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!

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.

Social Media

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

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

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

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

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Pencil Grip, INC in their home.

Please share.

Reading Eggs Review

If you are looking for a fun, no fuss way, to improve your kids reading skills, then you might want to check out Reading Eggs and their award winning online reading program.

Reading Eggs is used by over 10 million kids worldwide.  That is quite an accomplishment for a reading program.  They have also achieved numerous awards and can be found in many homes and schools.  We were recently asked to review a six month subscription to Reading Eggs which also includes Reading Eggs JR and Reading Eggspress.  We were also given a subscription to Math Seeds.  You can get your very own 4 Week Free Trial and see if Reading Eggs is a good fit for your family.

Reading Eggs

Online Subscription

Reading Eggs Jr. for Ages 2-4

Reading Eggs Ages for 3-7

Reading Eggspress for Ages 7-13

24/7/365 Access

Reading Eggs Special Features

Reading Eggs is an online reading program available for either a 6 month or 1 year subscription.

Reading Eggs contains 120 animated reading lessons (plus additional lessons in Reading Eggs Jr. and Reading Eggspress).  Each lesson involves around 12+ tasks or mini-lessons.  Some of the other special features of Reading Eggs includes:

  • Student Dashboard for independent student navigation (and motivation) of lessons, spelling, games, books read, etc.
  • Phonics
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Letters
  • Sight Words
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Songs
  • Games
  • Kids earn spending “eggs” they earned for completing lessons and quizzes that can be used in the arcade, designing their avatar, spend in the store, etc.
  • Printables: Worksheets, Awards for completing Lesson Maps and Quizzes
  • Over 2,500 Online Books To Read each with a Comprehension Quiz (of 5 to 10 questions each).
  • Spelling Quizzes / Driving Tests
  • Parent Dashboard: track lessons and quizzes completed, scores, and books read.
  • Parent Emails (also keep you updated of student progress)
  • Homeschool Guide (Grades K-2)
  • Additional Supplemental Books Available

How Does It Work?

Reading Eggs helps kids succeed in their reading abilities by focusing on mastering skills and strategies which are essential for reading success. The Reading Eggs developers are an experienced team of teachers, educational writers, animators, and website and app developers.  Reading Eggs is beneficial for kids just learning to read as well as kids with strong reading skills. It is also beneficial for kids with learning difficulties, struggling readers, and English As A Second Language (ESL).

There are 3 Levels to Reading Eggs and in all it covers kids from ages 2 to 13.  No prior knowledge is needed to start the program at the lowest level, Reading Eggs Jr, however those in Kindergarten (and some Preschoolers too) should be able to begin at the Reading Eggs level.

Reading Eggs will actually teach the kids to read through a series of progressive lessons that takes them from not yet able to read to master a second grade reading level.  Students with stronger reading skills will progress quicker than beginners.  Reading Eggspress is the next level in the program and covers skills from first through sixth grades.  This level offers lots of reading comprehension challenges, books, and more learning games.

There is a comprehensive 35 page User Guide available to help parents learn to use the programs.

The basic motivation for kids is to make progress is earning golden eggs they can store up and spend like cash within the program by doing tasks like lessons, quizzes, books, etc.  In the Reading Eggs program there are 12 Maps with 10 lessons on each map to master (120 lessons).  At the end of each Lesson Map is a quiz for kids to take before they can move forward to the next Map.

Lessons also contain printable black and white activity worksheets as well as colourful activity pages to complete.

The worksheet printables also include lesson plans for each lesson.  There are 120 Lesson Plans to help the parent understand the big picture of what the child is learning and how the online lesson and worksheets go together and additional suggestions to enhance the learning skills.

The links for the downloadable printable worksheets that include lesson plans, and more colorful activity pages for each lesson are found in the “bonus” section of the parent dashboard for additional practice.

After completing about five (5) lessons in Reading Eggs, kids will have earned enough eggs to begin using the Games section.  At Games, they can choose a game they want to play.  The more eggs they earn, the more they can spend, and the more games they can play.  Kids love playing games, and games become a reward for the efforts they make, and it motivates them to want to do more.

Reading Eggs now offers a Homeschool Guide for parents for kids in grades K-2.  There is a schedule for each grade and it integrates reading, math, science, and social studies and offers a suggested schedule of lessons, activity pages to complete, spelling, books to read, and learning themes. The Homeschool Guide can also be found in the “bonus” section.

Videos:

Watch this video to learn more about Reading Eggs (Math Seeds is now a separate subscription):

Watch this video to learn more about Reading Eggspress (ages 7-13):

Requirements:

Reading Eggs online programs can be accessed on a Computer with high speed internet service and an operating system of Windows 7 (or higher), or Mac 10 (or higher), iPad, and is available on some Smart Phones (Apple, Android, etc).  It is currently not supported on some devices (Dell Venue 7, Kindle Fire Tablets, Pendo Pad, Thompson Tablet, or Tesco Hudl Tablets).

