Category Archives: Review Products

Huggies Little Snugglers At Target

Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies & Target. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating and writing an honest review.

The kids and I recently took a trip to Target to buy Huggies Little Snugglers diapers for a review campaign.  If you haven’t tried Huggies diapers, I would encourage you to give them a try.

HUGGIES Little Snugglers Size 3


From One Momma To Another Momma:

I am the mom of six kids, and over the years I have made a lot of trips to the store for diapers.  I can tell you about the good and bad diaper purchases I have made, and the not so pleasant outcomes of choosing the wrong ones. I have too many “sad stories”or “funny stories” depending on your point of view, of cheap diapers that resulted in ooey gooey outcomes, but I will skip sharing the details.

Preemie Diaper

Huggies Little Snugglers hold up well to everyday use, they hold the contents (poop and pee) in well so it doesn’t end up on my shirt or pants or on my baby’s clothes.   Another great benefit using Huggies Little Snugglers is that they feel dry to the touch and keep the skin dry even after your baby has peed, and thankfully they are soft and have a cloth-like feel for sensitive skin.

Why are Huggies Little Snugglers great diapers?

*You get an extra layer of protection with the GentleAbsorb Liner for your baby’s delicate skin.
*GentleAbsorb Liner draws more mess away from the baby’s skin than other diapers.
*Soft, comfortable, cushiony layer of protection.
*A Wetness Indicator helps you keep track of wet diapers by changing color when wet.
*Pocketed back waistband to help keep in the runny mess
*Adorable graphics that feature Winnie the Pooh and friends on the diapers.
*The Huggies® Leak Lock® protection you can trust.
*They are available in various sizes from Premies up to Size 3.

So from one Momma to another Momma, I can tell you with confidence and lots of experience, that Huggies Little Snugglers are made with quality and you won’t be disappointed using them. I highly recommend these diapers! You can purchase these diapers in Target stores and at and have them shipped to your home for convenience too.


Our Trip To Target

Traveling to the store to pick up diapers and supplies is something our family has done automatically every week for the past 14 years. Fourteen years worth of diapers is a whole lot of diapers!

On this recent trip to Target, we decided to break the whole trip down and make it an educational field trip to take a closer look and build the kid’s understanding of consumer skills in the process for a school project.   This was a great opportunity for my kids to use their Geography, Math, and Consumer Skills to buy Huggies Little Snugglers diapers.

We went to the website and found locations of Target stores in neighboring towns. We chose the store with the closest distance to our home to visit. I printed a map for the kids to follow ahead of time.  From the printed map, they had to identify our house, the Target store in a neighboring town, and the roads to travel on to get from point “A” to point “B”. I had them compute the mileage and estimated travel times for different routes to the store as there is more than one route to get there, but some routes take you on small country roads.


My oldest son is a gadget guru and wanted to do his geography map work with the live Google Maps App on the phone.  He found he could also get live satellite images as well as a road map and this feature in 3D and this was exciting to him to see landmarks, as well as fields and forested areas on the screen.


Before arriving, we talked about how stores will place sales flyers and specials at the front of the store to increase sales and offer shoppers a good deal on certain items. I asked the children to observe what sales Target placed at the front of their store. The kids observed that Target has a $1 section of toys and various items at the front of their store and also picked up a copy of their sales flyer. They also noticed that Target has a food court at the front of the store with items like soft pretzels and sandwiches incase shoppers get hungry or need a place to sit down and help them have a positive shopping experience. We did not eat at Target during our trip, but the coffee smelled so good, and the soft pretzels looked delicious! Maybe next time!


We found the diapers in the diaper section.  I had the kids check out how the diapers were arranged for the shopper to find. They noticed there was a large selection of Huggies diapers and wipes to choose from, and it was easy to find the brand and style we came for. The kids placed the diapers in our shopping cart and we headed for the checkout.


We placed the diapers and gift card on the moving counter at the checkouts. We were able to purchase our Jumbo Pack of Huggies Little Snugglers with the Target Gift Card we received.


Checking out was fast and easy. Our cashier was a beautiful and very happy young lady.  She was helpful and asked if we had found everything we came for today.  When she smiled, she made the whole room light up! I was thankful to have such a nice cashier to help us.


The ride home was quiet. The kids had learned a lot about being a consumer, and exhausted their brains! Besides buying diapers, they each picked out something from the dollar bins. In my sleeping toddler’s lap is his purchase of a package of dinosaurs. We are excited about them because there are two of each dinosaur for matching colors, counting, patterns, and also for learning identification of different dinosaurs. This is a great buy for $1. It was a good shopping experience! Thank you Target, and thank you Mom Central Consulting for this fun review opportunity!


Disclaimer: I received free product and promotional gift in exchange for writing an honest review. All opinions expressed by me and my family are our honest opinions.

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My Student Logbook Review

Are your kids ready to tackle this school year with more independence and determination than ever before? Then give your kids their own My Student Logbook to use.

My Student Logbook Review

We were blessed to be asked to review the My Student Logbook with one of our kids, just in time for this new homeschool year. I am very excited to share this review with you.  It is the first professionally created logbook for homeschool kids our family has used and it is working out great.

My Student Logbook Review

My Student Logbook
A full school year record management system for kids.
For 2nd grade – 12th grade
Retails $15.00



We received a nice spiral-bound paperback logbook that has a clear see through outer cover on the front and a black vinyl cover on the back.   They have many cover options to choose from to make the logbook more personal, and we were given the option to choose any cover we wanted for our review. My son chose the “Planets” cover option for the logbook we received. You can see the planets cover through the see through outer cover which helps keep it nice and offers some additional durability.

My Student Logbook Review

This is the first year I have required my oldest son to keep his own daily logbook / journal for his schoolwork.  I usually hang a list of our schoolwork, chores, and daily routine up on the wall in our schoolroom, and then I give each child a copy to put into their binder. But I don’t make the kids check anything off each day.  Over the years, we have tried check off lists in the past and the kids usually keep up with them for about a week or two and then stop updating them. So it was just easier for my own sanity to do away with that requirement and whatever we get done in a day we do and what we don’t get done then we work on the next day, and I try not to stress over it.  This really helped me keep peace in the home.

My Student Logbook Review

However, my oldest son turned fourteen this summer, and has a whole new maturity about him. When our new homeschool year began this fall, he was ready to tackle this school year with more independence and determination than ever before. Having his own personalized daily logbook, with check off lists and management pages, has helped him be accountable to his goals. What a blessing it was to be asked to review the My Student Logbook! It has been a perfect fit for him. He has now kept up with keeping his logbook updated each day since we started back to school. I am really proud of him.

