Author Archives: Melinda Weiser

About Melinda Weiser

I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am on a journey and offer to share my story with the hope that it will bless you. My one desire is to bring glory to my creator. I am a wife and the mother of 6 children, plus two in heaven. I enjoy homeschooling, research, teaching, homesteading, natural gardening, grass based farming, cooking, fresh raw milk, herbs, children, midwifery, and music. I am a writer, biblical mentor, and also work part time in the healthy foods and vitamin business www.weisernaturalfoods.com I have a BSW degree from Kansas State University, and trained professionally as a medical social worker, biblical counselor, tutor, and vocal performer. Thank you for stopping by to read about our homeschool and family life adventures. Be blessed!

Forbrain Review

We recently learned about a specialized high tech headset that can help boost brain function.  It uses the power of your own voice to improve memory and help you become a better listener, speaker, and singer.

 Forbrain from Sound For Life LTD

FORBRAIN

Forbrain is a specialized technological headset which conducts sound through bone conduction vibrations.  Forbrain can be used by children and adults from all walks of life.  Forbrain was designed for people with Attention difficulties, Speech and language issues, and poor memory.   It is recommended to be used once or twice a day for 15 minutes each session, and for a duration of 6 weeks or longer. Recommended for ages 4 and older.

Forbrain comes with the adjustable headset that can be used by various size heads, and contains the microphone, extra microphone covers, dynamic filter, built in bone conduction transmitters, internal rechargeable battery, and the unit also comes with a USB charger, protective case, and a quick reference pamphlet with instructions for implementing, and a users manual.

Benefits of Using Forbrain:

  • Forbrain helps improve speech fluency, pronunciation, sound discrimination and rhythm.
  • Forbrain improves hearing of your own voice.
  • Forbrain reduces sensitivity to noise.
  • Forbrain trains the brain to be more attentive.
  • Forbrain improves auditory processing and sensory integration.
  • Forbrain improves short term memory.
  • Forbrain improves attention.
  • Forbrain improves skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and singing.
  • Forbrain delivers sound to brain 10 times faster than normal.
  • Forbrain contains a “dynamic” filter that enhances frequencies.
  • Forbrain improves confidence in the speaker / listener as their communication skills improve.

Various Uses:

There are many ways Forbrain can be used.  It can be used at home or at work and can benefit a variety of people in a variety of different settings. 

Forbrain can be used alone for situations such as:
reading aloud, for pronunciation and conversation exercises in your native language or in a foreign languages, ESL, speech preparation, lesson revision, singing songs, read poems, dictation, read a play aloud,  read aloud a book with various characters and varry their voices.

Forbrain can be used with Parents at home or on the go for situations such as: teaching kids to read, practice with learning language and ESL, help with homework, creating sentences and communication.  It might benefit some parents to hear themselves when talking with their kids just to give some insight.

Forbrain can be used in Professional, Theraputic, and Occupational situations such as: On the job for practicing presentations, practicing interviews, used by a professional therapist, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and scientists or reaserchers that deal with speech, language, and hearing, teachers, coaches, tutors, caregivers or medical professionals could use it to improve or tweak their bedside manner, or various opportunities at work.

Forbrain is especially helpful for folks with language and speech difficulties, for brain stimulation, auditory processing disorder, ADD, ADHD, and those who need to improve their attention.

Our Experience:

I used Forbrain with my youngest son to practice pronunciation as he learns the alphabet with various worksheets and props.  There was a noticible improvement as he used the headset.  He also spoke quieter after using Forbrain as he was more aware of his volume level than before.

I also used Forbrain with my second grader as he read aloud.  He said he enjoys using it and it helps him become a better speaker.

My oldest son also practiced with Forbrain.  He read all the paperwork, read through the website, and watched several videos before he started.  He also researched the technology.  He was very impressed with Sound For Life LTD and what they have to offer.  He started with practicing his posture.  He also practiced turning the headset on and off while wearing it.   He especially enjoyed sitting in the sunshine and practicing, or taking a walk and practicing.  Some of the other things he has practiced are reading aloud, poetry, singing, his pronunciation in Greek language, and his math multiplication facts.   He plans to use this product long term to improve his speech and tone and knows this will help him reach his goal.

From my son: “I enjoyed using Forbrain during this review and I will continue using it.  It was interesting to hear myself talk.  It felt good to use.  I could tell when I was talking to loud or not loud enough.  I feel like I have exercised parts of my face I have never used before after I used it for the first time. It felt more natural after a few times of practice.  I look forward to continuing my journey to improve my speech and ability to listen.”

I also used Forbrain myself to practice singing.  It is amazing to hear what I sound like through the headset.  I was a singer years ago.  I would have loved to use Forbrain to help with my music training back then.  We often cupped our hand around our ear during practice to hear ourselves and make adjustments in our pitch and tone.  However, this technology would have greatly helped reach musical goals quicker and more accurately.

Here is an inspirational video by Rafaele Joudry, Author, Therapist, Instructor, and the Founder of Sound For Life LTD about using Forbrain.

Social Media:

Be sure to follow Forbrain and Sound For Life LTD on their social media links for all of the lastest news, techniques, and product updates.

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/forbrainLTD

Twitter : https://twitter.com/forbrainheadset

LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/company/forbrain—retrain-the-way-you-process-information

Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/user/ForbrainLTD/videos

Blog :  https://www.forbrain.com/blog

Homeschool Review Crew

Check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Forbrain.

Please share.

Campfire Steak with Salad and Berries

Campfire Steak with Salad and Berries.

This delicious simple meal is packed with tons of flavor and nutrients.

My son created a campfire in the backyard, and he asked if he could cook dinner on it.

He took a lot of time to gather sticks, split some of the larger pieces to make his firewood.  He built a fire in a small hole in the ground and surrounded it with rocks for his fire pit.   Then he borrowed the metal grate from our charcoal grill and placed it over the fire and rocks to have a surface to cook on.

He fed the fire with more wood and got a really nice hot fire going.

Then he waited for the flames to die down a bit before putting food on the metal grate over his fire.   He cooked steak and chicken.  I will post another story about what we made with the campfire chicken soon.

There is an incredible flavor difference cooking over an open wood fire verses other methods of cooking.  You just can’t get this flavor using a charcoal or gas grill or from cooking on a stove in the house.  You just can’t recreate this amazing flavor without the campfire.

Campfire Steak with Salad and Berries

Ingredients:

Sirloin Steak – cooked outdoors over an open wood fire

Romaine Lettuce – torn

Carrots – shredded

Mushrooms – chopped

Pecans – broken into several pieces

Sunflower Seeds

Cheddar Cheese – shredded

Italian Vinaigrette Dressing

Raspberries

Blueberries

 

Cook the steak over the campfire until desired doneness.  Then remove it from the heat and put it on a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes.  You can cover it with a lid or foil while it rests if desired.

