Friday, September 27, 2013

See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish {Review}


Have you been looking for a simple, easy-to-use way to teach Spanish to your children?  I have and thanks to the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I finally have it!  See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish from Flip Flop Learning is the best Spanish program I have found for early Spanish introduction thus far.

Directed by Senora Gose, See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish will teach you all the basic Spanish words you could want to learn.  This program is designed to be simple without a lot of book work.  In fact, you will find most of your lessons on the four included CD's in the program.  45 complete lessons are included on the CD's and all you have to do is follow along.

The program comes with a full lesson guidebook and flash cards designed in three sets of Azul, Rojo and Verde, each representing different types of words for learning through following the program.  These cards should be kept separated with either rubberbands or ziploc baggies so they are easily located as called upon in the lessons throughout the program.

Each card is designed with a photo of the word you are learning on one side and the Spanish word, Spanish pronunciation and the English word on the backside.  Each card also includes a number to make location of the card easier and a color representing the color of the card set.  These fine details make the program even easier to use.


See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish can be completed in a year or two years as you see fit.  Lessons are to be completed at least once a week, worked through then began again so that thorough learning is completed.  The program has been created to be used with ages 3 and up so it can easily be adjusted as needed to skill level of your student.

Each lesson should take 3 days a week to complete.  Each day, the teacher or student should lay out the lesson cards to be learned through the week for that particular lesson.  On day one, students should listen to Senora Gose on the accompanying CD for that lesson.  Students should view the cards as Senora Gose goes over them on the CD.  Students should also complete sentences along with the CD and Senora Gose's vocal help, learning to correctly speak Spanish in the process.

On day two we repeat the lesson with the CD, going a bit faster since it's really just a review of day one.  On day three we complete the lesson by reading through our guidebook instead of listening to the CD.  This shows what we have learned together, ensuring that we are indeed learning our words in Spanish.  If needed, we can listen to the CD again to ensure we are speaking the words correctly but it is not necessary on day three of our lessons.

Included with See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish is a dry-erase pen and a dry-erase paddle.  This is so that students can play Pictionary with the lesson cards and review their words in a fun way.  We also used our paddle to practice writing our words both in English and Spanish.

The thing I really loved about this program is that it could be easily carried along with us.  Lessons could be listened to in the car while we traveled back and forth to doctors appointments.  We reviewed the cards while we were in the doctors office, discussing what card represented what words.  We also created sentences while waiting in the waiting rooms.  This was easily done together.

Since See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish basically repeats itself, with listening to the lessons for two days and reading the lesson aloud ourselves on the third day and it carries the words forward onto other lessons, it creates a review in itself with little book work needed.  There are crossword puzzles included for review as well.  They aren't something that young children would be able to complete but are great for older students to use to ensure they are learning the words in the lessons.

Throughout the lesson guidebook, there are many suggested ways to expand lessons.  One of our favorites is the suggestion to watch our favorite videos, only switching them to the Spanish version to see how many words we can understand.  This was fun and funny to my children.  It is something we will continue to use when learning different languages in the future.

See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish is truly amazing.  We have learned so much while using it these past few weeks.  It doesn't take a huge amount of time to complete, nor does it require a strenuous system to keep up with.  It is one program that we will definitely be continuing to use.

You can purchase See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish for $99.95 plus shipping.  It is well worth this price.  There is also an available app for purchase through iTunes that allows flashcard review of the program digitally.

To read more reviews of See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish, please click the banner below.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Cleaning

I am an opposite person.  I don't nest before babies come.  I nest afterwards, in the year after baby is born.  I don't Spring clean.  Instead, I Fall clean.  It's just how the world works for me.

So, as you can guess, with the changing of the leaves, my house has been my main focus lately.  I've been going through kids clothes, changing from Summer to Winter.  I've been working through clutter, passing on things that are no longer needed in our home.  I've been going through school things, finding permanent places for things I've been putting off.