My Student Logbook

I went through the logbook ahead of time and wrote down each of his classes and his daily chores on the form. Then all he has to do is put a check mark, or a page number (or verse number if it is bible study) on the check off grid. He can fold over the page and use the same origional list with a new check of grid for each week without having to re-write the original list if desired, or if there is a change then he can write out a new list to keep track of. He can keep track of all of his work in one central place. Each day, he opens his student logbook and keeps it near him when he is working on his schoolwork. Then he is able to mark off the work he completes. I have been learning about my own personal time management too through a wonderful personal daily planner for moms, and this too helped me encourage my son in his personal quest to be organized and keep his logbook updated each day.

You child can use this logbook as a scrapbook of their entire year and add it to their academic portfolio when the year is over, or take it a step further and use the recorded information to create professional looking highschool transcripts too.  In addition to the schoolwork/chores log (you can choose pre-dated or un-dated logs for your book),  there are several additional pages in the back for kids to keep track of all of their additional records they have for the year:  “All About Me” favorites (food, places, things, interests, holidays), Prayers, Goals, Memorized Bible Verses, Books Read Log, Events/Field Trips/Presentations/Activities, Test Records, and Year Highlights. The My Student Logbook is available as a spiral bound booked shipped to you, or as a PDF downloadable e-book you can print and bind yourself. Check the website for more information about various versions, covers, and prices.

Check out this video for more information about how to use the My Student Logbook.  There are many helpful tips and be sure to check out their other videos (see the YouTube media link below) for ideas on using the logbook to create highschool transcripts and more.

Be sure to check out My Student Logbook social media links for all the latest updates and news.

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Be sure to check out what other Homeschool Families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using the My Student Logbook in their homes this school year too.

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The 7 Minute Life Review

Thankful is all I can say about receiving The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner to review. It is produced by The 7 Minute Life company which helps women around the world manage their daily goals in 7 minutes of prep time a day.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review
The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner
Spiral Bound and contains 269 pages.
Cover daily planning for 90 days, as well as other planning forms.
Retails $24.95


I am so excited to share this resource with you because it is way more than just a monthly calendar and more than just another daily planner. This is a resource for your tool chest for managing life goals as well as daily tasks to reach those goals.  Plus if you use the free videos and extras that are available, learning this material is like taking a college class with lectures, text, and workbook in time management I would call “Life Management Course 101”!  How cool is that? Seriously, they should offer college credits, or CEU’s for this.

So why would I care about a another daily planner, or focusing on tasks to achieve life goals, or even care to take a course in time management? Because I am always struggling to prioritize and organize what does matter in my life.


There are so many little and big things that happen through out the day.  I need to identify and let go of the things/thoughts/clutter that takes away my time and really doesn’t matter in the big picture of life. If all my time, energy, skills, and potential are used on the things that don’t matter, then I am left feeling empty and unsatisfied when the day is through.  If this goes on and on, then in a few weeks, months, years you can definitely feel defeated about my life.

But what if for the next 90 days, I spend 7 minutes of prep time a day to tackle the “Giant Time Sucking Monster” with a strategy taught in The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner, and manage tasks that do help me reach my goals? That is what this planner is about.

The goal of the planner is to equip you with a strategy to make positive change by pre-planning your priorities and tasks in 7 minutes a day. Mental clutter, chaos, disorganization, and a lack of productivity can get anyone off track of their purpose and joy in life. This planner provides women with the process and tools to “Prioritize, Organize, and Simplify” to overcome.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

The process of getting life under control in 7 minutes a day for 90 days involves:

Set your priorities and stick to them.
Learn to avoid interruptions and distractions.
Master the chaos of endless unfinished tasks.
Declutter your mind and your life.
Beat procrastination.
Get rid of stress and anxiety.
Stop feeling overwhelmed.
Have time for the people and things you love.
Live according to your true purpose!


This planner is filled with helpful pages to keep you on track. Some of the planning pages / planning sections in the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner include:

Yearly Calendar
Monthly Calendar
Daily Progress Report
Financial Goals
Life Goals
Meeting Planner
Notes Pages
Annual Exercise Progress Report
Home Repairs
Annual Projects and Tasks


7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

My favorite page in this planner is the two page Daily Progress Report page. I love it because it is so much like ME! It has places to record my daily contacts, appointments, 5 things I will do before 11 am, a place for unfinished tasks, what I ate, what I did for exercise, water / hydration, sleep, reading, reflection (prayer time), money spent and on what, appointments, thank you notes (birthday, get well, ??) to send, and a place to write down voice mails (or other contacts you need to respond to, like texts, emails, facebook, etc), and an empty place for journaling. All of this is on a two page spread, that lays flat thanks to the spiral binding, for each day. You can easily see the whole day and keep track of what is going on in your life from day to day for a whole 90 days. At the end of each day there is a place to mark if you got done what you said you would (that 7 minutes of prep time where you listed out your plans ahead and 5 things you planned to achieve before 11 am.


As a wife and homeschool mom of six kids, life is really busy everyday. We get up, eat, do chores, get school work going, take care of multiple ages in different subjects with different needs, keep a toddler and preschooler occupied, and make lunch all before 12 each day. Except for homeschool coop and class days days wich we are gone all morning until 12 or so. In addition to the usual things in our daily life, we have also moved across the country several times so part of our life is still packed away in boxes, we have ran several businesses (Construction, Healthy Foods Store, Healthy Foods Coop, etc) as well as have worked for others, volunteer teaching classes in the community, volunteer visiting nursing homes, and attend homeschool clubs, 4-H clubs and attending church. All of this adds up to a really busy week, busy month, and busy life with multiple responsibilities competing for our time. If I didn’t say it enough, let me say it again, life is busy!

