We recently learned about a specialized high tech headset that can help boost brain function. It uses the power of your own voice to improve memory and help you become a better listener, speaker, and singer.
Forbrain is a specialized technological headset which conducts sound through bone conduction vibrations. Forbrain can be used by children and adults from all walks of life. Forbrain was designed for people with Attention difficulties, Speech and language issues, and poor memory. It is recommended to be used once or twice a day for 15 minutes each session, and for a duration of 6 weeks or longer. Recommended for ages 4 and older.
Forbrain comes with the adjustable headset that can be used by various size heads, and contains the microphone, extra microphone covers, dynamic filter, built in bone conduction transmitters, internal rechargeable battery, and the unit also comes with a USB charger, protective case, and a quick reference pamphlet with instructions for implementing, and a users manual.
Benefits of Using Forbrain:
Forbrain helps improve speech fluency, pronunciation, sound discrimination and rhythm.
Forbrain improves hearing of your own voice.
Forbrain reduces sensitivity to noise.
Forbrain trains the brain to be more attentive.
Forbrain improves auditory processing and sensory integration.
Forbrain improves short term memory.
Forbrain improves attention.
Forbrain improves skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and singing.
Forbrain delivers sound to brain 10 times faster than normal.
Forbrain contains a “dynamic” filter that enhances frequencies.
Forbrain improves confidence in the speaker / listener as their communication skills improve.
There are many ways Forbrain can be used. It can be used at home or at work and can benefit a variety of people in a variety of different settings.
Forbrain can be used alone for situations such as:
reading aloud, for pronunciation and conversation exercises in your native language or in a foreign languages, ESL, speech preparation, lesson revision, singing songs, read poems, dictation, read a play aloud, read aloud a book with various characters and varry their voices.
Forbrain can be used with Parents at home or on the go for situations such as: teaching kids to read, practice with learning language and ESL, help with homework, creating sentences and communication. It might benefit some parents to hear themselves when talking with their kids just to give some insight.
Forbrain can be used in Professional, Theraputic, and Occupational situations such as: On the job for practicing presentations, practicing interviews, used by a professional therapist, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and scientists or reaserchers that deal with speech, language, and hearing, teachers, coaches, tutors, caregivers or medical professionals could use it to improve or tweak their bedside manner, or various opportunities at work.
Forbrain is especially helpful for folks with language and speech difficulties, for brain stimulation, auditory processing disorder, ADD, ADHD, and those who need to improve their attention.
I used Forbrain with my youngest son to practice pronunciation as he learns the alphabet with various worksheets and props. There was a noticible improvement as he used the headset. He also spoke quieter after using Forbrain as he was more aware of his volume level than before.
I also used Forbrain with my second grader as he read aloud. He said he enjoys using it and it helps him become a better speaker.
My oldest son also practiced with Forbrain. He read all the paperwork, read through the website, and watched several videos before he started. He also researched the technology. He was very impressed with Sound For Life LTD and what they have to offer. He started with practicing his posture. He also practiced turning the headset on and off while wearing it. He especially enjoyed sitting in the sunshine and practicing, or taking a walk and practicing. Some of the other things he has practiced are reading aloud, poetry, singing, his pronunciation in Greek language, and his math multiplication facts. He plans to use this product long term to improve his speech and tone and knows this will help him reach his goal.
From my son: “I enjoyed using Forbrain during this review and I will continue using it. It was interesting to hear myself talk. It felt good to use. I could tell when I was talking to loud or not loud enough. I feel like I have exercised parts of my face I have never used before after I used it for the first time. It felt more natural after a few times of practice. I look forward to continuing my journey to improve my speech and ability to listen.”
I also used Forbrain myself to practice singing. It is amazing to hear what I sound like through the headset. I was a singer years ago. I would have loved to use Forbrain to help with my music training back then. We often cupped our hand around our ear during practice to hear ourselves and make adjustments in our pitch and tone. However, this technology would have greatly helped reach musical goals quicker and more accurately.
Here is an inspirational video by Rafaele Joudry, Author, Therapist, Instructor, and the Founder of Sound For Life LTD about using Forbrain.
Be sure to follow Forbrain and Sound For Life LTD on their social media links for all of the lastest news, techniques, and product updates.