This week alone I have sorted clothing, pulled weeds that were growing outrageously around our house, straightened drawers, cleaned kitchen counter tops, made my sink shine and the list goes on.  It feels so good to finally have my home falling into place.

With all that has been going on in our family, I feel the need to find a place for everything and put everything into it's place.  It's a process but it's getting there and nothing feels better to have a neat, clean area to come home to.

I need to sit down and set forth goals for completion of my cleaning plan.  I also need to set up school work, as with Jackson finally having control, we now have more time for school again.  I also need to work on blogging plans because, well frankly, I'm always out of ideas on what I need to write about on here.  A plan would help that tremendously, as would returning my laptop to a permanent place near my review items so I can work easier.

For the next few weeks, I know I will be catching up on those things I am behind on.  I will be planning things throughout our life, moving forward as best I can.  For now, I will do all I can manage and that's all I can do.

The Presidential Game


Democrat or Republican: You decide who you choose to play as in The Presidential Game: The Most Powerful Game in the World!  In this fun board game, students learn how voting actually works.  They must work to prove they are the best candidate for the country and earn their votes.

Through either campaigning or fundraising in each state, the team who reaches at least 270 out of 538 Electoral votes wins the game!  The Republican team is represented by Red, while the Democrats are represented in Blue.  Each team is given 150 chips each and 3 die for gameplay.  The team must roll the die to be able to choose whether they campaign or fundraise and in which states they will run!  The goal is to earn as many votes for that state as possible so that the team can claim the state at and it's votes at the end of the game.


The Presidential Game was created to help students better understand the voting process for electing our largest government official, the American President.  The game's board is made up of a map of the United States on a dark blue background.  President Washington's face graces the states that have the largest amount of Electoral votes available.  The gameboard opens to a large surface but folds down for convenient storage into a quarter of the unfolded size.  There are also tally cards inside the box, to help keep up with the game's score or you can keep up with the score online using the included access to the online WebMap.  The WebMap is simply a fun addition to add to the gameplay.

We played this game a few times and it was interesting to try out.  The kids had never considered the election process before, so it was something I had to explain to them before we began to play.  They caught on quick, each taking opposite sides.  Emma the democrat and Winston the Republican.  Republicans won many of the rounds we played.  The game itself can vary in time.  It usually took us around an hour to play.  I now catch the kids playing this game, just for fun to see who will win!


The Presidential Game: The Most Powerful Game in the World is available for purchase for $35.00, plus shipping.  It is designed to be used with students ages 11 and up but my 10 year old was able to play it very well.

For more reviews of The Presidential Game, please click the banner below!


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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A New Crew Year Is Coming!


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For those of you who are interested in joining the TOS Homeschool Crew, applications for the new year beginning in January 2014 will start in October. There are several requirements to joining the crew which you should begin preparing for now:

* An active blog with a minimum of 50 public followers and actively use one social media platform--and be willing to post review links to same.
* Must blog at least once every week.
* Homeschool all or some of their children.
* Must be willing to actively use products with their children for a period of six weeks; review their experiences, and post reviews to their blogs within the due date window.
* Reviewers must be willing to use our private forum, check in each day, Monday through Friday, and respond to vendor forms.
* Take their responsibility to their readers and to the vendors seriously. This is a job and does require work, time, effort, and a heart for your readers and the vendors!

Start with these things and stay tuned for more information on the crew to come soon!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures {Review}


Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures written by Gwen Toliver shares the stories of missionaries from around the world.  Stories from Indonesia to Peru these stories share adventures, trials, triumphs and even the failures of 21 different missionaries and how God touched their hearts and worked through them to help others.  Seed Sowers is more than a book, it's a ministry in itself and a must read for those who wish to learn modern stories of God's miracles in today's world.


The people of these stories will tell you that the ministries within are stories of God, not of their doing, but brought through them to glorify God in His works.  They are only the messengers and workers for God Himself and they are thankful for the gift that has been bestowed upon them through the missions they have lived through.  Even in the ugliest of situations, like coming face to face with the terrors of the jungles, God's will always came shining through.