I am definitely not a “type A” personality, so being organized does not come easy to me. Oh…no…I hate to admit it, but I am not organized to the point I want to be in my life. It could be better. I get a lot done just because I am motivated and “jump in and do”, but it is not always because it flows with the bigger picture of our life goals. I am not as organized as I want to be in life. Lately, with school starting and new demands on the schedule, stacks of books and supplies for 6 kids, looking for a new church home, and still having several unpacked boxes, I feel like the clutter and disorganization is about to drown me. It can get overwhelming real fast to keep everything running smoothly and keep the clutter at bay. I try to keep up with activities we are involved in by using a calendar on the bulletin board and it is synced with a digital calendar on my computer, but that is about as far as I have come in keeping plans organized since we moved to a new location last year. I just feel like I can’t get on top of life right now and I am letting go of so many personal goals (personal physical fitness, my desire to write songs, my desire to write children’s ministry curriculum, my desire to complete graduate school, to teach 4H, to teach youth ministry, to teach healthy focus workshops, etc.), because there is no time right now for me to work on them. Life is so busy and everyone needs me constantly that it just doesn’t seem that I have any time to get organized, let alone have an extra 7 minutes a day to devote to planning.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

But with this planner, I am getting a whole new education.  I have been on The 7 Minute Life YouTube channel (see link below) constantly listening and learning about how to better use this planner, and the skills they share to organize my day and my life. This information is invaluable. It has all the “gear” I need to climb my mountain of life and keep my priorities in check. At the beginning of the planner, you are encouraged to write down your “big picture” priorities. There is a list of 75 different things most folks feel are important. You are to check off ALL of those that appeal to you. Then you select ten of those priorities and write them down as your most important focus for your life. This helps you come up with your purpose, and what makes you feel satisfied so that you will know what to focuss your time on.


Again, I can’t stress this enough, this 90 day planner and the additional free resources that are available, is much more like a life strategy course rather than just a daily planner. 3 months is all it takes to learn and master this new strategy. Learning this strategy is life changing. It is like the way I felt when I learned the method of “how to study” when I took a college level study skills course.  I learned a secret, a key, to successfully take any course in any subject. Suddenly, I had a whole new lease on my determination to master my classes in college, because I knew the key to successfully completing them.  Reading through the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner, completing the steps to establish life goals, priorities, and pre-planning 5 daily tasks to keep me on track, taking one step after the next to accomplish the tasks, is helping me break down my overwhelming to do list and learn what to keep and what to let go of.

This is why I am so thankful. This planner is an answer to prayer for myself, and for many women, to learn how to get on top of the mountain of life. I am thankful that God has placed this key of wisdom in my lap at this time in my life. Thankful to get the “key” to gain access to a wise strategy to organize and prioritize my life, and prioritize my focus, examine what is important to me, and get rid of the rest.

If you need a better way to organize your life and your day, I would encourage you to give the 7 Minute Life company and their 7 Minute Life Daily Planner a try.

Resources and Media Links

Be sure to follow The 7 Minute Life on their media links for the latest news and product updates.
You Tube

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Under Drakes Flag Audio Review

Do you and your kids like adventures?  My kids love adventures and we recently used Under Drakes Flag by Heirloom Audio Productions to take a listening adventure in our van, and in our imagination on the high seas.

Analytical Grammar Review

Audio CD Theater Presentation of Under Drake’s Flag by G.A. Henty
Retails for $29.95 plus shipping
For ages 6 to Adult

Under Drakes Flag is about a famous ship captain named Sir Francis Drake and a boy named Ned who travels on his ship. They have one adventure after the next, and the learning adventures are so fascinating you can’t step away.  The suspense and excitement of these stories keeps you biting your nails, laughing, and learning all the way through.

About the audio production from the website:  “This movie-quality audio theater—recorded in London—features a cast of stellar actors, including acclaimed British actor Brian Blessed, state-of-the art sound design from award-winner Mark Drury (The Chronicles of Narnia audio series), and a stunning music score composed by John Campbell (Lamplighter Theatre®, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre®, Adventures in Odyssey®). Adapted from the book, Under Drake’s Flag, by G.A. Henty”

What we received and how we used it:

We received a two-volume CD set and a small Abridged Study Guide.   The CD’s cover 2 hours of listening divided up between 19 short chapter stories. The chapter stories include: The Opening; The Otter; The Invitation; The Plymouth Harbor; On Board the Poncha; In the Carpenter’s boat; The Voyage in Earnest; The Attack; Treasure and Retreat; Donna Anna; A Lull Before the Storm; The Storm; In Spanish Territory; With The Africans; War with the Spaniards; To The Coast; The Inquisition; Familiar Waters; and Disturb Us Lord.

The abridged study guide includes study helps for each story on the CD’s. For each story you will find: comprehension questions (Listening Well); open-ended questions (Thinking Further); and vocabulary words (Defining Words). There is also a Bible Study section that helps your child understand Godly Character. There is a larger complete study guide available too at


We used the Under Drake’s Flag CD’s and Abridged Study Guide for our Sunday learning with our kids. We held faith-based adventures for our Sunday School learning in the van over the course of several Sunday’s and put the CD’s in to listen to while we drove around. The kids pretended our van was a big ship and they too were sailing the seven seas right along with Ned and Sir Francis Drake.


We are in-between churches right now, and looking for where we FIT IN to serve and fellowship. That concept just sounds strange to me, because everywhere believers in Jesus are, should be a good fit to serve and fellowship, because we are all serving the same Lord. But sadly that is not the case in today’s church.  Sadly we hinder the work of the Lord by wrong attitudes, denominational rules, and looking for differences in people.  We are facing this challenge to learn what God wants from us as a positive opportunity to explore different churches, as well as a great opportunity to lead our own kids in hands on service ministry while teaching them the gospel.  If it is a Sunday that we travel anywhere within an hour of where we live, we put in various bible learning CD’s and faith-based adventure stories for the children to listen to and discuss together.


I believe Under Drake’s Flag CD’s were a perfect fit for our bible study learning with the kids, because they are mobile (use at home, on the road, or anywhere at any time), they teach Godly character, and show how God is always with us and will help us when we turn to him. We decided to spend every other Sunday visiting a local church (also visiting churches on Wednesday nights), and the other Sunday’s listening to faith-based programs and “doing something” (Mathew West has a great Christian song called Do Something that our kids love), to put our faith in action in a hands on way to meet the needs of others. Basically we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a lost and dying world. Some people may judge us for this decision, to serve outside of the church building on a Sunday, but we believe it is the right decision for our family at this time. Isn’t that what missionaries and traveling Evangelists do? Isn’t this what Jesus did? Did he only sit in the temple and hear bible stories, or did he go out and do something and be the answer to people’s needs? Didn’t Jesus say to go out 2 by 2 and tell everyone about him? Didn’t he say to meet the needs of others by feeding them, visiting them, encouraging them, and more? As we seek the Lord in raising our children, this decision seems like a powerful way to show our children faith in action and what we as the body of Christ need to be doing. Our faith must be courageous and go beyond the church building and into the towns and cities and places people are living if we are truly to be the salt and light in this world.