Our Experience:

My kids love using Reading Eggs.  Reading Eggs is colorful and engaging.  This fun program has helped my kids practice reading, spelling, and grammar skills in a fun interactive way.

For the purpose of this review, I will focus on the Reading Eggs level of the program and share with you some of our experience using this program with my 5 year old son who is new to Reading Eggs, and my 10 year old daughter who has some previous experience.

Though it is a “no-fuss” learning program (meaning the kids are not frustrated and resisting to use it), instead it is just the opposite and my kids do fuss if I they don’t get to use it.  The kids are very motivated to get on the computer and practice their reading skills each day.

I have my own dashboard when logged in as the parent.    I can see my kids progress in each program we are subscribed to.  I also receive an email after my kids complete quizzes describing their reading progress and what skills and concepts they learned.

A special feature that I like is the option to choose starting my kids off at a specific lesson (there are about 120 different lessons), or letting them start at default mode which is at the beginning lesson on Map 1, or I can have the kids take the placement test.  The placement test includes 60 questions.  The test stops when the kids miss 3 questions and places them at the level where the missed questions corresponds to their skills.  A parent can choose for the kids to continue where the placement test says they should be, or have them “Redo Placement Test”, or you can just adjust the lesson they are on within any level without retaking the test.

My kids also have their own dashboard when logged in as the student.

Even the youngest of kids are able to learn how to navigate their dashboard after a few times of using it because of the colorful pictures.

From the kids dashboard they can navigate around Reading Eggs.  They can read stories, do spelling, quizzes, games, shop, etc.  To get to their Lesson Map, they choose the “My Program” link and it takes them to their books and lesson options.  Then they can choose the Lesson link and it brings them to their Lesson Map.

Here is my 5 year old son pointing to his avatar when it was on lesson 9 on Map 1.

Another fun feature for Kids is to design their own avatar for their dashboard.  There are unlimited options in the design.

When they have unlocked more of the program based on their lessons, more options show up on their “Program” page.   In this picture below, you can see how my daughter’s page differs from her younger brother’s page.  She had master 106 lessons and was ready to start lesson 107.

After they choose “Lesson”, it takes them to the Lessons Map and hers opens up to lesson 107 on Map 11.

Another favorite feature for my kids is the driving test.  Each of my kids are different, but my daughter especially enjoys doing these.

Math Seeds

We were also given a complimentary subscription to Math Seeds and I wanted to briefly mention it here.  It is an online math program that operates in a similar way to Reading Eggs.

Math Seeds was created by the same team that created Reading Eggs and shares the same dashboard with Reading Eggs if you have subscribed to both programs.  However, you have the option to only subscribe to Math Seeds or only to Reading Eggs if you wish.

In Math Seeds, my kids collected golden acorns to spend instead of eggs.  Math Seeds involves 180 lessons with numbers and math skills for kids ages 3 to 9 years old.  They have recently expanded the program to cover some skills at the third grade level (including times tables fractions, angles, subtraction with regrouping, etc).

Math Seeds Video

Here you can see the parent dashboard that shows one of my kids Math Seeds progress.  We haven’t spent a lot of time in Math Seeds yet as we mainly focused on Reading Eggs during this review.

Final Thoughts

Pros:

  • Access 24/7/365 (use it anytime on your schedule)
  • Kids love it.
  • Kids can complete online lessons independently or you can expand learning with parents and additional lesson printables and suggested reading that reinforce the learning.
  • Proven reading improvement.
  • Affordable  ($49 for 6 months and $59 for 1 year).
  • Keeps parents/teachers informed of progress (emails and dashboard reports).
  • Parents can tweak program by moving child ahead or back in lessons, and can have child repeat placement test if desired.
  • Printables
  • Homeschool Guide

Cons:

  • Non-Christian Worldview.  May or may not be a good fit for everyone.

This “con” won’t pertain to everyone, but some religious objections may arise to the non-Christian worldview and undertones of some lessons and book options within the program.  Some families choose to homeschool rather than send their kids to public school for religious reasons.  This program is used in state sponsored public schools in the USA, and other countries and corresponds to common core education and also has many non-Christian themes that some families do not wish their kids to participate in.

Thankfully, parents can tweak the lessons if they see themes they might object to by skipping a specific lesson and moving the child up to the next lesson, or choosing not to read a specific book.  Another way to use the program is avoid using the books that you object too, but still have the kids take the lessons and read other books, and then use what was in the lesson as a teaching point of discussion about your faith with your kids, and this is the way we handled it. You have some flexibility to make these adjustments through the parent dashboard.

Overall, kids of all ages like the Reading Eggs programs.  With all of it’s colorful interactive games and ability to earn spendable eggs and awards for achievements, it is easy understand why it is so successful in teaching and motivating kids to read.

If you would like to try before you buy, be sure to try out the free lesson on their website, or sign up to get your 4 Week Free Trial subscription.