Throughout this book, you will find the interviews of many, their personal stories shared for you.  Amazing people who spent years in the mission fields, bringing the Gospel to millions, committed to gifting God's word to those who needed it most, no matter what the costs.


The book itself is made up of a Foreword, Preface, 21 personal stories shared in separate chapters, an Afterword, two Appendixes and a Bibliography.  180 pages of the Lord's work all in one book.  The 21 different chapters share the amazing challenges faced by 21 different persons and families, led by God to share His Love and work with others.  The stories of great men and women like Jim and Gloria Wroughton, Glen and Emily Stairs, George Cowan, Betty Snell, and Karl and Joice Franklin, just to name a few.  Stories of teaching and giving, overcoming and sharing an immense faith in God like no other, watching as God's Love spread to others who knew little to nothing of Him.


Seed Sowers is available for purchase for $13.95 softback, $30.95 for Hardback and $3.99 on Kindle.  It is available through Grace and Truth books.  This book can be used as a read-aloud or for independent reading for children in 6th grade and up!  It would also make a great study for churches interested in learning more about missionary stories in their lessons.

To read more reviews of Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures, please click on the link below.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Dreams and Prayers {Epilepsy Awareness}


Like most Momma's, I have big dreams every time one of my babies are born.  It was no different with Jackson.

Like most Momma's, my thoughts were not on him being sick - that was a mild thought in the back of my mind - what if he has Epilepsy too, like my girls, but I never thought it would actually happen.  Then it did.

Right now, Jackson's only a baby but I can see him grown, big as his Daddy or bigger, reaching at least 6'4 with blue green eyes like mine and a wide smile.  I can see his huge feet, that can fill his Daddy's shoes, and his hands large enough for hard work, but gentle in love.  I can see him loving the outdoors - he already does - and working hard like his Daddy, Grumpy and two Papas before him.  I can see his Daddy teaching him to shoot his bow, his gun and also see him nailing a deer on his first "real" hunt.

I can see all of these things clear as day, but I know they are not promised by God.  The reality is that he may never reach the age for me to see these things.  Epilepsy is a thief that sneaks in and attacks without notice and takes those we love in the blink of an eye.  Jackson's lack of control puts him at higher risk for this, doubles his risk for SUDEP - Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.

Right now, we are evening out on treatment.  The Phenobarbital is his 6th drug in two months but his 3rd specifically to control the Epilepsy.  So far it's working.  He's been on this medicine a week and a half and he has had two seizures that lasted less than a minute each, with no after effects.  He's had a few mild absence, too but they lasted less than 30 seconds each.  This is a huge change from weekly - sometimes more often - Tonic Clonics (Gran Mals) we were seeing in him.  He can even tantrum and he comes out without seizing first.

I'm thankful for these changes.  I'm thankful we have control.  I'm thankful for answered prayers.  But I am not naive enough to believe that we will never face these things again.  Medicines become outgrown, treatments begin to fail.  At this point, I can only pray this doesn't happen, pray that treatment continues to work and continue to enjoy the days that God has blessed me with, with my children.

I will never forget the fear I felt in seeing my baby without breath, struggling for life.  Neither will his brother and sisters.  But we have a faith in God that He will bless our Jackson and our Laycie, that He will allow them to share our life, our days for a while longer and that I will someday see my boy filling those shoes of his Daddy and see all of my sweet babies living their life seizure free.  Prayer does miraculous things!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September Update: Just a post of where we are!


I haven't been blogging much this month.  I've actually been enjoying a little time off.  The weather is gorgeous and it's inspired me to do a little Fall cleaning around my house.  By the time I wrap up my daily to-do's around the house, I'm really too tired to be inspired to do much online past my reviews and a quick check-in.