This opportunity to be mobile, and use Godly character building audio CD’s like Under Drake’s Flag, has allowed us to encourage our kids to reach outside of our comfort zone, and the four walls of the church building, to trust God and touch the lives of complete strangers. The kids are learning to trust God for the needs of others to pray with them, feed them, and meet some of their physical needs in a tangible way. Some folks we have met are homeless and some are not homeless. Some have given us their address and we have been able to maintain continued correspondence with them and sent them things they needed through the mail too to further their faith. Traveling from place to place in a moving vehical, listening to faith building stories and adventures, really enhances the kids excitement.

The kids were so excited to listen to every word of these stories. They were on the edge of their seat the whole time as Ned experienced one faith building adventure after the next. That is how real life is, one faith building adventure after the next, trusting God all the way to meet your needs and take care of you. With these Heirloom Audio Productions CD’s your kids will follow along on exciting adventures, learn exciting historical facts, learn exciting new vocabulary of historical sailors and pirates, and build an exciting faith.  With Under Drake’s Flag your children will learn right along with Ned to trust God in all things.

Exciting Adventures

Some of the fun, dangerous, yet faith building adventures Ned has with Sir Francis Drake include a shark attack, a shipwreck, he experiences fierce battles on both land and in the sea, and he comes face to face with the Spanish Inquisition.  How scary right?  But Ned allows God to  use each of these experiences to grow his faith.

Exciting History

Sir Francis Drake lived from 1540 to 1596.  He was considered by others as a hero in England but a hated pirate in Spain. He captured 93 Spanish ships as he traveled the globe.  He had a strong faith in God and allowed God to guide him on his journeys and in his conduct.  He helped England defeat the Spanish navy’s invasion of English waters.  He was the first ship captain from England to travel across the world.  Also Queen Elizabeth had Sir Francis Drake knighted which was a huge honor.

Exciting Vocabulary

There are all kinds of words used on this adventure that make it even more of a unique experience your kids will love. Some of the new words my kids learned about include: flag ship, Spanish Inquisition, penance, mainmast, yardman, constellations, soul, leverage, recant and so many more.

Exciting Faith

What excited me the most is how Ned grows from an inexperienced young boy into a young man through all of these challenges he faces on his journey, and how he puts his faith in God instead of being afraid.  It truly is a tale of faith, strength, and courage as much as it is a fun listening adventure.

About G.A. Henty
G.A. Henty authored the book Under Drake’s Flag. He lived from 1832 to 1902 and authored over 122 books. G. A. Henty was very athletic and adventurous, and he loved to travel the world and experience it first hand. He wrote historical fiction stories and his writings bring history to life with great details interwoven from his own experiences visiting those places.

Be sure to check out the website for more options on ordering and also follow them on Facebook for all the latest news and updates.

Under Drake's Flag Reviews

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Trident Case Reveiw

Are you in need of a new phone case?  Would you like to surprise someone you love with a new phone case, perhaps with special colors and features?  Are you a little bit worried about protecting that phone you got for your teenager?  Does your husband work outside, or in a job that might damage his cell phone?  Are you tired of carrying around a heavy cell phone in your purse or pocket, because the case weighs so much?  Then you might want to try the Cyclops by Trident Case.

What We Received For Review:

Cyclops Case for iPhone
BLACK Case for iPhone
Retails for $39.95

Cyclops Case Dimensions are:
Depth: .53 in
Width: 2.73 in
Height: 5.39 in
Weight: .11 lb
How We Used The Cyclops:

We were super excited to receive this new case for the phone.  It comes in lots of great colors, and we chose black for my husband to carry. My husband works both in an office and outside on construction jobsites, and he works hard around the homestead.  So a good quality case that still looks professional is a must!

As soon as we received the case he was excited to try it out.  He removed his phone from its regular case we had been using, and put it into the Cyclops.  It was a little complicated to get the Cyclops open at first, but he figured it out.  If you just keep trying, you will eventually get it open.  He also cleaned the window before inserting his phone into the case and then snapped it shut.  The Cyclops comes with an instruction booklet. Instructions are written in several languages so these cases are available and used worldwide.


We all liked the feel and look of the case.  It is very lightweight, yet heavy duty.  In addition to being used worldwide, the Cyclops is also military grade and of good durable quality.  It is very thin so it easily fits into your pocket. Because it is thin, it is also easy to access the phone’s window screen. We also liked the easy open flap cover on the audio jack.  It is made of a soft rubber like material and the jack is very easy to open and close.  It has a better quality audio sound than our other case.  It also has a slim design and looks nice.
Special Features of the Cyclops phone case as cited from the Trident Case web site:

Cyclops cases provide superior protection against drops and other impacts
in a slim design.

Cyclops cases feature shock-absorbing Thermo Plastic Elastomer (TPE) and
polycarbonate, providing two layers of protection, and outstanding protection
against impacts.
The hardened polycarbonate exterior allows it to slide in and out
of pockets with ease.
This case Series protects device power-ports and audio-jacks with TPE plugs
to keep out dirt and debris.
These cases also include dust filters to protect speaker bays, and a built-in
screen protector for the ultimate screen protection.
Each case includes patent pending audio technology that redirects sound
to the front of the device to provide an enhanced audio experience.
The included lanyard loop allows you to accessorize your phone with key chains
charms or other accessories.
Cyclops cases feature hardened bio-enhanced plastic that is recyclable, degradable and compostable, making it truly eco-friendly.
Cyclops cases meet Military Standard MIL-STD-810F for Drop, Vibration,
Dust, Sand and Rain (Independently Tested).
Drop (Mil-STD-810F, Method 516.5) – 26 drops onto concrete from 4ft.
Vibration (Mil-STD-810F, Method 514.5) from 20-2000Hz across 3 different axes for a total of 18 hours.
Dust (Mil-STD-810F, Method 510.4) – blow dust for 3 hours at 29 ft / sec.
Sand (Mil-STD-810F, Method 510.4) – blow sand for 3 hours at 59 ft / sec.
Rain (Mil-STD-810F, Method 506.4) – 7.9 inches per hour of rain at 40 mph
wind velocity for 1 hour.
Check out this video about the various special features of the Cyclops case:

You can follow Trident Case on their media links to keep up with all the latest news and updates:

The oldest boys, age 13 and 11, love to use the new case and find it really easy to plug in their earbuds when they want to listen the audio and play games.  Because the case is thin, it is very easy for them to hold on to.  I am glad that I don’t have to worrry about them damaging the phone. 
Trident Case also make cases for ipads, iPad minis, kindles, tablets, various brands of cell phones, and more.  My family agrees that the Cyclops case for the iPhone from Trident Case is a good quality phone case, and we would definitely recommend this case to others.  