Social Media

Keep up with all the lasted news, product updates, free offers, and special sales at the social media links for Reading Eggs:

• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/readingeggsUSCA/
• Instagram (handle): readingeggs
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/readingeggs @readingeggs
• Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingeggs/
• YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ABCReadingEggs

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Reading Eggs in their home.

Please share.

Of No Reputation

Profound!

 

With all the “puffing up” everyone does to make themselves look important,

the one who is True, the one who is Life, and the one who is the way to the

Kingdom of God, that we are to follow and live our lives as he did,

surprisingly didn’t puff himself up.

 

He did not boast, he did not create the smartest resume, or attain the

highest college degree, or wear the latest fashion.  He did not try to impress

anyone, he did not have business cards to hand out. He didn’t sell anything.

 

He simply came in His Father’s name, spoke truth in love, healed others and

met their needs, and only asked that they believe in and obey Father God

and believe that he sent his Son to save them through the gift of his life.  

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Philippians 2:5-8

 

May we learn to be more like Him, humble, filled with love, while we serve

each other in the Father’s name, as we trust, obey, and believe each day.

 

Be wise and be blessed!

Please share.

Brinkman Adventures Review

My kids love listening to exciting stories.  Brinkman Adventures delivers!  Brinkman Adventures introduces kids to Christian missionary heroes who’s lives encourage children in their faith as they share their breathtaking adventures to various locations around the world and their faith in God.

We were recently sent Brinkman Adventures Season 4 for review.

Season Four of the Brinkman Adventures contains over five (5) hours of exciting stories with a Christian focus.   These stories were inpired by the exciting missionary lives of Dr. Nik Ripken, Carl Ralston, and others.   There are twelve (12) exciting stories included in Season 4 and each story lasts just under a half hour.

Episodes included in Season 4:

DISK 1

  • A Paradise Lost (Episode 37)
    • Location Focus: Missions Family Camp in Wisconsin
    • Theme Focus: God is in control
  • Remember Nhu (Episode 38)
    • Location Focus: Cambodia
    • Theme Focus: Perseverance
  • Aisha’s Fear (Episode 39)
    • Location Focus: Overcome Fear with Love
    • Theme Focus: Middle East

DISK 2

  • Heart Song (Episode 40)
    • Location Focus: Russia
    • Theme Focus: Tenacious Faith
  • The Crashed Kitchen (Episode 41)
    • Location Focus: Zambia
    • Theme Focus: God doesn’t make mistakes.
  • Crisis In The Congo (Episode 42)
    • Location Focus: Congo
    • Theme Focus: People over projects.

DISK 3

  • The Mysterious Palm Feller (Episode 43)
    • Location Focus: Congo
    • Theme Focus: Confronting Evil
  • War of the Raccoons (Episode 44)
    • Location Focus:  Wisconsin
    • Theme Focus: Faithfulness in Work
  • The Five Guys (Episode 45)
    • Location Focus: Secret Location
    • Theme Focus: Listening to God

DISK 4

  • Toughest Man (Episode 46)
    • Location Focus: Secret Location
    • Theme Focus: Surrendering Everything
  • Cambodian Quest (Episode 47)
    • Location Focus: Cambodia
    • Theme Focus: Going Deeper With God
  • What Brings Us Together (Episode 48)
    • Location Focus: Wisconsin
    • Theme Focus: Glorifying God

These stories are great for the whole family!  We love listening to all the Brinkman Adventures stories.  They are thrilling, funny, encouraging, and sometimes a bit hair raising, and they keep the kids on the edge of their seats.  We have been blessed in the past to review these wonderful stories in our homeschool.  Be sure to read about our review of Season 3 so you can see more about how our family uses these in our home.

Some of the important, silly, and adventurous faith building things my kids have learned about while listening to these stories are:

  • unshakable faith in God
  • surrendering everything to God
  • houseboats in Cambodia
  • frozen prisons in Russia
  • dangerous alleys in the Middle East
  • dodging angry hippos
  • taming rogue robots
  • trust in God during times of pain

Brinkman Adventures introduces families to unsung Christian heroes,  real men and women who have devoted their lives to sharing the gospel and the struggles and triumphs they went through.  These stories strengthen your faith and provide important discussions about life and inspire teachable moments for faith building with your kids.  They just might inspire you and your kids to do more for God in your daily life, your local community, and maybe inspire them to reach beyond their local community too.

Be sure to check out these REAL STORIES that are featured in Season 4.

There is a page called FUN STUFF  where you will find a few  PDF sketches you can use as coloring pages from various episodes, and some videos to watch about missions and about the making of different episodes.

About Brinkman Adventures:

Brinkman Adventures was created by Ian Bultman and his family.  They are radio stories that tell the adventure of various missionaries and Christians around the world.  His children and extended family play many of the characters as they retell these stories and really bring the story to life.

The stated purpose / mission / goal of Brinkman Adventures on their website is “to reach as many people as possible with these incredible, life changing stories. Our board is passionate about the scope and breadth of this ministry and the potential for future opportunities such as curriculum, family camp & mission scholarships. By God’s grace and through His empowering we hope to inspire, motivate, and facilitate the next generation of Christian world changers.”