Last year, when I as pregnant, I wasn't into housekeeping much so the house is a real disaster but that's ok!  It's only one season of our life and it passes so quickly.  Then there is the demand of keeping up with a baby, and his siblings - readjusting schedules, homeschooling through and watching him and them learn and grow.  It doesn't allot for a lot of homekeeping time there either.

Add in the baby having reflux, food allergies and Epilepsy on top of it and my time diminishes even more.  Now that he's a year old, and his reflux, food allergies and Epilepsy are somewhat under control leaves me time to catch up on the things I've been putting off.

Last week, I emptied an entire box that's just been piling in my house for four years.  This box was full of my paints, my brushes and anything else related to my hand-painting crafts.  This hobby of mine was sadly neglected and not organized at all but now all those paints are stored behind my bedroom door in an over the door shoe organizer and it works for now.  I can see the bright colors which I attempted to sort them into.  I still don't have a permanent home for the brushes but small steps will get me there.  I want a rolling drawer cart in the classroom so they will either go there or in my cubbies under my kitchen table where I now store my hobby items and review things.

This week, I've been catching up on work that should have been completed months ago but couldn't be since Jackson was sick.  I've also been going through clothes from the building that have piled up.  I missed two whole boxes of 6-9 months clothing for Jackson because I didn't have time to get out there while he was sick.  Those will now be sold to buy him new clothes in his size, which adds another thing to my must get done list.

I've also be reorganizing things throughout the house to make it better work for us and printing things in prep for school lessons.  I just purchased a great set of Eeboo All Around the World Alphabet Wall Cards second hand from Sam @ Sam's Noggin.  I plan to use them with Laycie this year.  I know she's really going to love those!

We also have our set of Touch Math that we will continue to work through with Laycie this year.  She really loves the hands on uniqueness of this program.  It really works well for her.  She will also continue to use her Logic of English curriculum that we reviewed last week.  Another program that she really loves!

For the next few weeks, I plan to clean, clean, clean and organize, organize, organize!  I will do my best to update when I can.  I have a few plans for the blog, too, that I can hardly wait to put to work.

But for now it's just going to have to wait.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bash and the Pirate Pig {Review and Giveaway}


Burton Cole
Publisher: BHKids
Paper Over Board
$12.99
Available in stores now!

Meet Sebastian HingleHobb.  He's also known as Bash.  He's Raymond Boxby's cousin and he's, well, something else!  But totally in a good way.

Bash is known for his quirky escapades and his outrageous experiments.  He nicknames everything, even Raymond aka Beamer.  He enjoys riding cows and trying to make his friends fly by covering them with Fly Tape.  There's never a dull moment with Bash around!

In Bash and the Pirate Pig, Raymond "Beamer" Boxby is sent to spend the summer with Sebastian "Bash" HingleHobb.  Raymond's parents feel spending the summer on a spacious farm will be much better than spending it with his nose stuck in comic books and video games.  Raymond would rather not but when the parents say go, what choice does he have but to go.  Bash opens Raymond's eyes to a whole new world, creating experiences and memories that both Raymond and Bash will never forget.

Through the book, Bash teaches Raymond wise lessons from inside his "Farmin' and Fishin' Book" also known as the Bible.  These are lessons that Raymond doesn't always get at home but he learns to enjoy thanks to his cousin's zany adventures.  They are great lessons that every child can enjoy.

You can purchase Bash and the Pirate Pig online or in stores for $12.99.   This is a book our family truly enjoyed and yours will too!

 You can view more BHKids books online at http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com.

To WIN a copy of Bash and the Pirate Pig for your own child, please fill out the RaffleCopter form below!

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*Disclaimer - I received a copy of Bash and the Pirate Pig free in exchange for my honest opinion shared in a review from BHKids and FlyBy Promotions.  I'm including this disclaimer in accordance with FTC guidelines and regulations.

Monday, September 16, 2013

People Keys: Student Binder {Review}


If you've read the title of this post, then you are probably wondering just what are PeopleKeys?  PeopleKeys is a program that has been created to help unlock the potential of every human being who uses it.  Through a series of booklets, PeopleKeys helps you better understand you.