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Brinkman Family Adventures Review

If you and your kids love audio adventure stories, then you will want to check out the series of audio stories from Brinkman Family Adventures.  These stories will surely become a treasure in your homeschool.


This audio set includes 12 episodes that plays for 5+ hours on 4 CD’s.  These are great stories for people of all ages to enjoy.  Suggested donation is $25 with free shipping.  Season 2 Episodes 1-12 is also available. Check out the website for the series CD’s, MP3 downloads, and more.

Stories in Brinkman Family Adventures Season 2 Espisodes 13-24 
Disc 1: 
The Mystery Ring
Blue Hat & T-Shirt Bible
How Big Is Your God, part 1

Disc 2:
How Big Is Your God, part 2
Mexico By Bus
Treehouse Academy

Disc 3:
Pirates Of Mayan Island
Saphire Slaves, part 1
Saphire Slaves, part 2

Disc 4:
Hadi’s Choice
Castle Of Secrets
On The Run


Though the stories are fiction, real events, real people, and real places inspired each of the stories.  Our favorite story in this set is Treehouse Academy.  The Brinkman family travels to Belize to perform a concert, and bring a schoolbus for another missionary family who runs a school, a church, a radio station, horse tours, and a small supply store. They do lots of different things to raise money for missions.  They live in the jungle and their school is held in a treehouse.  My kids really want a treehouse and when they heard this school was in a treehouse, well it opened up a whole lot of fun ideas for them, and they were even more excited to listen.
While there, the government tries to shut down the school.  I love the way they explain that they believe it is the responsibility of the family and church to educate the children, not the government.  The kids find an arrowhead, the men repair the floor of the school and discuss standing up for what they believe in, they come up with an idea to use the radio station to tell the public about the persecution they are dealing with from the government, but when the radio tower breaks, they make a new plan, they also learn about the pirates who founded the area, deal with lots of jungle critters, prayer, trusting God, and more. 
My kids love audio adventures.  We have listened to many different ones over the years, and enjoy listening to them when we are on the road, and while at home.  I think listening is a good skill to develop in children.  Learning to listen to audio stories is a great way to enhance overall listening skills.  These skills will help our kids in the future, because they will grow up knowing how to listen to others tell stories and even retell stories themselves.  
Listen in for FREE to Episode #9
Here is a sneek preview of Episode #5 being recorded.  


Besides just listening to stories, the kids are also listening to missionaries share their heart for those around the world who need to hear the message of Jesus.  The kids get to travel all around the world, and meet different cultures and peoples through these stories and experience life there through the eyes of the missionary family.  They see God at work in this family’s life and in the lives they are interacting with.  

It is a blessing to share in such wonderful experiences through fun audio adventures. These audio stories are lots of fun, informative, and plant a seed for missions in the hearts of those who listen in.  I would encourage everyone to check out Brinkman Family Adventures stories.  These stories will promote family time as you listen to them together, and are a wonderful treasure for your homeschool.

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Captivated Review

How much time is your family captivated by media (TV, Phone, Texting, Computer, Gaming)?  I was convinced that my family is”captivated by media” when we watched the Captivated DVD by Media Talk 101 .  

Captivated Movie Review

Captivated DVD
For Adults, but can be viewed by the whole family.
Retails for $16.95
DVD is 107 minutes long
Discusses the history of media and how it has changed, how it influences our culture and our worldview, how it can have an negative impact on our faith, and why we need to balance time spent using media with other positive activities.

My husband and I had already felt media had too much of our attention with ourselves and with our children and we were slowly making changes over the past year to fix this in our family. But watching the DVD really makes it clear to realize just how much my family utilizes media in it’s various forms, and the possible consequences, and perhaps even harm, of not balancing media usage more proactively in our life.

We have six kids.  When our oldest two kids were young, we had very strict limitations on the amount of TV they saw.  It totalled less than five hours a week for TV programs, and a few hours a week for movies.  We only had six or seven TV stations on our old TV.  We were always busy with farm chores, and a healthy food store to run, and there just wasn’t allot of free time left over.  But when we moved off the farm for five years to NC, and as the children were getting older, there was less to do around the home, except for a couple of trips to the local park each week, a few clubs we joined, and weekend outings / field trips.  When there was less to do, the kids became more vocal, and they demanded more time using the TV, and begged for gaming systems for Christmas and birthdays, etc. and I let go of many of those original restrictions.  We also went from only a few TV channels to over 250 channels to choose from.  We also gained high speed internet while in NC and learned how to do so much online.  We even switched from paper banking to auto automatic electronic banking.  We were suddenly living in the “modern” age.  But I am not sure we did the right thing by allowing more of this into our life. 

Technology has changed so much over the past few years that I can hardly keep up. The oldest two kids are now 13 and 11 and they have more knowledge about current technology than I do.  They also have lots of scheduled TV programs, movies, and computer games they enjoy and they are able to verbalize their desires more so now than when they were little, and it has become harder to restrict their use of these sources of technology, for better or for worse.  And the younger children are observing them and following in their footsteps too.  It is amazing how much the younger children look up to the older children and model their choices from them too.
This past year we moved back to Indiana to a farm and to start over homesteading and reaffirm our goals for raising our family. We knew media had taken a bigger chunk of our family’s focus and we wanted to get the kids out of the subdivision and back on the farm.  We want to raise the kids out on the farm so they can learn about caring for livestock, learn how to work the land to produce crops, learn how to build things, and teach them about raising their own food.  

We didn’t feel we had that freedom while living in the subdivision, because it had “rules” that limited animals, go carts, building things, noise level, etc. One subdivision we lived in didn’t even want our van parked in our driveway (it was too large), or the work truck my husband drove they forced us to cover up the company logo everyday when he got home.  The other subdivision we lived in had a problem with even riding bikes or playing outside, as it sometimes resulted in grouchy neighbors complaining about kids playing to loud.  Several times our children and the kids across the road from us were playing innocently and were yelled at by a neighbor who didn’t like kids.  She would complain her dog was napping and the kids had disturbed it, especially on nice days when she had her windows opened.  If her dog noticed the children outside, then she would yell at the kids.  She raised a special breed of dogs for show and if it got anxious, it made her mad at the kids. She didn’t want them riding their bikes near the culdasac near her house.  It was discouraging.  We kind of lost our freedom when we moved to NC and we wanted it back. We saw what was happening with too much time on their hands for media and too little freedom to do things outside. 

