Sunday, September 30, 2012

Music Together Review


     Music Together is an award winning music program created to be used with children in any setting from homeschool to public school.  Internationally used, this product has provided a structured music program throughout the world.  They have worked to bring music to children everywhere.

     For this review, I was asked to try out Music Together: Family Favorites with my children at home.  When my package arrived, I found the Teacher's Songbook, a full CD of music to use along with the program and a folder of information for completing my review.  The covers for this particular program are green with black font that is simple yet professional in type.

 

     The Music Together: Family Favorites Songbook for Teachers begins with a short preface explaining the purpose of the program, then provides a section of how to use the book for the program.  Next is the Introduction which goes into further detail explaining the programs usefulness and purpose.  The beginning of the book is a guide that tells the teacher how to use the program, what props to use along with the songs, and differing activities that are used as well as how to use them for each part of the program.  This section also covers how to use this program with special needs students.

     The next section of the Songbook for Teachers begins the lessons for the program.  This section, called Songs, shares a different lesson for each song provided on the CD for the program.  How to teach the song, activities, as well as lyrics for each song are covered within this section.  The songs are further broken down to explain how to use them with children of differing ages from infant through school-age and also for special needs children.

     The last section of the Teacher's Songbook is a reference section, providing information on other books in the Music Together program.  Also included is a guide for guitar playing to use with the songs for the program and a dictionary explaining the terms used throughout the program.

 

     We used this program over a period of several weeks, while working with adjustments to having a new baby in the home, and we enjoyed what we were able to complete during that time.  Music is a favorite of mine so I enjoyed teaching my children with this particular program.  I also enjoyed sharing several of my own childhood favorites that we hadn't already covered with other programming in the past.  Songs like Biddy Biddy, She Sells Sea Shells, John the Rabbit, and I've Been Working on the Railroad allowed me to share a part of my own childhood with my children that we may have otherwise missed out on.  And I found my children enjoyed those songs and others just as much as I did.  Integrating activities like clapping along, using home-made drums and rhythm sticks, and singing together was a lot of fun to share as a family activity.  Overall we give this program two-thumbs-up as far as lessons go.

      Music Together: Family Favorites is available online as a combo package for the special price of $39.95 (a $5 discount from the regular price).  Use the code "Schoolhouse" at checkout to receive an additional $2 off the program.  The Songbook for Teachers is available to purchase separately for $29.95.  The Family Favorites CD is available for $14.95.  Individual tracks can be downloaded as needed for $.99 each or for $9.99 for the entire album.

     For more reviews of Music Together: Family Favorites please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog!

 

*Disclaimer - This program was provided by Music Together and the Schoolhouse Review Crew free in exchange for my honest opinion in a blog post.

 
   

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Cry From Egypt - Raising Real Men Review



Great Waters Press, publishers of Raising Real Men from my dear friend and her husband, Melanie and Hal Young, has recently published a wonderful new book: A Cry From Egypt by Hope Auer.  Prior to this book I had never personally heard of Hope Auer but now I am not likely to forget her as an author.  A Cry From Egypt is a great addition to any home library.


Hope Auer began writing at a young age.  She developed a passion for HIStory and storytelling throughout her school years which eventually led to her development of "The Promised Land Series".  Hope places the Lord first in her life followed closely by church and her family.  Her joy for writing definitely shows throughout her books and her love for educating children shows through too.


A Cry For Egypt is about the family of a young girl named Jarah who is a slave in Egypt in early biblical times.  Jarah and her family are torn between God himself and the Egyptian Gods and Kings of their time.  Living through the trials and tribulations of the day, Jarah's story shows children what life was like at this crucial time period in HIStory.

This story fit in well to our daily lessons and was easily implemented into our daily story time.  As a chapter book, we read it over a period of a few weeks, having a brief break for the birth of our youngest but was easily picked back up as we adjusted to his homecoming.  My children enjoyed the stories inside, learning about Jarah and her family and in turn more about Egypt.  Books like this one become classic favorites around our house.