Thinking Like An Engineer is taught by Wayne Kroeplin, an experienced engineer and educator. This is an “Introduction To Engineering” course designed for kids in 6 grade through 12th grades. This course qualifies for highschool science credit, (check with your specific state for more info on highschool transcript requirements).
Thinking Like An Engineer is an online self paced course with 30+ hours of interactive lessons broken into 6 units.
Unit 1 – Introduction to Engineering
Unit 2 – Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling
Unit 3 – Engineering Rollercoasters
Unit 4 – Engineering Bridges
Unit 5 – 3D Computer Design
Unit 6 – Nano-Engineering
Thinking Like An Engineer includes 38 interactive lessons, 10 design and build challenge activities, activity guides, online support, and 3D design software, etc. With the subscription to Thinking Like An Engineer, we were also sent a bonus course called Thinking Like An Innovator that contained 9 additional lessons plus 3 challenge activities. Listed below is the course outline for both of these courses.
Course Outline / Table of Contents
Unit 1 – Introduction to Engineering
Lesson 1 : What is engineering?
Challenge activity: Design the tallest paper tower
Lesson 2 : Different types of engineers
Challenge activity: Design a paper structure that can carry the most books
Engineering in the News!
Lesson 3 : Engineering clean water
Challenge activity: build your own water filtration system
Lesson 4 : 14 Grand engineering challenges of the world
Unit 2 – Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling
Lesson 1 : How to get ideas out of your head (Tools of modern design and innovation)
Lesson 2 : Introduction to your software
Lesson 3 : Creating basic objects
Lesson 4 : Moving and connecting objects
Lesson 5 : Grouping objects
Lesson 6 : Edges and faces
Lesson 7 : Adding, Intersecting and subtracting material
Lesson 8 : Material properties
Lesson 9 : 3D scanning
Lesson 10 : Rapid prototyping – 3D printing
Unit 3 – Engineering Rollercoasters
Lesson 1 : Types of roller coasters
Lesson 2 : Roller coaster design
Lesson 3 : Energy and a little math
Lesson 4 : Roller coaster construction
Engineering in the News!
Lesson 5 : How to become a roller coaster engineer
Challenge activity: Build a paper roller coaster
Unit 4 – Engineering Bridges
Lesson 1 : An engineering mystery that stunned the world!
Lesson 2 : 5 types of bridges
Lesson 3 : Parts of a suspension bridge
Lesson 4 : How to build a suspension bridge
Challenge activity: Build and test your own suspension bridges
Engineering in the News!
Lesson 5 : Bridges and physics
Lesson 6 : Famous (and scariest) bridges in the world
Lesson 7 : Structural engineering (and a little math)
Lesson 8 : Testing the wind (gathering clues)
Challenge activity: Build your own wind tunnel and test your own model bridge sections.
Engineering in the News!
Lesson 9 : What really happened that day
Lesson 10 : Out with the old, in with the new
Lesson 11 : What engineers have learned
3D challenge: Bridge design software
Unit 5 – 3D Computer Design
Lesson 1 : Quick introduction to 3D computer design
Lesson 2 : Introduction and installation of 123D Design software
Lesson 3 : Learn how to use 123D Design (Tutorials)
Lesson 4 : Let’s make a car rim!
Design Challenge: Create a piece of furniture!
Lesson 5 : 3D printing (3D what?)
Design Challenge: Make it better in 3D!
Unit 6 – Nano-Engineering
Lesson 1 : How we see small things
Lesson 2 : The discovery of a new world!
Lesson 3 : What is Nano-Engineering?
Engineering in the News!
Summary – What do I do now?
Links for additional research in the world of engineering
High school offerings and career pathways
Thinking Like an Innovator
Lesson 1 : The 6 steps of innovation (A tragedy at sea)
Lesson 2 : What is a problem?
Lesson 3 : What is an idea?
Challenge activity: Brainstorming!
Lesson 4 : How to create more ideas
Lesson 5 : Brain Games!
Challenge activity: Mental fitness
Lesson 6 : 4 Poisons to innovators
Lesson 7 : The secret ingredient
Lesson 8 : How to make money!
Challenge activity: Solo cup
Lesson 9 : Woman Innovators
Check out this short video for more information about Thinking Like An Engineer course from Innovators Tribe:
We have only had this course a few weeks so far and all I can say is wow! This course is a wonderful way for kids to explore the field of engineering in a hands on way. Their time is divided between spending some time at the computer watching the lessons or designing, and other times actually creating different challenge projects. I am thrilled this course can be listed on my kids highschool transcript and can help them meet those requirements for graduation, while at the same time learning practical knowledge and skills that will help them as adults.