It has been very challenging to try to get the kids refocussed off media.  Somethings make it even more difficult.  For expample, we just went through a very long harsh winter.  We were cooped up inside for months and it is boring!  When it is zero degrees outside, nobody should be outside.  So media continued to play a big role in our daily activities through the winter.  I often tell the kids we are having an “electronic free day” and I hear lots of grumbles and complaints, but soon after they realize I am serious, out comes the games and dice and soon lots of laughter can be heard around the table.  

We homeschool, and though we have used textbooks and workbooks etc, many of our curriculum products we have used this past year have been done on the computer or it uses the computer in some way.  We have never had a year that used this much computer, but it worked out this year that we were given several online subscriptions for curriculum.  So even if I want to restrict using the computer for a few days or for a week, I feel defeated at times, because we need the computer to complete the school work we are working on.  

For us as parents, we are captivated by media too. My husband constantly uses his smart phone for work, emails, texts, news, and contacts.  It is a computer in his pocket and he is efficient to pull it out when needed and get his contacts made or answers found out.  I am way slower than him, and prefer the computer rather than the phone. Over the past few years I have been the moderator on a few groups, and I write this website all of which have taken a lot of time.  Though I have cut way back on the time I spend writing this past year so I can spend more time with my family.  But I also check my emails and facebook each day and answer folks questions or pray with those in need.  I talk on the phone, and text back and forth too with my husband when he is away from home.  It is almost hard to remember when media didn’t play a big role in our life, and I have to ask myself “Are we setting a good example for our children to follow?”

Thankfully, winter is over, and spring is here and we can step away from media devices more.  The past couple of weeks we have enjoyed walking around the yard and fields with the kids.  And the kids have really enjoyed riding their bikes and playing outdoor games.  This past Sunday afternoon, we made a picnic lunch and took the kids to the park after church.  We had such a great afternoon together.  We have missed being outside!

I love the way this young man explains why he went on a media fast and how it transformed his life.  He has hit the nail on the head, and I hope every young person and parent will listen to what he has to say.

Here is a short clip explaining why over use of media is so dangerous to a developing brain for young boys.

Finally hear what this scholar has to say about making our relationships “robot like” and loosing the very essence of human relationships.

Watching the Captivated DVD helped affirm that our decision last year to reduce the amount of time our family spends using the computer and various technology media was the right choice.   We are motivated now more than ever to get the children outside more, to enjoy the country life where we can have freedom for animals and outdoor hobbies and give our kids positive activities.  Though this winter kind of set us back a little in these goals, now that winter is over, we can get back on track with filling our time with positvie hands on adventures.  Less media time was and is the right decision for us. 

Be sure to follow updates for Captivated and Media 101 

Twitter: @CaptivatedMovie

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Egglo Review For Easter

We are looking forward to celebrating the Easter holiday this year.  I don’t have big plans, just plan to keep the focus on Jesus Christ, and celebrate here at home with my husband and kids.  But there is a special anticipation, a new excitement, and the kids are really excited about this upcoming holiday. This excitement has been stirred by Egglo.   We were sent products from Egglo Entertainment to review with our family this month before Easter, so that we could tell our readers about this wonderful learning tool.  

What Is Egglo? 

Egglo includes a group of products that help you make Christ the focus of your Easter celebration. Egglo’s motto is to “Learn Biblical lessons and Gospel truth through a glowing egg hunt!” and they focus on the bible verse “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1:5  The light being referenced is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Glow In The Dark Egglo Eggs retails for $11.99 on sale for $9.99
One dozen plastic and fillable eggs that glow in the dark when charged under light. They come in four colors: green, yellow, pink, and blue.  Half of the eggs have a cross design on the egg.  Discounts are available for bulk purchases.
The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure retails for $12.99 on sale for $9.99
Illustrated 40 page story book about an Easter egg hunt and the true meaning of Easter.
Lesson plans with suggestions for activities, snacks, and crafts to help you use the Egglo products and keep the focus of Easter on Christ. 60 pages with reproducibles.

These are a package of 12 mini scrolls with scriptures and are great to stuff inside the plastic eggs.

This is the story book in a 30 minute audio form.

Other products are available on the Egglo website, such as a complete kit, stickers, character stickers, DVD, and more.  These products are suggested to be used by kids ages 4-13 but activities can be easily be adjusted and used by kids of all ages with adult helpers to host the activities.

How We Used Egglo:

We received a box with 12 Egglo eggs, Egg-cellent Adventure book, mini Treasure Scripture Scrolls to fill the eggs with, audio book download, and a pdf file with the Program Guide / Curriculum.   

The first thing I did was download, print, and read the pdf Program Guide / Curriculum guide we were sent.  This is a treasure trove of information.  The Program Guide / Curriculum is filled with great ideas for activities, lesson plans, devotions, questions and answers, how to hold a nightime glow in the dark Egglo Egg Hunt, crafts, games, coloring pages, etc.  It is written to be used by a church group with volunteer helpers, but also works great for families, classrooms, and local clubs too.
We implemented most of these great ideas as a family.  There are 8 of us, 6 kids of various ages and 2 adults, so we had a good size family group to have a fun learning adventure and celebrate with this. Though I love the idea to approach the local church on hosting a fun Christ centered egg hunt too.

The older children read the story book to the younger children and everyone enjoyed the colorful pictures, the characters, and the biblical message. 

 I have two who can read the book on their own, one who can read it with assistance, and three younger children who needed the story read to them. Having the older ones read to the younger ones is a win / win!

“Jesus Loves Me”
This was my own idea, and I thought it would go great with the Egglo theme and other activities we were doing.  This was a craft project we made with foam crosses.  We had these wonderful foam craft supplies to make crosses and put each child’s name on them. They say “Jesus Loves Me” and then there is a banner that hangs on the cross with the child’s name.  We loved adding in this little craft kit for Easter.  If you don’t have a craft kit, you could make this with construction paper, popsicle sticks, or draw, and use paint, crayons, or markers to color something similar on regular paper.   

We discussed how Christ loves us and that is why he died for us.   We celebrated this activity theme with a cake with three crosses to signify the two sinners and Christ on the cross.  Christ said he is the light of the world, and those who walk in the light will not fall away.  He also said that those who believe in him will not perish, but will have eternal life.  One of the sinners who died on the cross accepted Jesus as the son of God, and one did not.  To the one who believed him, he told him he would be with him in heaven forever.  The other sinner went to hell for rejecting Jesus and refusing to repent of his sin.   The cross represents Christ’s love and sacrifice for us, but it also represents our personal choice to follow or reject Christ.

“Egglo Egg Hunt”
We planned our egg hunts using the dozen Egglo eggs we were sent.  We also added a few extra plastic eggs we had on hand to provide a few more eggs to find.  These eggs are neat because they can be used in the daylight or in darkness, inside or out.