So far, they have created 5 Seasons with 12 episodes in each one.  Be sure to check out their website and FREE audio samples to learn about all of these great adventures.

Be sure to check out this video interview with Ian Bultman and his family to learn more.

New Development:

In addition to the wonderful audio adventures, Brinkman Adventures has developed a new venture: Mission based CURRICULUM! The curriculum centers around the Brinkman Adventures Audio Series. Their hope is to raise up a new generation of youth who have a heart for world wide missions. Check out this brief video for more information.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Brinkman-Adventures-152895116079/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BrinkmanAdventures/

Blog: http://blog.brinkmanadventures.com/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Brinkman Adventures in their home.

Please share.

CTCMath Review

If you are looking for online math curriculum for your kids, or a supplement to the math curriculum you are already using, then you might want to check out a Family Membership to CTCMath.

CTCMath

Family Membership

Online Subscription

1,400 Math Lessons

Access

24/7/365

At Your Convenience

CTCMath is an online Math Curriculum and Math Supplement program with over 1,400 Video Tutorial Lessons in all grade course levels.  Video lessons are taught by Pat Murray and he has a very pleasant easy to understand voice with an Australian accent.  Every lesson has a tutorial video, a written lesson summary, questions, and quizzes.

Math Courses & Lessons:

CTCMATH has courses for every grade level include:

Elementary Grades:

  • Kindergarten
  • First Grade
  • Second Grade
  • Third Grade
  • Fourth Grade
  • Fifth Grade
  • Sixth Grade

Middle School Grades:

  • Basic Math
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Elementary Measurement
  • Elementary Geometry

High School Grades:

  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Triganometry
  • Geometry
  • Calculus

As you can see from the above grade course list, they have something for every age level.  Lesson lengths for the various grade level courses varies.  For example an Elementary School lesson might consist of a 2 to 4 minute video, and then another 5 – 15 minutes of problems to complete.   The Middle School and High School lessons might include a 4 to 10 minute video, and then the assignment problems might take another 10 to 30 minutes to complete depending on the level of difficulty.

Video Example 2nd Grade:

Summary Example 2nd Grade:

Video Example 3rd Grade:

Summary Example 3rd Grade:

Video Example Geometry:

Summary of Elementary Geometry Lesson:

CTCMath offers both monthly and yearly memebership options.  You can subscribe to CTCMath for one individual student, or get a subscription membership for the entire family for one low price.  See the current special at the time of writing this review at the bottom of this post.

Parents are kept informed of their student’s progress every step of the way.  Parents have their own dashboard in addition to the student’s dashboard.  In addition to checking on student progress, parents can make changes to assignment tasks and more if desired.  Parents are also sent progress emails and weekly summary reports.

Our Experience

We have been using CTCMath since we were first introduced to it three years ago.  It is an audio visual online math program and it has greatly helped my kids (who learn better with audio visual courses than text book courses) math scores improve.  The various CTCMath course levels my kids have used over the past several years include:

  • Kindgergarten
  • First Grade
  • Second Grade
  • Third Grade
  • Fourth Grade
  • Fifth Grade
  • Sixth Grade
  • Basic Math PreAlgebra
  • Elementary Geometry
  • Algebra

I was very excited to learn that we would be reviewing this program this fall for the The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew.  Though we have a paid subscription to CTCMath, we were also sent a new Family Membership 1 Year Subscription for the purpose of writing this review and they added the additional time onto our current subscription.  The folks at CTCMath are very easy to talk to and you can always email them with any questions or needs you have.

All of our kids use CTCMath as their main math curriculum.  Our oldest kids have used the program the longest, since 2014, and our younger kids have used it for about two years, and the youngest son who is 5 years old, is just starting out.  Kids can move around to different grade levels if they choose.  If one level is to difficult, you can go back to the previous level and build those skills needed to be ready for the next level.  You can also move ahead if a level is too easy or if your kids already have learned those skills.  There is an optional placement test with suggestions if you wish for your kids to take the test, CTCMath will offer suggestions about where they have mastered certain skills and where they still need more work in a specific level.

Also I have tried out several of the lessons myself in the past as a parent, and recently I asked CTCMath to give me one of the student spots (you can have up to 10 student spots with the Family Membership).  This isn’t necessary as parents can do any of the lessons they want to from their dashboard.  But I wanted to put myself into my kids shoes, and log in as they do and have a student dashboard in addition to the parent dashboard and just try it on for size.  The kids think it is hilarious that I became a student too.

For this review I skipped around and tried out several lessons in Kindergarten, Second Grade, Geometry, and Algebra. Though the younger levels were fairly easy and went quickly, it took me longer to complete the lessons in the upper levels.  The methods to solve the questions for each lesson are clearly explained.

Math and Bible are our first and second courses of the day.  We have two computers for the kids to use (we recently got these inexpensive ones when our one nicer computer died).  So usually two kids are working on their CTCMath at the same time (usually the first two that wake up), and the other kids (who wake a little later) are usually working on Bible or another course while they wait for a computer to be available.