Then using a serrated kitchen knife, slice the steak into desired pieces.   Our steak sliced easily, and was juicy and tender inside.  The outside was smoky and resembled almost a bacon flavor. Inside was juicy and a delicious beef flavor.

Mix the salad and top it with Italian Vinaigrette.

Then rinse the berries with water, pat dry, and add them to the plate too.

The salad and fruit pared great with the steak.  This meal was amazing and bursting with flavors.

Knowing the effort my son put into making his campfire and cooking the meat for us made this meal even more special.

Please share.

Thin Stix Giveway

GIVEAWAY

Don’t miss your chance to win a free set of Thin Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc!

If you don’t know what Thin Stix are, then check out these stories for more information about these wonderful MESS FREE tempera paint sticks. 

Thin Stix Creativity Pack Review & Giveaway

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors Review

Enter this Giveway for a chance to win.  Each person is allowed 2 entries.  

Giveaway entries will be accepted between 11/9/17 and 11/22/17 for your chance to win.

Must be 18 and older and on mainland USA to participate.

Winner will be selected randomly through the Rafflecopter entries as noted at the bottom of the Thin Stix Review and Giveaway post. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be emailed that they have won and will need to send their shipping information within 24 hours of winning.  The will be sent a free Thin Stix prize directly from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

Thin Stix would make a great addition to your arts and craft supplies, your home, office, or classroom.   Thin Stix make a great gift to give away too. 

I would greatly appreciate your help in getting the word out about this Giveaway.  If you would kindly share the giveaway with your family, friends, and on your social media: facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc. 

I can’t wait to see who the winner is!

Be blessed!

 

 

This post will be linked up with:

Raising Homemakers

Please share.

Innovators Tribe: Engineering Review

If you are interested in helping your kids explore and develop their engineering skills, then you might want to check out the online courses from Innovators Tribe

Innovators Tribe currently offers 3 hands on courses for kids who want to learn to design, create, and build.

Thinking Like An Engineer 

Thinking Like An Architect

Thinking Like A Carpenter (coming soon)

We were recently sent a 2 year subscription to Thinking Like An Engineer for the purpose of this review.

Thinking Like An Engineer

Online Course

Interactive Lessons

Activity Guides

Design Software

Online Support

Thinking Like An Engineer is taught by Wayne Kroeplin, an experienced engineer and educator.  This is an “Introduction To Engineering” course designed for kids in 6 grade through 12th grades.  This course qualifies for highschool science credit, (check with your specific state for more info on highschool transcript requirements).

Thinking Like An Engineer is an online self paced course with 30+ hours of interactive lessons broken into 6 units.

  • Unit 1 – Introduction to Engineering
  • Unit 2 – Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling
  • Unit 3 – Engineering Rollercoasters
  • Unit 4 – Engineering Bridges
  • Unit 5 – 3D Computer Design
  • Unit 6 – Nano-Engineering

Thinking Like An Engineer includes 38 interactive lessons, 10 design and build challenge activities, activity guides, online support, and 3D design software, etc.  With the subscription to Thinking Like An Engineer, we were also sent a bonus course called Thinking Like An Innovator that contained 9 additional lessons plus 3 challenge activities.   Listed below is the course outline for both of these courses.

Course Outline / Table of Contents

Unit 1 – Introduction to Engineering

Lesson 1 :  What is engineering?

Challenge activity: Design the tallest paper tower

Lesson 2 :  Different types of engineers

Challenge activity: Design a paper structure that can carry the most books

Engineering in the News!

Lesson 3 :  Engineering clean water

Challenge activity: build your own water filtration system

Lesson 4 :  14 Grand engineering challenges of the world

Unit 2 – Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling

Lesson 1 :  How to get ideas out of your head (Tools of modern design and innovation)

Lesson 2 :  Introduction to your software

Lesson 3 :  Creating basic objects

Lesson 4 :  Moving and connecting objects

Lesson 5 :  Grouping objects

Lesson 6 :  Edges and faces

Lesson 7 :  Adding, Intersecting and subtracting material

Lesson 8 :  Material properties

Challenge activity:

Lesson 9 :  3D scanning

Lesson 10 :  Rapid prototyping – 3D printing

Unit 3 – Engineering Rollercoasters

Lesson 1 :  Types of roller coasters

Lesson 2 :  Roller coaster design

Lesson 3 :  Energy and a little math

Lesson 4 :  Roller coaster construction

Engineering in the News!

Lesson 5 :  How to become a roller coaster engineer

Challenge activity: Build a paper roller coaster

Unit 4 – Engineering Bridges

Lesson 1 :  An engineering mystery that stunned the world!

Lesson 2 :  5 types of bridges

Lesson 3 :  Parts of a suspension bridge

Lesson 4 :  How to build a suspension bridge

Challenge activity: Build and test your own suspension bridges

Engineering in the News!

Lesson 5 :  Bridges and physics

Lesson 6 :  Famous (and scariest) bridges in the world

Lesson 7 :  Structural engineering (and a little math)

Lesson 8 :  Testing the wind (gathering clues)

Challenge activity: Build your own wind tunnel and test your own model bridge sections.

Engineering in the News!

Lesson 9 :  What really happened that day

Lesson 10 :  Out with the old, in with the new

Lesson 11 :  What engineers have learned

3D challenge: Bridge design software

Unit 5 – 3D Computer Design

Lesson 1 :  Quick introduction to 3D computer design

Lesson 2 :  Introduction and installation of 123D Design software

Lesson 3 :  Learn how to use 123D Design (Tutorials)

Lesson 4 :  Let’s make a car rim!

Design Challenge: Create a piece of furniture!

Lesson 5 :  3D printing (3D what?)

Design Challenge: Make it better in 3D!

Unit 6 – Nano-Engineering

Lesson 1 :  How we see small things

Lesson 2 :  The discovery of a new world!

Lesson 3 :  What is Nano-Engineering?

Engineering in the News!

Summary – What do I do now?
Links for additional research in the world of engineering
High school offerings and career pathways

BONUS COURSE 

Thinking Like an Innovator

Lesson 1 :  The 6 steps of innovation (A tragedy at sea)

Lesson 2 :  What is a problem?

Lesson 3 :  What is an idea?

Challenge activity: Brainstorming!

Lesson 4 :  How to create more ideas

Lesson 5 :  Brain Games!

Challenge activity: Mental fitness

Lesson 6 :  4 Poisons to innovators

Lesson 7 :  The secret ingredient

Lesson 8 :  How to make money!