We charged up our eggs in the sun and then had an egg hunt in the house after dark. It is suggested to “charge” the eggs in sunlight, or other kinds of light and that the eggs will stay brightly lit for about 45 to 60 minutes, and then give off a dim light for a little longer.  I left the eggs in bright sunlight for two hours, and they stayed dimly lit for a long time.  The kids could find their way to the eggs in the dark, because of the dim light they gave off.  

Another day we had an egg hunt outside just before dark.  We filled the eggs with a scripture verse and a small chocolate candy bar.  We added six additional eggs to the 12 glow in the dark Egglo eggs we were sent.  This allowed each child to find a total of three eggs, and that was more than enough chocolate!  You can copy the scripture cards from the Program Guide, or use the Egglo Treasure Scripture Scrolls and place them in the eggs.  There is also the idea of placing stickers in the eggs that are also available on the Egglo website.

Like the glow in the dark eggs we hunted, and flashlights we use to light our path in the dark, Jesus lights the way in our life.  He is the “Light of the World”.  For this activity, the kids made an edible torch.  They placed large pretzel sticks into marshmallows, then dipped them in whipped cream, and sprinkled on red, yellow, and orange sugar sprinkles.  This gave the look of a flame on a torch.  We talked about how Jesus is the light in our life to light our path, and also how we can be a light when we tell others about who Jesus is.

We talked about how Christ’s body was removed from the cross, wrapped in linen, and placed in a tomb.  The tomb was then sealed with a large stone to cover the entrance. Guards were posted outside of the tomb to be sure no one disturbed it.  But on the third day, God opened the tomb.  He rolled the stone away.  Mary and other desciples went to find his body, but he was gone.  An angel told them he had risen, just as he said he would.  Christ had risen from the dead on the third day.  To celebrate God openning the tomb, and Jesus resurrection, we made “tomb” sandwiches with bagels spread with an herb cheese spread to represent the tomb, and a slice of cucumber to represent the stone that was in front of the tomb, and then was rolled away.  The kids really enjoyed making their own sandwiches and retelling the story.  

We changed this game that was mentioned in the Program Guide / Curriculum with our own version.  The original game uses three inflated beach balls.  I did not have beach balls on hand.   So we made our own game with plastic base balls and a bat.  We labeled three balls with the words “Tell”, “Trust”, and “Thank”.  The person who the ball was batted to answered the label on the ball.  For example, they might say they want to “thank” God for sending his son Jesus, or they might say why they “trust” Jesus, or if they got the ball labeled “tell” then they might mention who they want to tell what God has done for them, or tell them about Jesus and his love for us.  I would encourage everyone to play this game even if they have to adjust it to what supplies you have on hand.  Try it with bean bags, balloons, stuffed animals, etc.  Or use a coin and flip it heads or tales to answer questions.  There are many ways to play this kind of game and still get the message across, and there are no wrong answers.

Coloring Pages:
There are several wonderful reproducible coloring pages in the curriculum.  We completed three per child to reinforce the bible lessons we learned and we still had several left over that we did not use.  Our favorite picture is of the crippled boy and his mom with Jesus.  The boy is embracing Jesus and Jesus is holding the boy and laying his hand on his forehead and healing him.  

More Plans:
Before Easter arrives, I still plan to do several more of the suggested Christ focused activities, and other additional hands on activities, to help build our faith and reinforce the true meaning of Easter:  projects like the “Egg-cellent Easter Eggs” activity with the kids making and decorating sugar cookies and gelatin snacks and use icing to draw a cross on the cookies and I would like to find cross shaped or egg shaped gelatin molds too; “Light and Dark” activity where the kids are placed into a large dark box like a leftover refrigerator cardboard box, and they can’t see because it is dark inside, but then when given a light they see pictures of people that God loves glued on the inside walls of the box; Bible Memory games based on Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-20; “Scripture Scramble” where you place words from John:1 on various balloons and it is all mixed up and the kids race to put it back in order; we want to do the “He Is Not Here” activity again and make another fun craft (we will come up with something) and the fun snack using mini donuts, cookies, graham crackers, icing, and coconut; and I plan to add in some Lego fun too.   I want to have the kids make an Easter Lego movie where they retell the story of Jesus death and resurrection using their Legos.  They love to make stop motion Lego movies and this would be a wonderful opportunity to reinforce our faith.  Perhaps there is a way to incorporate the Egglo eggs and the Lego people at the same time.  I’ve got to think on this idea some more.  We also plan to do another Christ focussed, “light in the dark world”, Egglo egg hunt the night before Easter, weather permitting outside, or inside if need be.  Plus my younger kids love using eggs year around in their school learning.  We match colors, count, sort, scoop, practice skills, hide themes inside, and more.  We are looking forward to lots more fun and using this product again in the future.

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Motivated Moms Review

Do you struggle staying motivated?  I recently learned about a company called Motivated Moms that wants to help you get and stay motivated.  

Do you find it challenging to get organized?  As mom’s we have a lot of different roles and responsibilities to organize:  Mom / Parent; Wife (or single mom); Household Engineer; Maid; Shofer or Taxi; Personal Chef; and more.  Moms seem to have “umpteen million” tasks we do over and over, espeacially when our children are young. Sometimes it is hard to organize those tasks and sometimes it is just down right hard to get motivated to complete another day of them.

Some times in my life, my own needs go unmet so that I can take care of the needs of others, and I am sure there are many moms just like me struggling to keep a balance. Perhaps if we could manage our time better, reorganize our priorities, and remember what things have to get done while letting other things go if needed, we could squeeze in a little more time for Mom (or Dad), and perhaps get more time for our daily devotions and coffee! Amen?!

I was excited when I was sent my choice of one of the Motivated Moms e-Books in downloadable pdf format to review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I was sure this was just what I needed to help me get motivated and organized in the new year.  It retails for $8.  

Motivated Moms Review

Several versions with different options of the chore planners are available, including bible passages, no bible passage, color, black and white, full pages and half pages, daily and weekly options, and an app for your device.

Motivated Moms Review

Be sure to check out the website and find a version you like best. There are also free sample pages you can view to try before you buy too.  

Motivated Moms Review

How I Used Motivated Moms:
To be honest, I was entering 2014 feeling discouraged and burned out.  I was really needing some kind of planning and organizing system to help me get on track.  I knew I wanted a deeper walk with God and to spend more personal time with him.  I knew I wanted to work on my weight loss goals and set goals for our homeschool and our homestead.  I was not sure what goals I wanted to focus on, how to set those goals for this year for myself and our homeschool, or what steps to take to begin to tackle them. 