Each time my son sits down to work on his course, he is able to work independently and progress at his own pace. He logs into his program, watches the video lesson, then proceeds to the challenge activity if there is one for the lesson. Some of the lessons have challenge activities, and some do not.
My son has finished the first four lessons and challenge activities in Unit 1 and is currently working in Unit 2. I have primarily focused this review on his experience with Unit 1. His favorite part so far has been the challenge activities. There is a course outline / syllabus and a basic materials list that you can download and print.
For the first unit challenges, we gathered materials from around the house, and picked up a few at the local store too: pencil, paper, scissors, clear tape, ruler, measuring tape, masking tape, a small construction level, recycled soda bottles, measuring cup, spoon, water, dirt, coffee filter, rocks, sand, etc.
The Challenge Activities kids get to do include designing and building: various towers, structures, water filters, and more. The Design Activities kids get to do include: roller coasters, bridges, Rube Goldberg machine, and learning to design with 3D CAD software.
This is a great opportunity to learn about engineering.
Here are some of the hands on challenge activity projects my kids have been building:
Challenge Activity Lesson 1 – Design the tallest paper tower as tall as you can using only 4 sheets of paper and 1 foot of masking tape. Try to reach a goal of 5 feet tall that can stand on its own without falling over.
He tried several times to get his tower to five feet, but I didn’t get a picture of all of his attempts. The tower was difficult to get it to stand straight without it falling over.
He eventually built his base wider and wider for better stability and it resulted in a shorter than 5 foot tower.
He wanted to explore this concept even more, so he tried a different method on his own with four more sheets of paper and 1 more foot of masking tape. This time he turned his paper into a grid so he could work with it better. He said he prefers working with blocks instead of circles.
He went with a wider base again to support the upper levels and prevent it from falling over. This base was tall too. We discussed that he could have used a shorter base that was still wide.
He came up with a model he liked, that wasn’t as tall as 5 feet, but stood straight without falling over.
Challenge Activity Lesson 2 – Design a paper structure that can carry (support the weight of) the most books.
Again, he chose to work with block shapes for his support structure.
He managed to load 31 books just fine, but on the 32nd book his tower of books collapsed on 1 side.
He made various structures several times to try different systems to see which design could support the most books.
Challenge Activity Lesson 3 – build your own water filtration system.
This was a fun experiment. My son used a plastic bottle, cut in half, and covered the pouring end with a coffee filter secured with a rubber band. Then he added a layer of small pebbles, and two layers of sand to create a water filtration system.
Next, he mixed dirt into water in a measuring bowl and stirred it with a spoon until most of the dirt dissolved into the water. Then he slowly poured the dirty water into his filter system.
He was very pleased when the water coming out of the homemade filter was clear and all of the dirt was gone.
This is an excellent lesson for kids and adults of all ages. There is a shortage of clean water in this world. There are people in in various places who don’t have clean water to drink, to cook with, or to bath in. Many people die from diarrhea from bacterial and parasite contamination they get from dirty drinking water. Knowing how create a water filtration system could save your life someday.
He would definitely want to make a few modifications to this homemade filter before actually drinking this water. If left as is, he could use the clear water by boiling the water to kill any pathogens before consuming it. Or if he had access to add a layer of charcoal to the bottom layer, and a layer of grass to the top layer of this filter, and possibly even use a bandanna or tee shirt as the first layer the dirty water is poured through before it enters the filter system, would help to get the water as clean as possible.
Even his little brother was impressed he could turn muddy water back into clear water.
It seems like kids are natural engineers. They love to explore, build, create, and problem solve. From birth their mind is filled with wonder and great potential. Kids naturally have an optimistic outlook and most of the time they still believe that everything is possible. Father God is the greatest engineer of all time, and we are created in his image. No wonder kids are natural engineers!
My son really likes this course and says he enjoys learning from the instructor, Wayne Kroeplin, because he explains everything very clearly and he gives lots of examples. He is interesting to listen to. When the course is finished, hopefully he will have reached the goals of what it means to think, problem solve, design, create, and build like an engineer.