Designed to be used individually, by an employer, or a school system, PeopleKeys provides a thorough program for discovering how you work and who you are as an individual.  This allows you and your employer to figure out if a career is right for you.  This also allows you to find a career that truly fits who you are!

With PeopleKeys, you can learn more about a particular DISC style through the purchase of individual booklets or through the StudentKeys Student Binder.  The StudentKeys Student Binder provides a complete study of your DISC style and how these work for you, personally.  Using the StudentKeys Student Binder provides a full report to help you better yourself.


DISC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientious.  Dominance shows how headstrong, stubborn and productive you are.  Influence focuses upon how talkative, excited and how much of a charmer you may be.  Steadiness helps you discover how dependable you are, how well you listen and how loyal you can be.  Conscientious helps you find out how organized and detailed you really are.  Together these four things help you find just how well you really work.

Learning how DISC works, helps you make it work better for you!  You can learn to strengthen individual skills and build upon weaknesses in yourself.  You can learn to set goals that help you to work towards a better you.  You can find out what best motivates you.  You can cultivate your strengths and weaknesses to work best for your life.

I must admit, this is not my first time seeing or using PeopleKeys.  This program was first introduced to me when I was in High School through our Guidance Counselor.  It was provided to help prepare our student body for better careers and to help us better understand ourselves individually.  I found it very helpful at the time, though I do remember wondering why in the world I needed to know these things about myself.  From what I remember, not a lot has changed since High School as far as my results go.  I didn't find that at all surprising.

Through the 6 booklets inside the PeopleKeys StudentKeys Student Binder, I have discovered that my behavioral style is a DI.  My skills focus on Dominance and Influence in style.  I am a good problem solver, have a strong ego, and motivate others but I am also short tempered, argumentative, and I like to overstep authority.  All of those things are very true about myself.  I am also very persuasive and optimistic, talkative, trusting and emotional but I'm not organized and I am inattentive to details.  All very accurate for me.

I prefer to do things the quick and fun way!

I was a bit thrown off by my learning style results.  I've always considered myself to be visual in learning.  I prefer to see things over hearing them, though I like to combine the two.  According to my results from the booklet though, I am a Kinesthetic, hands-on learner.  I learn better when I can actively do something and feel it as I process it.

Learning this, I have to say I agree.  I feel best about myself when I see the results of a project finished.  Like with organizing my home, I don't feel accomplished and I am not able to imagine a finished area until I actually jump in, get to work, and see the finished results for myself.  It's the same in homeschooling my children.  I enjoy working through our projects together, digging in and completing something over simply reading it and imagining the result.  I really think my children take after me in this or maybe my motivational skills simply help them to jump in and follow along!


Through the Cognitive Thinking workbook, I discovered that I am a Literal Thinker.  I'm a dedicated worker, genuine, traditional and steady.  I disagree with organized part but truly, for the most part, I am very organized though I rarely put it into action.  I see bits and pieces of the other thinking in myself and that's ok because those things are what make me the individual that I am.

As a Literal Thinker, I view things literally and take them at their worth, no more and no less.  I look at things as being useful or not.  I prefer rewards I know exist such as new dry erase markers for organizing the room the board is in or a new laminator for completing printables that are needed for school.  I also prefer to have a dinner out after a long week, as a reward for cooking and being Mom all week.

In the Value Style workbook, I learned that I am a Loyal person.  I like to work towards the greater good.  I don't like to lose the respect of others.  I try to correct situations that others have failed in.  I expect the same amount of loyalty to be given to me in return as I give.  I prefer to work in a non-dramatic, cooperative group setting.  I am also extremely protective of my personal life and my individual beliefs.  I believe these things work greatly in my favor as a person.