I really thought that a planning system with clear defined tasks and goals might help me get back on track.  So I requested to review the Chore Planner with Bible Study Passages. There are several versions to choose from, and I chose the full page daily planner in color, with scripture study verses. 

I was very excited about getting a daily planner to help me get organized and motivated.  In my case, its hard to figure out which comes first, the chicken or the egg. Does getting organized help me get motivated, or does getting motivated help me get organized?  It almost seems that I need these things to happen simultaneously.  If I am not organized, then I have a hard time getting motivated.  Because, a lack of organization saps my energy and my motivation just seems to fly out the window.  I feel defeated before I can even get started. 

I printed off the pdf planner, hole punched the pages, and placed it in a 3 ring binder and made myself a homemade cover page with a note to myself exclaiming “I am a motivated mom!” Hopefully the power of positive thinking will keep me motivated!

At first I wanted to send it over to a copy store to be printed in color and bound.  It might cost about $30 to have it done that way and it would look very professional and pretty.  I can’t afford to do that right now, so I just printed it on cheap paper and placed it in the binder.  As I went along, I realized a binder is nice choice for this planner because you have room to add in extra things if needed.  Like a plastic cover sheet for personal pictures, shopping flyers, or recipes for meal planning and I could keep it all in one spot for convenience.  

I do like how the planner is organized for me.  It has a place listed for my daily household tasks, and includes a few monthly and seasonal tasks, appointments, reminders, meal planning, and a daily scripture verse to read.  Sometimes I use this scripture verse, and sometimes I use a different one. It is a nice reminder to keep me motivated to take personal bible time.  I like to write down the verse I studied in the notes section sometimes and look back later in the week and see how it has impacted my life that week. Sometimes I use the note section to talk about my goals I met or didn’t meet or plans for the next day too.

If I could ask for a one thing to be added to this chore planner, it would be to ask for a few less lines on the appointment section, and to add homeschool section for school planning for the kids, and I would also like a little bit more room for meal planning for the whole day on the daily page, not just a space for supper.  Though there is a nice two week meal planner at the back, I would like to be able to add more onto the individual day to be better organized.  As a homeschool mom, I have three meals, plus two to three snacks for my kids and husband.  So a bigger meal planning space would make this even better for me personally. By placing this chore planner in a binder, I can add these additional pages on my own and customize it to work best for me.  Overall this planner has been a blessing and I would encourage other moms to check it out and see if it would be a good fit for their planning goals.

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This Motivated Moms Chore Planner is a great resource. Though it is made for moms, it would also be great to give one to your older teens and college students too. A planner like this would really be beneficial in practicing life skills and goal setting for an older teen before they actually settle down and become a mom.  I wish someone would have given me one of these when I was younger and helped me learn these kinds of organizational skills.  

Be sure to read what others on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about products from Motivated Moms.  

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EGM Educational Services READS


A word that. . .makes. . .kids. . .shudder!

It means different things to different to different people, and adults and kids might have different opinions about it.  But for most kids, it generally means schoolwork that continues after the regular lesson is finished.  It also means more work for parents and many times parents are not all that thrilled to work with their child who is resisting homework anyway.  I dare say that most households dread homework.


But one company is trying to breathe a breath of fresh air (less stress and greater success) into the homework atmosphere.  They are EGM Educational Systems, LLC and they have created a homework helper system called READS.  READS stands for Really Easy and Dynamic Strategies.

                     photo henry_logo_zpsb48ee4fe.png
READS Parent /Child Reading Comprehension System also called the READS Homework Helper, is a fun tool to help parents easily help their students comprehend what they are learning.  It conforms to Common Core States Standards.  
                photo reads_zps822bc9d5.jpg

READS Homework Helper Kit includes:
        Parent’s Manual
        Rewards Chart (three monthly calendars with places for stickers and rewards)
        Rewards Stickers
        Speedy Speller Handbook (contains 1,400 words and blank spaces to 
        write more, it also contains numbers, symbols, and punctuation too.)
        30 Question Cards (builds comprehension and critical thinking skills)
        Reading Guide Strip (window to help read only the current line without 
        distraction of other words above or below those in the window)
        Magic Finger (finger sheath for tracking)

READS is designed for students in grades 1-4, but it is adaptable and can be used with students who are below, on, or above their grade level. You can buy each item separately or as a Homework Helper Kit.  READS Homework Helper kit retails for $19.95 and you can buy additional units (without a parent manual) if needed for additional children for $17.95  You can also buy additional rewards charts (9 months) to supplement the kit for $2.75

Our Experience

I asked my son in 2nd grade to use this program with me.  He is not so excited about homework, especially reading, so I thought this would be a good match to work with this. 

I asked him to help me make a list of rewards he would enjoy for completing his weekly reading. He can earn up to one reward a week. Rewards possibilities he chose include: play games on the computer, play at the park, build with Legos,  get a new Lego building kit, ride the riding lawnmower, go to a pizza place, go to Chuckie Cheese, go to the lake and feed the ducks, go to the lake and go fishing, make a pineta in any shape he wants, build an army fort in the living room, play soccer.  To earn a reward for he week, he needs to earn stickers on his reward chart.

Then I ask him to choose a question card and spend 20 minutes or so reading.  There are 30 cards to choose from and I offered him three that I felt were appropriate for kind of material he was reading, and he chose one of them.  He is expected to answer the question card when he is finished reading. 

Here he is reading a story book using the “Magic Finger”, or finger sheath, to track his reading.


He loves using this silly finger to read.  Here he is laying on the couch, reading a story with his special finger!  


Little brother enjoys following the finger too. And then big brother thinks it quite fun to use the finger in other silly ways and make everyone laugh!


The READS program can be used with any reading materials and more than just story books.  On this day we used READS with a language arts curriculum.  Here he is reading a spelling list.    


And using his Reading Guide Strip from the kit.  We were practicing words with the long “i” sound.  The strip helped him focus on a few words at a time, instead of a big list.   


After reading, he answers a question card and if we both feel he did a good job, he gets to put a reward sticker on his chart.  When he fills the reward chart, one sticker for each day of the week that he shows he has comprehended the reading materials, then he receives a reward from his list. The rewards are set up to be offered weekly, but it will also work to offer the smaller rewards weekly and bigger rewards monthly.

This is a very handy “tool kit” for families.  I would encourage everyone to check it out and see if it can improve your homework atmosphere to have less stress and more success in your home. 

Be sure to check out what others on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about this product.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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