Goals kids will be able to reach by the end of this course include:
Explain and apply 6 steps of problem-solving.
Know how to use techniques.
Demonstrate the use of different brain-games that boost innovation skills.
Identify the 4 poisons to innovation and their cure.
Explain the importance of engineering and problem-solving using real-world examples.
Explain 14 grand problem-solving challenges that need solutions.
Define: tension, compression, twisting, bending, shearing, torsion, vortices, vortex shedding, aerodynamics, dead load, live load, structural-engineering, girder, truss, friction, potential and kinetic energies, g-force.
Give examples of how math subjects are used in engineering: Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Advanced Calculus, Trigonometry, Probability & Statistics, Physics.
Demonstrate the correct use of various tools: ruler, construction level, 3D design software, etc
Thinking Like An Engineer is a terrific course. We are having a lot of fun with it. I would encourage everyone to give it a try. A great skill to have is to learn how to identify a problem or need that might be in your own home or community or across the world, and solve the need with things we can design and create. Father God has truly blessed us in his image with an intelligent mind and so much creative potential.
Be sure to check out the website and social media for all the latest news and product updates. There are also some interesting videos on the teacher’s youtube channel and you can get an even better feel for the kind of teacher he is and the materials he teaches. Right now InnovatorsTribe is running a special sale of 35% off all their courses. The current sale runs through 11/11/17.
All six of my kids love using tempera paint “stix” by The Pencil Grip, Inc. We were recently sent 24 beautiful colors in their Thin Stix Creativity Pack to review in our home. The Pencil Grip, Inc is also offering one of their sets of Thin Stix as aGiveaway free to one of our readers.
Thin Stix Creativity Pack
There are many reasons you will want a set of Thin Stix Creativity Packs to use in your home or office.
12 Classic Colors
6 Neon Colors
6 Metallix Colors
Solid Tempera Paint Sticks
Easy To Use
Uncap, Twist & Paint
No Water Needed
Dries in 90 Seconds
Won’t Crack or Split
Paint like finish
Great for painting on poster paper, cardboard, wood, and canvas
Other surfaces too (we tried them out on lots of surfaces!)
These paints are great! They are MESS FREE and recommended for everyone 3 and older, and yes, adults have fun using them too! They are available at many big box and online stores. Thin Stix Creativity Pack retails for $24.99 and are currently on sale for $19.99 at BJ’s.
They offer a regular style called Kwik Stix and a thin style of Kwik Stix called Thin Stix. They also offer lots of colors. Check their website for information on the different sizes and various color sets they have available. Here is a video from The Pencil Grip, Inc demonstrating how to use their tempera paint stix.
How We Used Thin Stix:
I was thrilled to be given another wonderful opportunity to review Thin Stix with my kids! We love using Thin Stix in our home ever since we reviewed Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors earlier this year.
This kit is so much more! It has the bold 6 classic colors plus + more classic colors for a total of 12. Then it has 6 Neon colors plus 6 Metallix colors too, for a total of 24 vibrant colors of tempera paint sticks. The Metallix colors are really speacial because they have a sparkle effect that reflects the light.
Thin Stix are easy to use and hold on to that even my youngest kids can do art projects easily. It is as simple as taking off the cap and using them. If you need a little more paint, then you simply twist the bottom of the stick like a tube of chapstick. The paint comes up at the other end and you are ready to simply draw with them again. They are mess free and ready to paint with. There is no need for water and no clean up. I am always looking for projects my kids can do that are simple, and I especially like MESS FREE arts and crafts! Check out this short video that shows how mess free they really are:
Projects With Thin Stix Creativity Pack:
Here are a few of projects we have made with our Thin Stix Creativity Pack over the past few weeks. I am sure we will have many more great projects using these paints in our arts and crafts and school work this year. I have shared a few pictures below and I will link the stories about how we made these projects and what materials we used as I get them posted.
Art Class Fall Season Painting (Multimedia Art Books)
Art Class Wooden Creations (Popsicle Stick)
Organizer Container Art (Recycled Milk Jugs)
Organizer Container Art (Recycled Shampoo Bottles)
We took a walk and looked at trees and gathered a few fall leaves for inspiration and to inspect the colors of fall more closely.
The kids found similar colors in the Thin Stix and used their own creativity to paint a fall scene.
