pages, and is made up of a little less than 1/2 study guide (17 pages), and 1/2 activities (22 pages).   I printed off a copy of each of the activity pages for the kids, but did not print the study guide pages for them.  I have 6 kids and 22 pages a piece is a whole lot of printing!!!  I also glued two folders together for each child, that will hold their activity pages and eventually become their lapbooks.

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Instead of each of the kids having their own copy of the study guide, we read from the study guide pages from the main copy I put into the binder.  That way each child only had to keep track of their own activity pages, and I kept track of the main copy (study guide, instructions, activity pages) in the binder.   This method worked out well for our family and helped me save a lot of ink and paper!

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I also opted to save more money and printed the lapbook activity pages in black and white and let the kids color them while they listened to the book being read aloud, in instead of printing them in full color.   By having to color the activity pages instead of choosing them pre-colored, it helped them be even more involved in the learning process, and personalize their lapbooks so each one looks a little different from their siblings.

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For this review, each day I gathered all of the children together at the table to learn as a group.  One of the reasons we love lapbooks and the unit study approach to learning is the fun we have learning together.

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Our oldest son read the book aloud to the kids.  He read one short story a day to them, but he also enjoyed reading ahead on his own too.  Several times I found him reading after we were all finished at the table.  He couldn’t wait to get to the next story in the book.

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While he read the book, the younger children colored the corresponding lapbook worksheets.

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They loved coloring while listening to the story.

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After he read the chapter, he would then read the corresponding page about a related history subject in the study guide.  Then I would give the children instructions (cutting, stapling, and arranging the booklet position, and gluing it into their folders) to complete their lapbook assignment.

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The older boys preferred to just listen during the story read aloud, and then work on their lapbook worksheets afterwards while the study guide was being read.

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After completing the lapbook pages for each chapter, the children glued the finished activity into their lapbooks.

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The kids really enjoyed reading this book and creating their lapbooks. They have several things in common with Andi (Andrea Carter).  They could relate to her even though she lived during the late 1880’s.    This made it really fun for them to follow along in the story.  For example:

  • She has several siblings and we have a lot of siblings.
  • She lives on a ranch and has chores and we live on a homestead farm and have chores too.
  • She has horses and we have goats, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs as well as a big garden and several acres to play and run on our homestead.
  • Andi is a Christian and grows her faith through the experiences she lives out, and we do the same.  The kids can identify with her trust in the Lord.
  • In the book she buys a gift for her mom for her birthday, and we did something special for dad for Father’s Day and celebrated 2 birthdays during this review.  We celebrated each of these with gifts, cheesecake, and vanilla cake  and chocolate cake.

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There are several things I would like to do before we finish this fun learning adventure.   I hope I can schedule a field trip to take the kids to see some other things relevant to Andi’s life and the experiences shared in the book.

A few additional things I would like to add to this learning project is:

  • take the kids to see some horses, learn about different kinds of saddles and tack used to care for horses, get to feed the horses, maybe find a stables where we can ride horses on a trail, or take a carriage ride.
  •  I hope to find a good youtube video of a recent horse race for the kids to watch.
  • Visit the ocean.  Find a crab and clam shells.  Taste the salty ocean water.
  • Visit a nature center and hold a snake.
  • Attend a ball game.
  • Create some fake snow to play in since it is not winter here, but if you read this book in the winter, be sure to include some snow activities.
  • Visit a photography studio and learn how they process photos.
  • It would be awesome to be able to take a trip out west to see California, Oregon, and Washington where the story takes place.  I visited these states in my youth and those are awesome memories.  But I don’t really see a cross country trip to the west coast happening anytime soon though.
  • Cook food from the 1800’s that Andi mentions in the story, like Molasses Cookies, Crab, Flapjacks, Peppermint Sticks, Apple Pie, Roast Beef Sandwiches, Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Cake,

I hope round out this book, lapbook, and our own unit study of this time in history by planning a field trip to a pioneer village from the 1800’s,  an outing at county or state fair, and to visit a horse ranch, as well as cook a couple of recipes like the ones mentioned in the book that were served for dinner, to enhance our learning even more with this study.

You will enjoy this book by itself or with the additional lapbook.  You don’t need anything other than a desire to read and learn to use either.  But you can also really enjoy this time period in history by including a few fun projects to enhance your child’s learning too.  Either way, this book is a winner and goes into a permanant place on our family book shelves to read again and again for years to come.

About the Author:

We fell in love with the books when we read Thick as Thieves earlier in the school year.   We couldn’t wait to get a hold of more books by Susan K Marlow !   Susan is a homeschool mom who has dedicated her life to her family and to writing wholesome Christian fiction books for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Susan Marlow

Susan Marlow has authored over 17 books and workbooks for children. She offers several free study guides to enhance the learning too.   The sequel to the Thick as Thieves  book we read earlier this year for the 12 and older age group is called Heartbreak Trail and is coming out later this summer.  My older sons are begging for me to get it for them.  I don’t know of too many boys who beg their mom for more books, (especially books that center around a girl character), but these books are a winner!!!

Susan Marlow Books

Each skill level / age level has it’s own series of books to read about Andi’s life as she grows up. To access the various levels of books, from the Susan Marlow web site, you will see this info-graph I have posted above.  Once you click “enter” on the picture of the series or learning level you are interested in, a whole web site for that specific learning level appears with books, study guides, lapbooks, more articles, and fun photos about Andi.  Susan Marlow has done a wonderful job organizing her website into an easy to navigate, and user friendly resource for families.

Susan Marlow lives on a homestead in the state of Washington.   She also teaches writing workshops, and hosts a writing contests for youth too. Her connection with homeschool life and homesteading really comes through in her books and my kids can relate so easily to Andi and the other characters even though the stories are written about a girl and her friends and family who lived in a previous time in history.

I haven’t yet told my kids that Susan also wrote a series of books about a 12 year old boy named Jem who grew up gem mining during the Gold Rush in California.  We enjoyed gem mining and gold panning few times while we lived in North Carolina where the Gold Rush began.  My kids have fond memories of those fun times.  I just know they are going to want every book Susan Marlow has ever published about Andi and Jem as these stories are so exciting for kids to read.

Social Media:

Be sure to follow the social media links for Susan Marlow to find out updates and more about the adventures of Andi’s life in all the wonderful series of Circle C books, study guides, lapbooks, coloring pages, and more.

Andi’s Blog: Circle C Adventures   http://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CircleCAdventures
Twitter http://twitter.com/SuzyScribbles
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/susankmarlow/
Writing Contests
(enter 9/1- 1/10) http://www.circlecadventures.com/Writing-Contest.html

Dynamic Literacy Review

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using this product with their kids.

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Avoid Unhealthy Food

Here are some things to think about regarding healthy and unhealthy foods for you and your family. Check out the link for more information. Be wise and be blessed!

9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid

This infographic “9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid” uncovers shocking facts about unhealthy foods found in your local grocery stores, and why you should absolutely keep away from them. Use the embed code to share it on your website.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/9-unhealthy-foods.jpg" alt="9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">This infographic "<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/unhealthy-foods.htm">9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid</a>"" uncovers shocking facts about unhealthy foods found in your local grocery stores, and why you should absolutely keep away from them. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>