Challenge activity: Solo cup

Lesson 9 :  Woman Innovators

Check out this short video for more information about Thinking Like An Engineer course from Innovators Tribe:

Our Experience:

We have only had this course a few weeks so far and all I can say is wow!  This course is a wonderful way for kids to explore the field of engineering in a hands on way.   Their time is divided between spending some time at the computer watching the lessons or designing, and other times actually creating different challenge projects.  I am thrilled this course can be listed on my kids highschool transcript and can help them meet those requirements for graduation, while at the same time learning practical knowledge and skills that will help them as adults.

Each time my son sits down to work on his course, he is able to work independently and progress at his own pace.  He logs into his program, watches the video lesson, then proceeds to the challenge activity if there is one for the lesson.  Some of the lessons have challenge activities, and some do not.

My son has finished the first four lessons and challenge activities in Unit 1 and is currently working in Unit 2.  I have primarily focused this review on his experience with Unit 1.  His favorite part so far has been the challenge activities.   There is a course outline / syllabus and a basic materials list that you can download and print.

For the first unit challenges, we gathered materials from around the house, and picked up a few at the local store too: pencil, paper, scissors, clear tape, ruler, measuring tape, masking tape, a small construction level, recycled soda bottles, measuring cup, spoon, water, dirt, coffee filter, rocks, sand, etc.

The Challenge Activities kids get to do include designing and building: various towers, structures, water filters, and more.  The Design Activities kids get to do include:  roller coasters, bridges, Rube Goldberg machine, and learning to design with 3D CAD software.

This is a great opportunity to learn about engineering.

Here are some of the hands on challenge activity projects my kids have been building:

Challenge Activity Lesson 1 – Design the tallest paper tower as tall as you can using only 4 sheets of paper and 1 foot of masking tape. Try to reach a goal of 5 feet tall that can stand on its own without falling over.

He tried several times to get his tower to five feet, but I didn’t get a picture of all of his attempts.  The tower was difficult to get it to stand straight without it falling over.

He eventually built his base wider and wider for better stability and it resulted in a shorter than 5 foot tower.

He wanted to explore this concept even more, so he tried a different method on his own with four more sheets of paper and 1 more foot of masking tape.  This time he turned his paper into a grid so he could work with it better.  He said he prefers working with blocks instead of circles.

He went with a wider base again to support the upper levels and prevent it from falling over.  This base was tall too.  We discussed that he could have used a shorter base that was still wide.

He came up with a model he liked, that wasn’t as tall as 5 feet, but stood straight without falling over.

Challenge Activity Lesson 2 – Design a paper structure that can carry (support the weight of) the most books.

Again, he chose to work with block shapes for his support structure.

He managed to load 31 books just fine, but on the 32nd book his tower of books collapsed on 1 side.

He made various structures several times to try different systems to see which design could support the most books.

Challenge Activity Lesson 3 – build your own water filtration system.

This was a fun experiment.  My son used a plastic bottle, cut in half, and covered the pouring end with a coffee filter secured with a rubber band. Then he added a layer of small pebbles, and two layers of sand to create a water filtration system.

Next, he mixed dirt into water in a measuring bowl and stirred it with a spoon until most of the dirt dissolved into the water.  Then he slowly poured the dirty water into his filter system.

He was very pleased when the water coming out of the homemade filter was clear and all of the dirt was gone.

This is an excellent lesson for kids and adults of all ages.  There is a shortage of clean water in this world.  There are people in in various places who don’t have clean water to drink, to cook with, or to bath in. Many people die from diarrhea from bacterial and parasite contamination they get from dirty drinking water.  Knowing how create a water filtration system could save your life someday.

He would definitely want to make a few modifications to this homemade filter before actually drinking this water.  If left as is, he could use the clear water by boiling the water to kill any pathogens before consuming it.   Or if he had access to add a layer of charcoal to the bottom layer, and a layer of grass to the top layer of this filter, and possibly even use a bandanna or tee shirt as the first layer the dirty water is poured through before it enters the filter system, would help to get the water as clean as possible.

Even his little brother was impressed he could turn muddy water back into clear water.

It seems like kids are natural engineers.  They love to explore, build, create, and problem solve.  From birth their mind is filled with wonder and great potential. Kids naturally have an optimistic outlook and most of the time they still believe that everything is possible.  Father God is the greatest engineer of all time, and we are created in his image.   No wonder kids are natural engineers!

My son really likes this course and says he enjoys learning from the instructor, Wayne Kroeplin, because he explains everything very clearly and he gives lots of examples.  He is interesting to listen to.  When the course is finished, hopefully he will have reached the goals of what it means to think, problem solve, design, create, and build like an engineer.

Goals kids will be able to reach by the end of this course include:

  • Explain and apply 6 steps of problem-solving.
  • Know how to use techniques.
  • Explain ideas.
  • Explain “solution.”
  • Demonstrate the use of different brain-games that boost innovation skills.
  • Identify the 4 poisons to innovation and their cure.
  • Explain the importance of engineering and problem-solving using real-world examples.
  • Explain 14 grand problem-solving challenges that need solutions.
  • Define: tension, compression, twisting, bending, shearing, torsion, vortices, vortex shedding, aerodynamics, dead load, live load, structural-engineering, girder, truss, friction, potential and kinetic energies, g-force.
  • Give examples of how math subjects are used in engineering: Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Advanced Calculus, Trigonometry, Probability & Statistics, Physics.
  • Demonstrate the correct use of various tools: ruler, construction level, 3D design software, etc

Thinking Like An Engineer is a terrific course.  We are having a lot of fun with it. I would encourage everyone to give it a try.  A great skill to have is to learn how to identify a problem or need that might be in your own home or community or across the world, and solve the need with things we can design and create.  Father God has truly blessed us in his image with an intelligent mind and so much creative potential.

Social Media

Be sure to check out the website and social media for all the latest news and product updates.  There are also some interesting videos on the teacher’s youtube channel and you can get an even better feel for the kind of teacher he is and the materials he teaches.  Right now InnovatorsTribe is running a special sale of 35% off all their courses.  The current sale runs through 11/11/17.

Website (InnovatorsTribe): https://www.innovatorstribe.com/

Youtube (Wayne Kroeplin):  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRZ9sOi8qIKqFH3Z5g7VURg

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Innovator’s Tribe in their home.

Please share.

Thin Stix Creativity Pack Review & Giveaway

All six of my kids love using tempera paint “stix” by The Pencil Grip, Inc.  We were recently sent 24 beautiful colors in their Thin Stix Creativity Pack to review in our home.  The Pencil Grip, Inc is also offering one of their sets of Thin Stix as a Giveaway free to one of our readers.