Organizer Container Art
(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)
These are so cute! You can use them for just about anything you need to organize. Kids could use them for their Thin Stix and art supplies, Legos, crayons, etc. You could use them in your drawers to hold socks or miscellaneous items. You could use them to hold fruit (or candy) on the counter. It could hold napkins on the table as a cute centerpiece too.
My son loved personalizing his organizer!
Organizer Container Art
(Thin Stix & Recycled Shampoo Bottles)
These containers are so cute and just the right size. They are so simple to make. They are small enough to fit into a backpack or purse. They can hold a variety of things from art supplies, small journal, cell phone, camera, first aide, small sowing kit, to snacks, etc. They will make great gifts to give away too.
Lunch Box Art
(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)
I can’t wait to share the finished product of this project. Stay tuned for another story. This was so easy to make and personalize using our Thin Stix. It can fit easily into a backpack or purse and hold a huge variety of of foods from sandwiches, juice boxes, granola bars, crackers, fruit, bags of veggies, fruit cups, yogurt, etc.
The lunch boxes are not water tight, but they will prevent your foods from getting smashed in your bag or backpack. It has a lid and is large enough to keep several loose items altogether, so it is easy to pull it out and have everything inside the lunch box without searching for something that got misplaced. These containers are special because you made them yourself. You can also use this to organize various non-food items too.
Butterfly Art & Science
(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)
The kids had a lot of fun learning about butterflies and making their own creations.
Candle Flower Art
(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs) The kids had a lot of fun cutting out their petals, painting them with Thin Stix colors like Metalix Purple and Classic Purple, and hot glueing the petals together to create lovely flowers.
Then they attached a small tea candle in the center of the flower.
These lovely candle holders will look very pretty on our table, and we made some to give away too.
If you want a safer version without a flame, then instead of using real candles, use battery operated candles. They will look just as beautiful.
Birthday Cards Fall Theme
(Thin Stix & Paper & Construction Paper)
Get Well Cards
(Thin Stix & Paper & Construction Paper)
Projects With Thin Stix 6 Pk Classic Colors:
Here are a few projects we made using the Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors of tempera paints. Some of these have additional stories about making those projects and to read them, just click on the link.
(Thin Stix Tempera Paints Various Colors, Colored Pencils, Charcoal Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Gel Pens, Water Colors, Multimedia Art Book, Sketch Pad, Recycled Zippered Container)
Father’s Day Cards
(Thin Stix, File Folder, Bible Verse)
(Thin Stix & Flower Pots)
I am also amazed how durable these paints are. I painted these pots with Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors several months ago. Even after the rains and later the scorching heat on the back deck all summer, the bugs and flowers we painted my pots have endured and still look great!
I really like the fact these tempera paints (Kwik Stix and Thin Stix) are mess free. I also like the fact they have so many applications, they are portable so you can take them with you, and you can use them to personalize your space, beyond just using them on a piece of paper.
Want to win a set of Thin Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc? Then enter this giveway for a chance to win. Giveaway entries will be accepted between 11/9/17 and 11/22/17 for your chance to win. If you would kindly share this giveaway with your family, friends, and on your social media: facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc I would greatly appreciate your help in getting the word out. Be blessed and I hope you win!
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
Ages: 4th – 6th Grades
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.
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
19 Jesus the Teacher
20 Jesus the Healer
21 Jesus the Leader
22 Jesus’ Lessons in Faith
23 Jesus the Miracle Worker
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.
Follow Susan Case Bonner and Kid Niche Christian Books on their social Media links for all the latest news and product updates.
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
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 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
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.
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 Jr. for Ages 2-4
Reading Eggs Ages for 3-7
Reading Eggspress for Ages 7-13
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.
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.
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):
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep up with all the lasted news, product updates, free offers, and special sales at the social media links for Reading Eggs:
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.
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:
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
1,400 Math Lessons
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:
Middle School Grades:
High School Grades:
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.
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:
Basic Math PreAlgebra
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!”
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.
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 HomeschoolMemberships. They also offer a FREE Trial to try before you buy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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
Parent and Teacher Resources:
Crafts and Templates,
Sample report cards
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)
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.
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
Most worksheets with “question / answer” also have an Answer Key available too.
Math and Geometry Worksheets:
Geography: States and Capitals Worksheet
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.
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.
Be sure to check out Super Teacher Worksheets on their social media links for all of the latest news and product updates.