For occupational style, I found myself to be influencing by the results of the test.  I am creative and inspiring.  I'm also a very verbal person who enjoys being encouraging.  I like to help solve conflict, though I often find myself in the midst of it unexpectedly.

My favorite workbook and the one I probably needed the most from this binder, is the Goal Setting workbook.  Throughout high school, I was taught how to plan and set goals for myself but since I've been out of school, this has been a real struggle for me.  I become overwhelmed with setting goals and lax in making them happen.  I become disappointed when goals that are set are not reached within a certain amount of time and I cannot see tangible results in my work towards them.  I give up quickly.

Through the Goal Setting workbook, I was reminded of tips and tricks to make goal setting work for me.  I was reminded of how to set goals, update and revise them, prioritize my goals, allow time for their completion and measure my progress accordingly.  I believe this is a booklet we could all benefit from, unless, of course, you are a super goal setter!

Through the Goal Setting workbook, I was able to set some individual goals for myself for personal reasons, homeschooling and leisure.  I will now be able to break these goals down into smaller portions so that I can easily complete them following a plan that works for me.  I also know how to reevaluate and adjust my goals as I work towards them, giving more time as needed or putting a boot in my butt to get moving if necessary.

Through the PeopleKeys StudentKeys Student Binder, I have learned so much about myself as an individual.  Some of it was a reminder of things I already knew from using this program before but it was definitely a reminder that I needed for myself.  The StudentKeys Student Binder has been helpful in allowing me to rediscover a me that had somehow gotten lost in the shuffle of life along the way.  It is something I plan to return to in the future and also use with each of my children to help them learn who they are and develop a better understanding of how they work best as an individual.

The StudentKeys Student Binder is available from PeopleKeys for $49 and is well worth the investment.  This binder can be used with children or adults.  I recommend this binder for middle school age and up, though there is also a Children's profile available through PeopleKeys for younger students.  I personally used this binder for myself only at this time.

To read more reviews of PeopleKeys and their wonderful workbooks, please click the banner below!

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Logic of English: Foundations A {Review}


Logic of English teaches children to read, write and spell through multiple sensory techniques.  Through the use of Logic of English curriculum, children learn to master the English language with little trouble.  Beginning with phonemic awareness and building strong reading skills, this program works to teach children to read, write and spell from the very beginning.

Logic of English Foundations Level A was created as a beginning program to introduce the letters and sounds of the alphabet, as well as blending and word decoding.  Writing is taught from the very beginning through this program too.  Children can learn to write the lower case alphabet using either manuscript or cursive as the parent chooses.  


There are 40 lessons taught in Foundations A.  8 assessments help to ensure the child is learning what's necessary within the program and the review keeps the lessons fresh.  22 phonemic awareness, 28 phonogram and various other games keep the lessons fun and give the child a way to make learning real.  

Teacher training videos are available online to help you prepare for teaching and better learn to use the Logic of English program and Foundations A.  These videos cover various subjects that are meant to help you better understand the program.  After the introductory video, there are 10 sections which you can view to learn how it all works.  There is also a Training Manual available to download to go along with these videos.

The Foundations A Teacher's Manual is a hardcover book, with the fun Foundations A image of a Dragon towering over a castle talking to an adorable bug.  The manual begins with a Scope and Sequence of all 40 lessons for this portion of the Logic of English program.  This allows you to look ahead and see what is taught when in the program, to prep ahead and to keep up with standards as needed through the program.

The next section of the Teacher's Manual covers what supplies are needed for using the program, speech tips for learning the techniques and sounds used in the program, how to use review lessons and much more.  This section also discusses whether or not to use Manuscript or Cursive in teaching writing to young children.  This is something that is completely up to the parent, but this section explains why to use these fonts.

Terms used throughout the book are also covered in this section so that the parent has a better understanding of each of the terms used before reading them in the Teacher's Manual.  This is yet another way Logic of English has thought ahead to prepare you, the teacher, for using this program.  After these brief sections, you jump right into the lessons.  A Phonogram Chart is found at the beginning of Lesson 1 and an Index can be found at the end of the book for easy search.  