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

There are many reasons you will want a set of Thin Stix Creativity Packs to use in your home or office.

  • 24 Colors
    • 12 Classic Colors
    • 6 Neon Colors
    • 6 Metallix Colors
  • Solid Tempera Paint Sticks
  • Easy To Use
  • Uncap, Twist & Paint
  • Non-toxic
  • No Mess
  • No Fuss
  • No Water Needed
  • Dries in 90 Seconds
  • Won’t Crack or Split
  • Paint like finish
  • Great for painting on poster paper, cardboard, wood, and canvas
  • Other surfaces too (we tried them out on lots of surfaces!)

These paints are great!  They are MESS FREE and recommended for everyone 3 and older, and yes, adults have fun using them too!  They are available at many big box and online stores.  Thin Stix Creativity Pack retails for $24.99 and are currently on sale for $19.99 at BJ’s.

They offer a regular style called Kwik Stix and a thin style of Kwik Stix called Thin Stix.  They also offer lots of colors. Check their website for information on the different sizes and various color sets they have available. Here is a video from The Pencil Grip, Inc demonstrating how to use their tempera paint stix.

How We Used Thin Stix:

I was thrilled to be given another wonderful opportunity to review Thin Stix with my kids!  We love using Thin Stix in our home ever since we reviewed Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors earlier this year.

This kit is so much more!  It has the bold 6 classic colors plus + more classic colors for a total of 12.  Then it has 6 Neon colors plus 6 Metallix colors too, for a total of 24 vibrant colors of tempera paint sticks.  The Metallix colors are really speacial because they have a sparkle effect that reflects the light.

Thin Stix are easy to use and hold on to that even my youngest kids can do art projects easily.  It is as simple as taking off the cap and using them.  If you need a little more paint, then you simply twist the bottom of the stick like a tube of chapstick.  The paint comes up at the other end and you are ready to simply draw with them again.  They are mess free and ready to paint with.  There is no need for water and no clean up.  I am always looking for projects my kids can do that are simple, and I especially like MESS FREE arts and crafts!  Check out this short video that shows how mess free they really are:

Projects With Thin Stix Creativity Pack:

Here are a few of projects we have made with our Thin Stix Creativity Pack over the past few weeks.  I am sure we will have many more great projects using these paints in our arts and crafts and school work this year.  I have shared a few pictures below and I will link the stories about how we made these projects and what materials we used as I get them posted.

  • Art Class Fall Season Painting (Multimedia Art Books)
  • Art Class Wooden Creations (Popsicle Stick)
  • Organizer Container Art (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Organizer Container Art  (Recycled Shampoo Bottles)
  • Lunch Box Art  (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Candle Flower Art   (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Butterfly Art & Science (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Bird House Art & Science (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Bird Feeder Art (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Birthday Cards (Construction Paper)
  • Get Well Cards (Construction Paper)

Art Class Fall Season Painting

(Thin Stix & Multimedia Art Books)

We took a walk and looked at trees and gathered a few fall leaves for inspiration and to inspect the colors of fall more closely.

The kids found similar colors in the Thin Stix and used their own creativity to paint a fall scene.

Organizer Container Art

(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)

These are so cute!  You can use them for just about anything you need to organize.  Kids could use them for their Thin Stix and art supplies, Legos, crayons, etc.  You could use them in your drawers to hold socks or miscellaneous items.  You could use them to hold fruit (or candy) on the counter. It could hold napkins on the table as a cute centerpiece too. 

My son loved personalizing his organizer!

Organizer Container Art

(Thin Stix & Recycled Shampoo Bottles)

These containers are so cute and just the right size.  They are so simple to make.  They are small enough to fit into a backpack or purse. They can hold a variety of things from art supplies, small journal, cell phone, camera, first aide, small sowing kit, to snacks, etc.  They will make great gifts to give away too.

 

Lunch Box Art

(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)

I can’t wait to share the finished product of this project.  Stay tuned for another story.  This was so easy to make and personalize using our Thin Stix.  It can fit easily into a backpack or purse and hold a huge variety of of foods from sandwiches, juice boxes, granola bars, crackers, fruit, bags of veggies, fruit cups, yogurt, etc. 

The lunch boxes are not water tight, but they will prevent your foods from getting smashed in your bag or backpack.  It has a lid and is large enough to keep several loose items altogether, so it is easy to pull it out and have everything inside the lunch box without searching for something that got misplaced.  These containers are special because you made them yourself.  You can also use this to organize various non-food items too.

Butterfly Art & Science

(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)

The kids had a lot of fun learning about butterflies and making their own creations.

Candle Flower Art

(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs) The kids had a lot of fun cutting out their petals, painting them with Thin Stix colors like Metalix Purple and Classic Purple, and hot glueing the petals together to create lovely flowers. 

Then they attached a small tea candle in the center of the flower. 

These lovely candle holders will look very pretty on our table, and we made some to give away too. 

If you want a safer version without a flame, then instead of using real candles, use battery operated candles.  They will look just as beautiful.

Birthday Cards Fall Theme 

(Thin Stix & Paper & Construction Paper)

Get Well Cards

(Thin Stix & Paper & Construction Paper)

Projects With Thin Stix 6 Pk Classic Colors:

Here are a few projects we made using the Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors of tempera paints.  Some of these have additional stories about making those projects and to read them, just click on the link.

Art Class Paint Project

(Thin Stix & Multimedia Art Book)

DIY Portable Art Kits

(Thin Stix Tempera Paints Various Colors, Colored Pencils, Charcoal Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Gel Pens, Water Colors, Multimedia Art Book, Sketch Pad, Recycled Zippered Container)

Father’s Day Cards

(Thin Stix, File Folder, Bible Verse)

Garden Pots

(Thin Stix & Flower Pots)

I am also amazed how durable these paints are.  I painted these pots with Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors several months ago.  Even after the rains and later the scorching heat on the back deck all summer, the bugs and flowers we painted my pots have endured and still look great!

Final Thoughts:

I really like the fact these tempera paints (Kwik Stix and Thin Stix) are mess free. I also like the fact they have so many applications, they are portable so you can take them with you, and you can use them to personalize your space, beyond just using them on a piece of paper.

GIVEAWAY

Want to win a set of Thin Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc? Then enter this giveway for a chance to win.  Giveaway entries will be accepted between 11/9/17 and 11/22/17 for your chance to win.  If you would kindly share this giveaway with your family, friends, and on your social media: facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc I would greatly appreciate your help in getting the word out.  Be blessed and I hope you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Social Media Links for Pencil Grip:

Follow The Pencil Grip on their social Media links for all the latest news, special sales, and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepencilgrip/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thepencilgrip   @thepencilgrip

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/thepencilgrip/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLmKo4Es5M5VwzXuFKk7j6w

Blog: http://handwritingathome.blogspot.com/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew to say about using Thin Stix Creativity Pack with their kids.