My younger kids typically spend about 20 minutes on their math lessons each day and the older kids typically spend about 40 to 60 minutes each day.  Typically they view a video lesson, then complete the assignment or quiz.  If the lesson is fairly quick, then I ask them to complete two lessons that day. Most days they complete two or more lessons. The program automatically shows the children on their dashboard what they still need to complete to move forward to the next level.  They love getting awards and love the opportunity to repeat lessons and improve their score.

The parent dashboard lets me know when they have logged in, what video lesson they viewed, and how they scored on the lesson questions.  This gives us a chance to talk about where they might need to review some more or retake the lesson.  It also allows me to set tasks or assignments for them to do if I wish or just let it alone in default mode.  I receive email reports from the program when the kids have achieved various levels in a section: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, and weekly updated summary reports too and these are available on my dashboard, but it is really nice to get the email too.  I can also delete a lesson so the kids will repeat the lesson if I feel they need more practice.  I also have the option to print out each lesson tutorial page.  A nice option is that you can create a folder or a binder with the printed lessons and a copy of their worksheet answers, and awards if desired.

All of my kids are different and learn somewhat differently. I like that I have to option to set the passing grade level for each of my kids at a level that works best for them.   The default level to move forward to the next level is to acheive an 80% or better on the lessons within the current level, though you can skip around on different lessons within a level as much as you want.  It is up to the parent to decide if they want to leave it at default or to adjust the passing score based on how challenging they feel the work is for the student and if it needs adjusted.  For a few of my kids that are either just starting out or are slower to grasp details, need directions explained more than once, and need a little more room for mistakes, I have left the level for passing the lesson at 80%.

However, two of my kids learn quickly, seldom need anything explained more than once, are very detail oriented and math comes easy for them.  I have increased the passing level for lessons at 90% for these guys and their scores are usually consistently at 95% to 100% every time.

A very nice feature for the younger grades is the ability to improve one’s score.  The younger grades are much easier fix mistakes and improve one’s grade by retaking the lesson and quizzes as many times as you like and then the top three scores are kept and averaged together.

However, in the older grades, students are only allowed to take the lesson one additional time if they want to try to improve their score.  The first score is kept and if you retake the lesson that second score is kept and the two are averaged.

For the older student, it is much harder to improve your score just by retaking the lesson if you didn’t score very high to start with.  If you did very bad the first time, for example perhaps only got 50% correct, and then re-watched the video and understood what you did wrong and got a 100% the second time you took the lesson, then your grade is a 75% and not a 100%.  This part of the program is frustrating for the older kids and for me as a parent.  The kids were very motivated in the younger levels because of the opportunity to record their highest score or highest three scores.   I wish the program would allow the first score to be discarded if the teen student shows improvement in their knowledge and understanding of the lesson, especially if they are able to master the lesson and get a 100% the second time around.  I do love the feature for the younger grades that allowed them to retake the lesson as many times as they desired and then it averaged the top three scores and threw away the rest.

I found it was easier to listen to the video lesson, then select to view the optional written lesson summary below the video before moving on to the other tabs to view and complete questions, worksheets, and quizzes.  I don’t know why I never realized the importance of the written summary in this program before.

This tip became very helpful for one of my kids.  He is 12 and likes to hurry through the video and jump right into the questions before really understanding the method.  He has finished pre-Algebra and is now taking some lessons in Elementary Geometry and Algebra.  I have had to ask him to listen again to the video lesson when he is struggling with answering a problem.   Sometimes he fusses about listening more than one time to the lesson, though his two older brothers have no hesitation to listen to the lessons as many times as needed to get the understanding.  This one’s personality is different and he doesn’t like to repeat anything and gets frustrated if he has to repeat it.  Though when he plows through things in life, he often ends up redoing them because he didn’t listen or didn’t review before jumping ahead.  So having the written summary of the verbal lesson has made a huge improvement for him in his Elementary Geometry course.  Though he is dedicated to do his lessons and he is highly motivated (sometimes will complete three or four lessons in a day), he likes to do his lessons quick and doesn’t prefer to redo them.  So he now is able to reduce his mistakes by reviewing the written summary after hearing the video lesson. Win! Win!

I am definitely rusty on the upper grade level courses like Algebra and have struggled to help my three older boys with Algebra type problems in their course work over the years.  For some time now I have wanted to take the upper level math courses, but I find it hard to sit down on a regular basis and get it done with my other responsibilities.   When I was in school, I struggled in math, especially Algebra.  I never took Calculus or Trigonometry back then.  Thankfully I had a wonderful Algebra teacher in college who took extra time to tutor me back then and though I struggled through it, I passed the course.   So I am greatful for the CTCMath program with video lessons where my kids have an instructor that is tutoring them in these areas that I am not as strong in.  However, I plan to do better and be a student of CTCMath myself and use this program to it’s fullest potential to improve not only my kids math skills, but mine as well.  With a family subscription opportunity, why not learn or relearn these great skills right along with my kids?