Hope Auer wrote this wonderful historical fiction to capture the interest of the child reading it, as well as adults.  Through it she shares life, biblical ideals and the story of the Lord in a way children can understand.  This is one story you don't want to miss.

A Cry From Egypt by Hope Auer is available as an Advanced Reader Copy for $12.50 through http://acryfromegypt.com/store/.  To learn more about Raising Real Men from Hal and Melanie Young visit http://www.raisingrealmen.com/.  More reviews of A Cry From Egypt and also Children In Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship can be found on the Schoolhouse Review Blog!



*Disclaimer - A Cry From Egypt was provided to me by Great Waters Press, Raising Real Men and the Schoolhouse Review Crew for free in exchange for my honest opinion in a blog post.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Golden Prairie Press Review

  

     Heroines of the Past Bible Study by Amy Puetz is one of the best studies I have come across.  This study was created to be used with young girls to teach them more about many great Proverbs 31 women.  The stories inside help bring the Biblical aspects of Proverbs 31 women to life for young girls, teaching them along the way and helping to promote in them the goal of achieving the life of a Proverbs 31 woman for themselves.


     Heroines of the Past Bible Study covers great women like Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for nine days, Magdalena Luther and her Mother Katherine von Bora Luther, wife and daughter of Martin Luther, the famous nurse, Florence Nightingale, and many more.  Each woman has her own story of strength and survival through trials that were placed into her path.  Each show Grace and loyalty to God throughout their personal missions, helping girls to understand their own purpose and mission in life.

     Heroines of the Past Bible Study can be used in a group, such as a church study group or homeschooling group, or it can be used individually by an independent learner or along with Mom to strengthen the Mother/Daughter relationship.  The book is sectioned into weekly lessons, sharing a different story or story part throughout a 5 day week.  Some weeks cover more than one brave girl while others take more time to cover one particular girl.  Each day ends with a review of the story portion read, asking questions for thoughts to be shared, discussing biblical verses related to the story and helping the student break the thoughts from the story down and relate them into her own daily life.

     There are suggestions for lesson extras throughout the book such as the Box of Visual Reminders which a young girl can create using just a shoe box.  The student will gather the suggested item and as they work through the book they will review the items in the box remembering the lesson and story that went along with that item, allowing them to also remember how God worked in that persons life as well as his wishes for us as Christian women ourselves.

     This was such an amazing and fun study to use.  Since the stories were broken down so they weren't complicated to use or long to learn, it made learning from them fun too.  They were stories that my daughter could relate to and have helped her to understand God's wants for her, and give her strength as a blossoming young woman.  This book has helped to strengthen my little girls love for God.

     Heroines of the Past Bible Study by Amy Puetz is available through Golden Prairie Press as an eBook for $27 and it is well worth the investment.  If you'd like, a print copy is also available from Golden Prairie Press for $27 plus shipping.

     For more reviews of Heroines of the Past and other Golden Prairie Press books, please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!!



*Disclaimer - This ebook download was given to me free for review from Golden Prairie Press and the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest opinion shared in a blog review post.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Speekee Review


Speekee is an awesome way for kids to learn Spanish.  Designed for toddlers through elementary aged students, Speekee teaches children Spanish by providing lessons from children who actually speak the language naturally.  Each lesson and video is jam packed with Spanish leading to a thorough education that can't be beat.


Speekee FastTrack provides a 40 week lesson plan complete with corresponding videos, worksheets, and other extras laid out to make lessons easy for a teacher/parent to implement with any student.  Speekee FastTrack comes as a bonus for signing up to use the Speekee TV program.  Speekee is available as an online program, a school program or a DVD curriculum.

This program with it's adorable children and cute characters connects children to others like them making it easier for them to pick up on a language that could otherwise be hard and confusing to learn.  The programs structure makes it easy for toddlers and 10 year olds alike to pick up on the new language immediately.  My children themselves are ages 4, 9 and 11 and all three equally enjoyed using and learning with this program while we were reviewing it.  My youngest enjoyed the fun colors, the children, and most especially the characters in each video lesson we did.