Please share.

DIY Candle Holder From Recycled Milk Jug

This project is really simple and affordable.  You can recycle or upcycle a used milk jug into a fun craft to decorate your home and also have a special gift to give away.

You will need:

  • Empty clean milk jug
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil or pen
  • candel
  • hot glue or super glue
  • Paint of your choice. (we used Thin Stix tempera paints. See info below to enter our Giveaway!)

Cut out random size flower petal shapes from milk jug.

We cut about 7 small, 10 medium, and 8 large.  Cut as many as you desire.

Paint the petals in the color (s) of your choice.  Let the petals dry.  If you desire a white flower, then leave the petals unpainted.  The painted petals will give off a lovely reflection of light.   The unpainted flower will glow with a beautiful soft light allowing you to almost see through the layers of the flower.  It is up to you if you desire to paint them or leave them unpainted.

Glue the base of the petals together.

We found it easiest to start with the larger petals and then glue on the medium and we glued the small petals on last.  Then place a dot of glue to attach the base of the candle to the flower.

If you want to use a candle version without a flame, then instead of using real candles, use battery operated candles.  They look just like the real thing but are safer because there is an LED light instead of an open flame.  You can find these at most big box retail stores and online.  You can even find inexpensive ones at the Dollar Store for $1.   The Dollar Store also carries the tea candles in packs of 8 for $1.  These flower candles are not expensive to make, especially if you can make 8 of them with real candles for only $1.

Whether you choose to use a regular candle or a battery operated candle, either way they will look beautiful and be something homemade with a personal touch.  They also help the environment by recycling or repurposing milk jugs that otherwise would have been thrown into the land fill.  These lovely flower candles will become a special gift to give to loved ones and friends.

 

GIVEAWAY

Be sure to ENTER the GIVEAWAY for a set of THIN STIX !

Thin Stix Giveway

Please share.

Good And Evil

Sometimes I wonder why Father God allows evil to exist.  I wonder why He allows evil people (people with evil intentions) who are found at all levels of society (including local and national community leaders, nation rulers, world rulers, religious leaders, thieves, liers, rapists, murderers, and deceitful people) to prosper in their evil deeds.

Why are they allowed to take advantage of God fearing, good hearted, loving people?  And why do evil people prosper?

Psalms 73:1-11

But I almost stumbled and fell,
because it made me jealous
to see proud and evil people
and to watch them prosper.

They never have to suffer,
they stay healthy,
and they don’t have troubles
like everyone else.

Their pride is like a necklace,
and they commit sin
more often than they dress themselves.

Their eyes poke out with fat,
and their minds are flooded
with foolish thoughts.

They sneer and say cruel things,
and because of their pride,
they make violent threats.

They dare to speak against God
and to order others around.

God will bring his people back,
and they will drink the water
he so freely gives.

Only evil people would say,
“God Most High cannot
know everything!”

It is something that is hard to understand.

I absolutely believe Father God is good, and He is love, and He has all power, authority, and dominion forever.  He is the Alpha and Omega and He knows the beginning from the end.  He knows who is evil and who is good.

He knows the entire story.  He knew you before you were knit in your mothers womb and watched each and every cell and fiber in your body form.  He is always with you.  At all times, He will answer you when you call on him. He loves you and waits for you to love and obey him.

He will never leave nor forsake you until you stand before him on Judgement Day, and he separates those who are evil from those who are good.  At that time, the books of people’s deeds will be opened and read, and Father God and His Son will either say something similar to “well done, you cared for my needs, you kept your first love, enter in to the eternal joy” or he will say something similar to “depart, be cast into eternal damnation, you wicked servant, I never knew you”.

So why does He allow good people to suffer, yet also allows them to draw near to him, and evil people to he allows to prosper and fall away from him in this life on earth?

I don’t know why.  He is a loving God.  He wants us to walk in his ways and be like him.  He is always with us through the good times and the bad times.  He gives each one of us a choice to do good or do evil with our life.

Sadly, I have heard some people say they won’t trust in Father God, mainly because they believe He allows human suffering, inequality, and injustice.  They don’t deny that Father God exists, and they don’t deny he has the power to stop the terrible events from happening, but they refuse to accept Him as their personal God whom they put their trust in.  They would rather trust in their ownself and direct their own path, or put their trust in scientists, doctors, and government for safety, healing, and answers to life’s dilemmas.

But they are missing out here on this earth and will miss out for eternity because of their lack of faith.

They are missing out on being in relationship and loving the only True God, Creator of the Universe, the true light, our loving Father who gives good gifts, who sent His only son, a part of himself as a sacrifice to redeem them from their sin, to rescue mankind so they can have eternal life with him where there is no more evil, no injustice, no murder, no lying, no jealousy, no crying, no hate, no sickness, no diseases, no famines.

I was reading about good and evil rulers in 2 Chronicles the other day.  I spent three hours reading through several chapters, covering several generations, and I was able to see a big picture in the lives of these men and their families.  Everything they ever did was written down in several books for future generations to know.  It was amazing to me how one ruler would love God and serve him, but his son or grandson would turn out to be horribly wicked rulers. Some were so evil and wicked that they murdered all their brothers and relatives and many innocent people.  Some of them went to war and killed thousands and stole women and children and stole all of the wealth and land from the groups they invaded.  Some of these men served as ruler a short time and some for a long time.  But eventually they all came to an end and their deeds (both good and bad) were written down.

Someday they will be called, just as we all will be called, to stand before Father God and His Son and give an account of how we lived our lives and all of the good and bad things in our lives will be exposed.  The only way to escape the consequences of that day are to accept the sacrifice of God’s son, his sinless life he willingly gave in our place, and his shed blood offered to cover our sins so that Father God will forgive, and blot out our sin from the book.

John 3:15-21

“Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life. God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people.
He sent him to save them!

No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned.
But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son.

The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things
are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light.

People who do evil hate the light and won’t come to the light,
because it clearly shows what they have done.

But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light,
because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do.”

 

Romans 13:9

In the Law there are many commands, such as,
“Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder.
Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others.”
But all of these are summed up in the command that says,
“Love others as much as you love yourself.”

The advice in the scriptures is clear.

Walk away from evil.

Walk away from evil deeds and people who are determined to do evil.

Believe in and trust Father God,

Believing he sent His Son for your salvation,

Ask for forgiveness of your sin,

Obey His command to love Father God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself,

Because this the only way to escape damnation, enter into heaven and spend eternity with Father God.