What do the kids have to say? 

I caught up with two of my guys and asked them to share their thoughts about using CTCMath:

View from my almost 15 year old son (this boy has completed over 230 CTCMath lessons):

“I am currently taking Algebra.  I have taken CTCMath 5th Grade as review and completed 6th Grade and Basic Math and Pre-Algebra courses.   As long as I stayed with it and wrote down the examples, I did fine.  The questions with lots of Algebra calculations involved are the hardest. But it is easier when you have a person explaining it rather than just seeing it on paper in a book.  CTCMath is my favorite class.  I like that you are not listening to a robotic computer voice, but you are listening to an actual person instructing you step by step.  I had another program before that was not like this and I hated it. My younger brother tried this program on the individual membership and liked it and Mom wanted me to give it a try.  It worked out a lot better and I finally felt like I understood my math.  I like CTCMath and it is the best way for me to learn math.”

View from my 12 year old son (this boy has already completed over 470 CTCMath lessons over the past few years):

“I am currently at the end of the Basic Math PreAlgebra course. I am almost finished with Elementary Geometry too. I have taken CTCMath lessons in 3rd and 4th Grade as review, and completed the 5th Grade and 6th Grade courses.  I like using CTCMath. I am looking forward to starting Algebra soon and hope to bypass my brothers!”

Printables

You have the option of printing out student awards they earn. You also have the option to print lesson worksheets with some of the courses, mainly the middle and upper grade levels.  So far we printed only a couple of awards and do not usually print the rest because of the cost of ink.  But I like having the option to print things if I want to, and I think if I get some extra time, and extra ink, printing all of these things out and putting a binder together for each of the kids of their lesson summaries and awards would be a nice thing for each of them to have.  This feature would also help homeschool families who are required to create portfolios.  However in the state we live in, portfolios are not a requirement, but would be nice to keep as a keep sake and for later review if desired.

Final Thoughts

Our family has really enjoyed using CTCMath for the past three years.  I have seen a huge improvement in my slower audio visual learners as well as my kids who are quick to learn no matter what method is offered.  I would encourage families with all types of learners to look into using this program with their families and see if it meets their needs as either a full curriculum or a supplement to a curriculum.  I think most families would be pleasantly surprized as we have been at how well this program works.

CTCMath Special Offers

60% Off  & Free Trial Offers

Be sure to check out the CTCMath website and Social Media links for all the latest sales and special offers, news, tips, and product updates. They are currently running a Special Sale of 60% off + 6 bonus months for Homeschool Memberships.  They also offer a FREE Trial to try before you buy.

Social Media

CTCMath (US and Canda)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ctcmath?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ctcmathofficial
Periscope: https://www.periscope.tv/ctcmathofficial
Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/ctcmath/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWn5e6974bpIEAe46VnovZw

Maths Online (Australia Only)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mathsonline.com.au
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MathsOnlineAU

Homeschool Review Crew

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

Please share.

Closer Than Before

Are we are closer than before to the return of the Son of God?

I think we are.

When he was asked about his return, he had a lot to say.  Some of his words about his return can be found in the book of Matthew.  There are also many other verses in the bible that talk about his return too, especially the book of the Apocalypse also called Revelation.

Matthew 24:6-30

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.

But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.

“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.  For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

There is so much going on in this world that points to his soon return.  This generation is truly in a high watch time.  I encourage you to read and re-read the scriptures, especially about his return, as the time is now closer than before.

I hope you are waiting and watching with expectation.

Be blessed!

Please share.

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks Review

Practice makes perfect, and My First Letters from Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks is a perfect fit for my son who is learning his ABC’s.

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks are consumable student workbooks that have a patent pending method for handwriting practice.  They may look simple at first glance, however they have several special features that helps kids improve handwriting skills.

The special features in all of Channie’s Workbooks include a thicker quality recycled paper that won’t rip as students write on it.  They also give the student the option to write on the pages while in the workbook, or remove the pages and then write on them if desired.  Every page in these workbooks includes color-coded shaded “writing blocks” with lines (both vertical and horizontal lines) that clearly establish the placement of the upper-case letters, lower-case letters, and numbers. These writing blocks are the key in establishing mental habits of neater writing skills. The goal in using this product is that through confidence building and repetition of consistent letter placement within the writing blocks, a student’s handwriting skills will become neater and independent.

These workbooks were created by a mom who wanted a better way to help her son improve his handwriting skills.  The method she developed made a big difference for him.  Since that time she has created several easy to use resources (nearly 26 items for sale including bundled options) to help kids practice and improve their handwriting skills.  Her products are available for sale on her website and several retail stores.