Each lesson begins with a list of the lesson's objectives, along with what materials are needed to complete the lesson.  Teacher Tips are included on each page to help you expand lessons and help children learn the importance of each lesson taught.  There are also multi-sensory tips throughout to expand the lessons outside of the book.  Vocabulary and Book List suggestions are other ways shown in the Teacher's Manual to expand the lessons.

For this program, I chose Manuscript as our writing font.  Our Foundations A Workbook came in Manuscript to allow us to concentrate on this font as we worked through our lessons.  The cover of this workbook complements the Teacher's Manual with an image of the same Dragon and Bug writing their Alphabet in blocks with chalk together.

Inside the Foundations A Manuscript Workbook are color-filled pages for each lesson that build phonemic awareness in print.  There are also plenty of opportunity for writing, beginning with Lesson 1.  The lesson games are also found within this book.  Lesson readers are found in the back of the book and can be removed for easier use.

Additionally, you can purchase a dry-erase board from Logic of English which is pre-lined to encourage better writing skills.  One side of this oversized dry-erase board provides a Handwriting Chart while the other side contains several lines for writing and practicing handwriting skills off of paper.  This is a fun way to expand lessons and can be used in many ways.  

The Rhythm of Handwriting Lowercase Letters Manuscript Chart also helps to encourage better writing.  Use this chart as a guide to help you explain the formation of each letter stroke to your child.  The chart breaks the steps down to make this easy to explain for you.  This chart also includes a list of Steps to Teaching Handwriting that are very helpful in advising handwriting skills.

Also included for us to use with this program were Phonogram Game Cards.  These come in Blue Bookface and Red Manuscript.  This game is included to help ensure phonemic awareness and encourage using the correct sounds when learning to read.  This game is a great way to get children thinking and reacting to the sounds the words make.  The cards are the perfect size for little hands to use too.

Another inclusion in our program are the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards.  These cards provide the phonogram sound on one side and how to pronounce the sound, along with words that use the sound on the back of the card.  This helps you, the parent, to know what the sound is and provides words that the child and you can relate to the sound as you cover each one.  This is a great way to learn these sounds and also get your child thinking about words that use the sounds discussed in a lesson.

My favorite part of the program extras has to be the Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Tactile Cards.  These cards have been created to teach children the strokes needed to write in Manuscript form.  They don't just teach the child the letter itself though, but instead breaks the strokes down first so the child can get the hang of making that line shape before using it in a letter or word.  

The best thing is these cards have TEXTURE.  Your child can TOUCH and FEEL the line or letter shape and not just see it.  This helps the brain relate to the letter, allowing the child to better understand how it's written verses just seeing it in writing.

These cards include Lowercase, Uppercase, Numbers and Strokes so one set is all you need.  They are large enough to hang them where a child can see them across a room but not overly large where they can't hold them and feel them as they learn.  The back of each card also explains the process needed to complete the letter or stroke providing another easy way to explain the writing process to your child.


Last but not least, we were also given access to the Logic of English Phonograms App.  This app is yet another way to practice the sounds of the letters.  It's easy to use and provides 10 guided levels for learning Phonemic sounds.  It can be used by multiple users and tracks student progress easily.  This is a great tool to use along with the program at a great price of $2.99 at time of this review.

We've only been using Logic of English Foundations Level A for a few weeks and because of Jax being sick, we haven't used it exactly as planned.  We have only been able to work through when we can, but trust me, Laycie has made sure Momma does her schoolwork for this program several days a week.  She LOVES it.  
She enjoys practicing her writing on the dry-erase board, which we write on together.  This also promotes bonding time between her and I, which is limited with a sick baby brother these days.  The lessons are short and easy to complete together.  I've even had her sister teach her one or two, always checking behind that the work is done right and discussing what she was taught together.