Be wise and be blessed!

Please share.

Kid Niche: Weave Your Word In Me Bible Study Review

We are instructed to think about Father God and his word continually.  His word is full of life and having a relationship with him and obeying his word brings blessings.  The scriptures tell us to talk about them with our children when we rise up, when we walk along the way, and when we go to bed so they will know who he is and all the mighty works he has done, they will honor him and will love him too.

“Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you, a land flowing with milk and honey.  Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  Dueteronomy 6:1-9

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, parents can forget to follow these instructions and weave the word of God into their daily activities as the busyness of other day to day challenges can get in the way.  Kid Niche Christian Books offers a bible study called “Weave Your Word In Me – Part 1” by Susan Case Bonner that can help parents teach their kids about building a deeper relationship with Father God.

Weave Your Word In Me – Part 1

Bible Study

36 Lessons

Answer Key

Illustrated

77 Pages

Ages: 4th – 6th Grades

Retail $20

Weave Your Word In Me Part 1 helps kids learn who Father God is, build a relationship with him, think about the wonderful things he has done, and learn how to pray to him daily from their heart just as Jesus did.  It is designed for kids in 4th – 6th grades (Tweens).  This is the first part of a 2 part bible study series.   Part 1 contains “God the Father” and “God the Son” and Part 2  contains “God the Holy Spirit” and “What God Wants”.  Part 2 is available for $20 as a separate purchase. A bundled set that contains both Part 1 and Part 2 together is also available for $30.

The Lessons (72 pages) + the Answer Key (5 pages) + Free Enrichment Activities on the website make up this Bible study curriculum.  This Bible study use scriptures, prayer, plus a variety of other methods to develop the thought process about the topic.  Various methods used include scriptures, prayer, pictures, charts, definitions, drama, drawings, fill-in-the-blanks, illustrations, matching, sequence, multiple choice, and true or false type questions.  There is a place to write down your prayer at the end of each lesson.  Every prayer begins with “Dear Father in heaven…” and then have a different focus depending on the focus of the lesson.

Lesson include:

Part 1:   36 Lessons

God the Father: 14 Lessons

1) God is our heavenly Father. He likes us to talk to
him. Talking to God is called prayer.

1 Meet God the Father
2 Where God Lives
3 Our Listening God
4 Talking With God
5 The Name of God
6 The Greatness of God
7 Two Types of Pray-ers
8 An Encounter With God
9 True Humility

2) God loves and cares for all people.

10 God Loves All People
11 God Shows Kindness to All
12 God Loves Children
13 God Highly Values Us
14 No One Is Too Bad for God to Love

God the Son: 22 Lessons

3 a) Jesus’ Early Years and Preparation

15 Jesus’ Birth
16 Jesus’ Childhood
17 Jesus’ Baptism
18 Jesus’ Temptation

   b) Jesus’ Ministry on Earth

19 Jesus the Teacher
20 Jesus the Healer
21 Jesus the Leader
22 Jesus’ Lessons in Faith
23 Jesus the Miracle Worker
Background Information
24 Jesus’ Identity Revealed
25 Jesus the Giver of Life
26 Jesus the All-Knowing God

  c) Jesus’ Betrayal, Trial, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, Return (Jesus’ Sacrifice and Reward)

27 Jesus’ Betrayal and Arrest
28 Jesus’ Trial
29 Jesus’ Death
30 Jesus’ Resurrection
31 Jesus’ Ascension
32 Jesus’ Return and Reign

4) Anyone who receives Jesus as God and Savior
becomes God’s child.

33 Rejecting or Receiving Jesus
34 The Benefits of Receiving
35 What Jesus Is Preparing
36 The Receiving Criminal

Part 2:  44 Lessons (sold separately)

God the Holy Spirit: 16 Lessons

What God Wants: 28 Lessons

When I received my Bible study, it came unbound and printed on brightly colored heavy duty paper.  It is hole punched and ready to be inserted into a binder of your choice.  I chose a bright colored 3 ring binder with a clear pocket on the front and I put the provided cover page in the clear pocket of my binder and added the hole punched pages inside.  It was that easy and looks very nice.  I also added a pencil case (not pictured) with a highlighter, pencils, and gel pens too.  This study can be done at home or slip the binder and bible into a bag or backpack to take on outings too.

This study is flexible and can be used in a way that fits best with your schedule.  It could be used for the whole school year for 36 weeks doing 1 lesson a week, or 1 semester for 18 weeks if done with 2 lessons a week, or finish in 12 weeks if doing 3 lessons a week, or work on it every day and complete it even sooner.  It is up to you how fast or slow you want to proceed.

Each lesson is filled with colorful illustrated pages, large print and large places to write your answers.

The author has done a nice job of including scripture in each lesson and getting kids to think about it and write down answers.  Lessons are short and are usually only 1 to 3 pages long.  Some lessons include additional background information for a mini history lesson.   At the end of each lesson are a few questions that vary in style from fill in the blank, to multiple choice, to true false, etc.  At the end of each lesson is also a place for the kids to write out their prayer regarding what they learned in the lesson and how it applies to their life.

The Answer Key for questions in each lesson is found in the back of the study and is compatible with 6 different Bible translations: KJV, ESV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, NABRE.

The study can be adapted to other translations though the Answer Key won’t reflect the exact wording as it does with the 6 translations it covers.

The main component in Part 1 is a prayer guide that helps kids learn who God is and how to talk with God.  It helps kids understand the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught us to pray in the scriptures.  The bible study uses both the Lord’s Prayer and another prayer written by the Author called “My Whole Self Before You”.

At first I was somewhat put off by using “another” prayer as a guide for a bible study.  At the beginning of the study, it compares the “The Lord’s Prayer” vs “My Whole Self Before You” prayer, and seems to indicate that they have basically the same meaning.  This bothered me at first because I was taught not to put my own spin on the scriptures, and not to add or take away from scriptures.  Jesus taught us how to pray and that is enough.  We don’t have to “tweak” it.

My husband and I discussed these points in depth.  Sometimes praying can seem repetitive and even Jesus said we should not repeat the same things over and over (like chanting) that we have memorized and we should speak from our heart.  So I decided to press on and after digging further into the bible study, I realized that the “My Whole Self Before You” prayer is an example to teach kids how to pray to Father God in their own words and by learning how to pray, they also build a relationship with him.  It is not intended to replace the Lord’s Prayer Jesus spoke (even though at first it seemed to be indicating this), but instead the Bible study follows the blueprints of what Jesus prayed and helps kids see through a step by step process that they can also pray following his blueprint.