These are just a few of the products Channie’s has to offer:

  • My First Letters: Is an 80 page handwriting pad with letters to trace, corresponding pictures to color, and shaded blank lines to practice handwriting letters of the alphabet. (PreK – 1st Grade) $12.95
  • Easy Peasy Alphabet:  Is an 80 page workbook with two letter tracing pages for each letter of the alphabet and blank pages to practice handwriting. (PreK Grade – 1st Grade) $12.95
  • Quick & Neat Alphabet Pad: Is an 80 page handwriting pad with blank color coded pages for handwriting practice. (PreK – 1st Grade) $12.95
  • Easy Peasy Cursive: Is an 80 page color coded writing pad for practicing cursive handwriting.  It includes pages with letters to trace, pages with words to trace, and blank pages too. The vertical guide lines are slanted to help improve proper letter placement. (1st Grade – 3rd Grade) $12.95
  • One Page A Day: Double Digit Math Problem Workbook:  Is a 50 page math and numerical writing workbook.  Each page contains 25 double digit math problems to solve.   These pages help children learn how to consistently write numbers correctly and neatly in line for addition and subtraction equations, and improve their math skills.  (1st Grade – 3rd Grade) $12.95

This video helps explain more about this patent pending handwriting method in Channie’s Workbooks.

Our Experience:

My youngest son is enjoying using the My First Letters Workbook.   I have added it to his daily homeschool workbox and it only takes a couple of minutes for him to do.  We have used some printable worksheets for handwriting practice so far this school year, but he is a beginner and is not confident in writing just yet.  Having this workbook for more practice with the correct letter placement and confidence building is a nice to addition to his daily routine.

Inside the front cover is a reference for each letter and number the kids will practice while using this workbook.  There are 3 practice pages per letter, including tracing the capital letter and coloring a corresponding picture, tracing the lower case letter and coloring the corresponding picture again, and writing both upper and lower case letters repeatedly without tracing.

My son did not want to write the letters without tracing during this review, though I am sure he will embrace this task as his confidence increases.  So after a few tries getting him to write them, I decided I would not push him to write the “on your own” letters yet, and let him just work through the tracing pages for now.   So we mainly concentrated on tracing the capital letters for the purpose of this review, and will practice the lower case letters and writing the letters without tracing soon.

He was aware when he slipped with the pencil and missed tracing on the line.  The shaded color coded boxes with guide lines make it very easy to see when you get off track.  He tried to erase a few of his stray lines and re-trace them, but I told him not to worry about trying to do it perfectly and just give it his best try and we would move forward so he did not become frustrated with this task.

We are still working on how to hold the pencil correctly and he insists on holding it his own way.  However, at age 5, I am not pushing him to be perfect with these skills just yet. We have an upcoming review on a pencil gripping device for beginners that will hopefully help him improve his pencil holding skills which will help him complete this handwriting workbook with even greater accuracy .

As long as he is trying his best, that is acceptable to me.  I have raised 6 kids, and 5 of them are boys, and most boys seem to do things their own way at this young age.  I have noticed that as they get older, they develop a desire to perfect their skills, so I am not worried about perfection right now.  My daughter was always more receptive to instruction about “how” to do a specific task correctly, however her brothers on the other hand at this age and seem to be more of the mindset when they tackle a task to just “get it done”.

These handwriting workbooks are very easy to do, they take very little time, and are practical for teaching kids how to write neatly.  I would encourage everyone to pick up a few of these books for daily practice at home and on the go.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks on their social media links for all the latest news, tips, and product updates.

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbWgCFOVT77TeTsf_5fzufA

BLOG: https://www.channies.com/blog/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Novare Science and Math in their home.

Please share.

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

If you are looking for supplemental curriculum worksheets for your kids, then I would encourage you to check out the HUGE variety of printables available with an Individual Membership from Super Teacher Worksheets.

Individual Membership

Online Subscription

Thousands of Printables

Unlimited Access

$19.95 per year

Super Teacher Worksheets has THOUSANDS of printable worksheets for students of all ages, available in a wide variety of subjects in English (and many also in Spanish).  All you need to do is download the worksheet you want and print.

Student Printables:

    • English-Language Arts Worksheets (reading and writing)
    • Grammar Worksheets (parts of speech (nouns, verbs, etc.) and all other grammar topics)

  • Spelling Worksheets (spelling lists and worksheets)
  • Handwriting (print and cursive)
  • Holiday Worksheets (all holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th Of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, etc)
  • Languages (Foreign languages including basic Spanish and French)
  • Fraction Worksheets (basic fractions, mixed numbers, adding and subtracting fractions, etc)
  • Generator Tools (Create your own worksheets, calendars, and more!)
  • Geometry (perimeter, area, shapes, lines, line segments, rays, angles, etc)
  • Math Worksheets (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, algebra, integers, place value, telling time, etc)
  • Middle School Math (6th, 7th, and 8th grades)
  • Skip Counting Worksheets (count by 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 10s, 25s, and 100s)
  • Music
  • Art
  • Kindergarten and Pre-K Worksheets (shapes, counting, phonics, and the alphabet, etc)
  • Phonics Worksheets (consonant and vowel sound, as well as blends and diphthong, etc)
  • Puzzles and Brainteasers
    Challenging puzzles and brainteasers for your students.
  • Reading: Chapter Book Worksheets (popular chapter books, including Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, Stone Fox, Flat Stanley, etc.)
  • Reading Comprehension Worksheets
  • Safety, Bullying and Health (bullying, Internet safety, fire prevention, saying no to drugs, and lots of health and safety topics)
  • Science Worksheets, flashcards, games (weather, human body, machines, space, electricity, animals, economics, etc)
  • Social Studies Worksheets (explorers, geography, map skills, and communities)
  • Worksheet Unit Sets
  • ESL Worksheets