Speekee TV with it's FastTrack program is available as a two week trial at http://www.speekee.co.uk/.  A subscription is available for $7.50 a month using PayPal or $60 for a year's subscription.  For more reviews, please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!



*Disclaimer- A subscription to Speekee TV was provided to me free for my honest opinion in a review post by Speekee and the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reading Kingdom Review


I cannot express how much I love this product!!  It is simply amazing.  When this review became open, I was unsure who I really wanted to use it with.  I thought it would be great for all three of my children but my son stood out the most since he's my struggling reader.  So, of course, I chose him to use Reading Kingdom and it's surpassed my expectations and his too.



Winston's preferred method of learning is digital through video games and websites online, videos and lots of hands-on activities to bring things to life.  He struggles with reading simply because books are boring to him. Reading Kingdom has changed all that simply by making reading fun!!



Reading Kingdom helps promote reading skills and build reading strengths by using reading games, online incentives, and progressing at a child's skill level.  Reading Kingdom teaches important skills such as sequencing, sounds, meaning, comprehension and more with it's program.  It is super easy to use.  My son was able to work through the program on his own with sound cues throughout the program prompting him to move forward in his learning.  Nothing was over his head in terms of learning either, all adapted to his skills through assessment in the beginning of the program.  Lessons are a short 15-30 minutes each, allowing a child time to adjust to things he's just learned about.





Reading Kingdom is definitely a program we will be sharing throughout the future.  It's perfect for leveled readers as well as struggling ones like mine.  It captivates the child and keeps them interested in learning to read in a fun way.  My son absolutely loved the program which says a lot to me since it's so hard for us to find a program that keeps him interested and fits his learning style.  



Reading Kingdom is available risk-free for free for 30 days.  A subscription is available for $19.99 a month or $199.99 a year for the first reader and additional readers can be added $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. Additional products are also available through the website for learning to read.



For more reviews of Reading Kingdom, please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!!



*Disclaimer - This product was provided to me free for a blog post review by Reading Kingdom and the Schoolhouse Review Crew.



Everyday Homemaking Review


A review for the Molly Crew


Members of The Old Schoolhouse's Molly Crew were given a great opportunity for our first Molly review of the year.  Everyday Homemaking offered the crew two of their amazing products: Everyday Cooking and the Everyday Family Chore System.  Both products are exceptional for homemakers and those looking to educate their children in home-keeping skills.

For my review, I chose the Everyday Family Chore System because with a new baby on the way, I knew I would need all the help I can get to maintain the house at this wonderfully busy time in our lives.  This review could not have come at a more perfect time for me and my family.  It has allowed me to set up a system that works, show my children the correct way to do things around the home, and allowed them to step up and help out, which allows them the feeling of accomplishing something all while learning important life skills.

The Everyday Family Chore System eBook was easy to use, easy to understand and easy to implement into our daily lives.  This is the second book in Vicki Bentley's Everyday Homemaking series.  The book begins by explaining who Vicki Bentley is and why she created this series for homemaking.  It continues with explanations on child training, putting a plan into action and creating the actual chore system to use in your own home.  There are How-to-Do it cards to print and use through every step with your children, as well as blank cards to print and create for your own method of doing things that need done in your home.



Though we only had a short time to review this product during a very busy and stressful time in our life, we still found it very useful and it is definitely something we will continue to build upon as we adjust to living with our new little family member in our life.  The kids enjoy the simple methods laid out through the book for organizing and cleaning.  To be honest, I did too.  The whole system was easy for us all to use.

The Everyday Family Chore System is available through www.everydayhomemaking.com for $19.99 for the print version or $17.99 for the eBook version.  There is also a companion CD available for an additional $6.  Or you can purchase both the Everyday Family Chore System plus Everyday Cooking cookbook for $34.98.

For more reviews of the Everyday Homemaking series, please visit the Molly Crew Review Blog!!!

*Disclaimer - This review was provided to me free in exchange for a blog post review from The Old Schoolhouse Molly Review Crew team and Everyday Homemaking.

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