The actual blueprint for praying is honoring God first, and thanking him for his blessings in our life and his provision, and asking him to forgive us, helping us to forgive others who have wronged us, ask him to guide and direct us, and keep us from harm, and acknowledging that he has all authority, power, and dominion forever.  Praying with this method, in our own words from our sincere heart, brings us closer to Father God and builds our relationship with him.

I had originally intended to use this study daily with my 10 year old as a supplement to her other studies.  She is at the “Tween” age and this was written for kids in 4th – 6th grades.  However, she wasn’t so excited to work on it by herself.   Even though the lessons are manageable, there is reading and looking up scriptures that involves even more reading.  Reading is not her thing right now.  She is a slow reader and she would rather do other things.  Some of my kids would jump at the opportunity to read and explore.  However, she is an audio visual learner and she doesn’t enjoy reading very much at this young “Tween” phase she is in.  I hope that one day soon she will enjoy reading, but for now, she doesn’t prefer it.  She does like hearing others read, she likes audio stories, videos, and social interaction and she absorbs a lot from those methods.

There are some additional learning videos and enrichment activities with hands on learning available on the website that she has jumped at the opportunity to do and has enjoyed.

Enrichment Activity 1a & 1b: The Potter

Enrichment activity 1c: Jesus Prays To Father

Enrichment activity 2a, 2b, and 2c: Emerald Rainbow and Northern Lights.

We did two versions of this activity.  One version was a freehand style painting of the Northern Lights using watercolors and wax crayons as directed in the activity.  The second one was a pre-printed page we found online of the Northern Lights as seen from Canada.

So I decided after digging into the first couple of lessons with her, to change things up a bit and make this a weekly Bible study for my whole family.  I spent some time reading through it before I read it aloud to my husband and kids.  I am glad I made this choice for our family.   It got Dad and big brothers in on the discussion with the younger ones and we can all learn from each other and my Tween is benefiting even more from doing it this way than when she was doing it alone.

I tucked the bible study into my travel bag and took it with us on our weekly road trips.  We are using it as a study and discussion tool.  I read it aloud to my family and then have one of them read the bible verse(s).  Then I asked them the questions and have more discussion.  We waited to do the enrichment projects until we were home to reinforce the message.  I was surprised how deeply our discussions as a family have went on these trips.  This has been a great study tool.

We got all the kids involved in the enrichment activities.  They love hands on learning and Unit Studies are our prefered method and this Bible study plus the enrichment activities is like a great big Prayer Unit Study.  The kids have enjoyed learning about what a potter does.  It helped them understand how our Father God is like a potter and we are his clay.  We watched the suggested video on Youtube, and then the kids got out our playdough and pretended to be potter’s and created their own creations.  All six of my kids really enjoyed this activity and talked about how their life is like clay in Father God’s hands.

Jesus Praying in the Garden:  We don’t have stained glass or similar items, though I saw a tutorial on making your own “shrinky dinks” or “light” catchers by staining / painting plastic and heating it in the oven and it comes out looking similar to stained glass and we may try something like this soon.  For now we printed out the page and some of the kids used paints, some used crayons, etc. to finish it.

Another brother used colored pencils enjoyed quiet time outside alone with Father God contemplating yielding his life to Father God as Jesus did.

Another one of my sons wanted to draw his own sketch of the picture. He spent some quiet time and sketched free hand the picture of Jesus praying in his sketch book.

Northern Lights activity:  We watched a video and also looked up information on Wikipedia.  Then my kids used various methods: watercolors, water colors with wax crayons, and sketching with charcoal pencil and colored pencils, to create their own Northern Lights or Emerald Rainbow pictures.

An upcoming enrichment activity the kids are looking forward to making soon is prayer boxes.  We have collected some altoid tins already and plan to print out some scriptures about praying on small cards that are business card size so they fit in nicely, and put in a pencil and small note pad.  We also plan to make a bigger version with a metal cookie tin.  For these large tins we plan to put in items that help to study your bible such as a highlighter, book mark, pen, as well as a nice notebook that can be used as a place to write down prayers and journal about bible study.   Both of these types of boxes will reflect God’s promises about prayer.  So when you open it, you can pull out a scripture and read it and be reminded that God loves you and hears your prayers.  These will make a wonderful activity for kids and wonderful gifts to give away too.

There are several suggested activities that relate to the Bible study lessons and way too many enrichment activities to mention.   You can take a look yourself on the FREE Activities page of the website.

I believe it is important to point everyone, and especially kids, to Father God.  The prayer opportunities at the end of each lesson in this bible study tie it all together and are my favorite part because they build the relationship with the Father.  These lessons, enrichment activities, and prayers teach kids to take time to talk to Father, honoring him, thanking him, and reaching out to him from their heart.

About the Author:

Susan Case Bonner is a woman who wears many hats.  She is a wife and mother, and over the years has been a Homeschool teacher, Author, Sunday School teacher, Chapel Speaker, Conference Speaker, Christian Education Director, and is a graduate of Columbia State University.

Susan says she believes “boring” and “Bible” don’t belong in the same sentence.  She is excited about her faith and wants to share it.  She has developed this bible study and a website full of enriching activities such as topic related activities, puzzles, projects, music, art lessons, and videos from the web, that help bring the bible to life for kids.

I found these videos with Susan Case Bonner on her Youtube channel discussing the book with the poem she wrote for younger children “My Whole Self Before You” (which this bible study for Tweens was based on):

And this one:

Be sure to check out more Books and Bible Study Resources by Susan Case Bonner available at Kid Niche Christian Books.  In addition to the FREE Enrichment Activities, she also has a blog with tips for using the curriculum and support for homeschool families.  She has Bible Study Curriculum products for kids of all ages, including books for younger children, for Tweens, and Teens, as well and the Whole Family too.

 

Social Media

Follow Susan Case Bonner and Kid Niche Christian Books on their social Media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susancasebonner/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/susancasebonner  @susancasebonner

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susancasebonner

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4SCgeUO5YDJUqZDr6P2ljQ

Blog: http://kidniche.com/blog/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Weave Your Word In Me Bible Study in their home.

Please share.

Lego Adventures at Homeschool Coop: Space Exploration

I have enjoyed teaching courses to kids at homeschool get togethers, church, 4H, and parks for many years.  Sometimes these meetings are bible studies, other times they are classes held a local Homeschool Coops or Community programs.

On this day, I taught a Lego Adventures Bible Story class.   We had a great time of learning, activities, and growing our faith.   The kids learned about the fourth day of creation, when Father God created the Sun, Moon, and Stars.   They also learned a little bit about man’s attempts at space exploration, man’s theories about space, and the differences in asteroids and comets. 