Parent and Teacher Resources:

  • Grade books,
  • Sticker charts,
  • Awards,
  • Crafts and Templates,
  • Sample report cards
  • Lesson planners,

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Word walls,
  • Templates,
  • Lined paper,
  • Calendars,
  • Student agendas,
  • And MORE!

Other Resources for Teachers:

  • File Cabinet Online (You can place the files you want to use in your own personal online filing cabinet)
  • Smartboard Notebook Files (works with Smartboard interactive whiteboard)
  • Promethean Flipcharts & Lessons (works with ActivInspire Flipchart software by Promethean)
  • SplashTop ( works with JPGs on your iPad with SplashTop software)
  • Excel Gradebook
  • And More!

Our Experience:

We received the Individual Membership one year subscription for the purpose of this review.

As a mom of 6 kids, I am loving the huge variety of educational printables available.

Super Teacher Worksheets has a lot to offer and we will be able to use these resources all year long.

I would like to share with you a few of the many printables I have used with my kids over the past few weeks.   These are just a drop in the bucket of the thousands of worksheets in various subjects that are available.

 

ABC Printables:

I love all of the ABC resources.  There are posters, letters with pictures to color, hand writing practice pages, mini-books, flash cards, and more.

ABC Flash Cards:       

I also printed out several fun coloring, tracing, cutting and gluing pages, and a mini-book on shapes for him.

Language Arts: Reading Comprehension Game

Grammar Worksheets:

Most worksheets with “question / answer” also have an Answer Key available too.

Math and Geometry Worksheets:

Geography:  States and Capitals Worksheet

Calendars:

I printed off a monthly student calendar and used the Calendar Generator option to create my own personalized calendar.

It allows you to either print it blank or with main holidays listed, and you have the option to type in info on each day.

The Calendar Generator only lets you type in up to 40 characters, including spaces, per date.  I found for a few of the days, I needed more characters or the option to change the font size to fit the words properly.

So on the next calendar I made, I left the dates blank, except for a few holidays they already had pre-entered on those dates, and then I saved it to my computer.  After that I was able to personalize it by adding colors and stickers on special dates with my computer before printing.  Then after I printed it, I wrote the additional information for each date by hand and placed the calendar in my binder.  Even though I wasn’t able to use the calendar template like I wanted, I do like having the opportunity to generate a calendar, and it is useful to hand a simplified calendar to my kids.

Lesson Plans and Worksheet Units:

I also printed off a few of the science lesson plans and worksheet units.  These resources are wonderful!  There is a short lesson, fun diagrams and charts we used for coloring and memorizing, and questions and answers about the lessons.  I hope to post a couple of new stories soon with the various activities we did.

Human Body Worksheets:

Your Brain Lesson Plan:

Simple Machines Lesson Plans (5 page article on Simple Machines)

Simple Machines Mini-Book:

Simple Machine Worksheets:

There are many Simple Machine worksheets to choose from.  Some of the worksheet options were: fill in the blank, multiple choice, essay questions, word scrambles, cross word puzzles, scavenger hunt type worksheet of simple machines you find around your home, etc.  You can also generate a spelling list with Simple Machine related words.

There was also a Simple Machines board game to help kids remember what they have learned about machines.  I printed this off, cut out the player cards, and glued the playing board to a file folder.  You could also laminate it to make it water proof and help it last longer.

To round out our learning about Simple Machines, we dug through Daddy’s tool box to identify some of the simple machines he uses in his tool box.  We also built some simple machines with legos for hands on learning.  Soon I will post a future story about the Simple Machines unit study we did.

Awards:

Another feature I liked was the colorful award certificates.  My kids enjoy receiving awards for special activities they accomplish.  I have noticed on their math and reading programs, when award certificates are offered for achieving various goals, it encourages them to keep doing their best.

I printed out the artist award to encourage my youngest son as he is learning coloring in the lines, using scissors, gluing, and various craft and art skills in his kindergarten curriculum.

Super Teacher Worksheets is a great resource for homeschool families.  For one low price of $19.95 you can use it for your whole family for an entire year.  There is a printable for just about everything you need to supplement your homeschool curriculum and plenty of templates to generate new worksheets and help with lesson planning if you don’t find one already available that meets your needs.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Super Teacher Worksheets on their social media links for all of the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/superteacherworksheets
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuperTeacherWks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/superteacherwks/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/superteacherworksheets/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Novare Science and Math in their home.

 

Please share.