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I used a wonderful book called Purposeful Design to teach this class.  I made a binder of lessons to go along with the book and also used a few printouts and coloring pages I gathered from free sources online.  For props to teach the class, I brought a bible, earth in space puzzles, space flash cards, lots of Legos, space exploration mini figures, and I made a space exploration discovery bin.  I brought enough items x 2 so that I could divide the class into two teams for a friendly competition too. 

Space Flash Cards

Space Flash Cards

For our bible learning, we studied the fourth day of creation.  This is when Father God created the sun and moon and stars and put them in the firmament we call “space”, and created time and seasons (seasons are not just a change in the weather, but God designed them to be special appointments with Father called seasons when we have special feasts known as holidays or holy days) on the earth.

“God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. I command them to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened. God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. He also made the stars. Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. Evening came and then morning—that was the fourth day.” Genesis 1:14-19

The kids learned several vocabulary words and terms.  I provided them with crossword puzzles, question and answer sheets, and coloring pages that related to their vocabulary words.

Sun, Moon, Stars, Asteroid, Comet, space shuttles, space pod, rockets, rocket fuel, space ships, satellites, space center, astronaut, gravity, rover vehicles, robotics, science experiment, space exploration, planets and their moons, Earth, Saturn, Mars.

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Team Competitions:

We divided into two teams.  Each team was given the exact same team kits.  Each kit contained, an Earth in Space puzzle, space exploration props, black construction paper, and a box of random Legos.

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We had two competitions also.  The first was putting together a puzzle of the earth in space.  The second competition was building a space exploration diorama and space exploration vehicle to explore Father God’s creation in the firmament.

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At the end of the competition, we had a time of “Show and Tell” where each team gave a brief explanation of what they created and how it would be used based on what they had learned.

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After our lesson, we went outside for some friendly games.

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It was a great time and the kids had a lot of fun.

Please share.

Pencil Grip and Ultra Safe Safety Scissors Review

I am excited to tell you about  The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

The Pencil Grip, Inc. is a world renown company and a leading manufacturer of ergonomic writing aids and therapeutic toys and educational products. They have lots of wonderful products that benefit both kids and adults. They have built a reputation with parents, teachers, and therapists worldwide who have used these products and believe in the value of the product and methods applied.

The Pencil Grip, Inc. specializes in unique products that have many applications. The Pencil Grip, Inc. company was created by educational therapist Dr. Lois Provda in 1992.   Their products have many decades of successful use in homes, pediatric therapy, occupational therapy, and classroom settings.  The company has grown into an irreplaceable resource for unique and innovative products.

The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit

Ranked #1

Recommended Family of Grips

The Cross Over Grip, The Pinch Grip, The Pencil Grip Original

For Children & Adults

Latex Free & Phthalate Free

Fit A Variety of Writing Instruments

Increases Neatness

Increases Comfort & Control

This kit is recommended by doctors and therapists for both left handed and right handed children and adults. By using the three step method, folks are able to reduce their frustration and strain.  They also reduce the normal time needed to learn (or re-learn) how to hold a pencil (or pen) correctly when writing.

The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit contains 1 each:

  • Step 1: The Crossover Grip (Training)
  • Step 2: The Pinch Grip (Transition)
  • Step 3: The Pencil Grip Original (Graduation)

These products help correct hand position, dexterity, and reduce stress on the hands and knuckles. They help control the grip of the writing instrument and improve performance. A free instructional poster is available on The Pencil Grip website. These products are fun and easy to use and help motivate hesitant learners too.

The Crossover Grip

Step 1: The Crossover Grip is used for training.  It has a “super hero cape” design built in.  The cape is over the finger design provides the maximum reinforcement of correct position and structure.

When I worked with my five year old on using this grip, he kept wanting to put his middle finger in the wrong postion, placing it below the grip instead of behind it.

After a few times of reminding him, I was able to get him to hold it correctly and he felt more control and did very well with it.

I also had my eight year old try out using this grip.

He liked the feel of it.  I tried him on the next grip in the kit and he preferred the first grip more.  Perhaps it is the “super hero cape” on this grip that he is excited about.  He is left handed and sometimes it can be challenging to write going forward rather than write sliding the hand backward across the paper as right handers do.  This grip feels comfortable to him and right away we noticed an improvement in his control.  So he will be using this one for a bit longer until he is ready to move forward.

 

The Pinch Grip

Step 2: The Pinch Grip is used for Transitioning.  It has wings.  The wings help the user to see their grip and allows both freedom in writing and also more  structure.

Since my younger sons weren’t ready to move on to the next grip in the kit just yet, I used the Pinch Grip with my daughter after she tried out the Crossover Grip first.

This was the perfect grip for her.

For some reason, she liked to push the grip up higher on her pencil though.  I kept bringing it back down for her, but she said she liked using it up higher.

I noticed improvement in her control of the pencil right away.

 

The Pencil Grip Original

Step 3: The Pencil Grip Original is the Graduation phase.  It provides ongoing comfort and control and assists the user in continuing what they have learned.

My older boys and I tried out each grip in the kit.  The Original Grip was the most comfortable for me.  It is soft and gave me very good control and felt natural between my fingers.

I found this informative video online that explains the many benefits of using various kinds of pencil grips.  The video is not from The Pencil Grip company however, it is informational and gives credit to Dr. Lois Provda from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

With the 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit, I am certain our family will see improvement in their writing.  As each person works their way through the series of grips, they will be able to write with more control, less wobbling and produce straighter and neater lines.

The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors

Ergonomic Design

Ultra Safe

Concealed Blades

Safety Shield

Training Lever Action

For Ages 3+

These scissors are sharp and cut cleanly with precision.  They have sharp blades that are covered with a permanent shield to prevent kids from cutting themselves. They are easy to hold thanks to their ergonomic design. They have a spring assist opening feature that helps those with limited abilities, but can be folded in for less restricted use.

My 5 year old son and I both used these scissors for the purpose of this review.

To use the scissors you have to place the paper in a very small space between the plastic guard and the top blade.  It feels a little awkward at first. But eventually you get the hang of it.

The blades are very sharp and cut easily through paper.  But you don’t have to worry about cutting fingers because a finger cannot fit into the tiny space between the guard and the top blade.  

He was able to cut straight lines, curved lines, and zig zag lines too.  It was a good feeling knowing his fingers were safe and he can use these scissors independently.

I definitely needed these when he was younger and needed some protection from injury.

Thankfully, he has better coordination now, but I still keep scissors put up and he only uses them with supervision.

Now with these Ultra Safe Safety Scissors, I will be able to leave them in his supplies for him to use at anytime and I won’t have to worry.

We have enjoyed using these products from The Pencil Grip.  This is our second time to review a product from them and their products are well made and definitely beneficial for all ages.

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Homeschool Review Crew

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