She enjoys completing the colorful workbook pages and is so proud when she gets them right, which is very often.  She also loves loves loves the texture cards.  She's a very hands-on little girl and loves to feel things as she processes them, so they work amazingly for her.

She wasn't thrilled with the Phonogram App but I really feel she's simply not ready for that yet.  I think as she becomes strong in letter sounds, she will enjoy using it but at this time, it only frustrates her.  Her big sister played it a little while but she fizzed out from boredom as she has already mastered those skills.  It's been helpful to big brother though, who often needs extra review when it comes to reading skills.

Overall, this program is amazing and one we will most likely continue to use.  The price for the complete program is reasonable.  You can purchase Foundations Levels A and B together for $193.50.  Foundations is for younger students just learning to read.  I'd consider this program to be Kindergarten level, though some preschoolers will also do well with it.  Struggling readers will also benefit from using Foundations.

 We only used Foundations Level A for our review and the cost break down for it is as follows:

Teacher Manual: $34.20, available in print or PDF
Manuscript Student Workbook: $16.20, also availabe in Print or PDF or in Cursive for the same price.
Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript Tactile Cards: $25.20, available in cursive for the same price.
Manuscript Handwriting Quick Reference Chart: $9.00, also in cursive for the same price.
Phonogram Game Cards, Red Manuscript: $9.00, also in Green Cursive for the same price.
Phonogram Game Cards, Blue Bookface: $9.00
Basic Phonogram Flashcards: $16.20
Student Whiteboard: $10.80

The Logic of English Phonogram App is available for purchase through iTunes for $2.99.

Additionally, you can purchase Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book Of Sounds for $13.50 but this was not included in our set of Foundations Level A for review.

To read more reviews of Logic of English, please click the banner below!


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time4Learning {Review}


If you're a homeschooler then you've probably heard of the wonderful website, Time4Learning.  Time4Learning provides easy to use curriculum for children in grades Pre-K through 12th at a reasonable price.  Time4Learning isn't just for homeschoolers but can be used for afterschool and Summer Skills a like.

Time4Learning provides one place to find curriculum for your students.  This program is completely online, so all you need to do is log in and set up your account to get started.  This is a very easy process.  You can then set up your student accounts and set lessons for each of them.

Time4Learning can be used with multiple student accounts in various grade levels but each student must have their own account to use the program.  This is easily set up within the Parent Account though.  Just go to Add Students to do so.

The Parent Account is easily navigated.  It provides a Start Here: How to Begin area that explains Time4Learning in full detail.  This navigates you through the planning process.  You can skip this and go straight to planning by clicking on Lesson Previewing and Planning though.

You can edit your student's information at any time, changing grade level, creating printouts of work completed, adding and deleting lessons as needed.  There is also the option of setting up a timer to help students work efficiently in Time4Learning.


Time4Learning provides a full scope and sequence for lessons for Parent's to view right on the website in your Parent Account.  This allows you to see what your student is learning and how it relates to the Standards set by the United States.  Just click on the lessons for your students appropriate grade level to find more information about what your child is learning.

Another great thing about Time4Learning is that you can pull up a complete spelling list for your students, a language arts reading list appropriate to the grade level, and a supply list for your students science lessons.  This helps you, the parent, prepare for learning ahead of time.


For our review, we used Time4Learning's Preschool level.  To log into the lower grade levels, I was able to set up our account with my child's first and last name, along with a simple password that she can remember.  This makes it easier for the child to log into the program.

Once inside the program, Laycie met Ed Mouse, the educational mouse.  She really likes Ed.  He's a bright blue color and full of energy like Laycie is!  You can see at the top of this review. 

Once Ed finishes his intro, Laycie was able to click through to work on all kinds of fun things.  Time4Learning covers colors, shapes, weather, numbers, rhymes, feelings and so so much more.  The program then breaks each topic down into a storybook, games and writing to teach children about each of these important subjects and skills.


There are two levels in Pre-K: Level One and Level Two.  Level one is very simple and not too overwhelming though Laycie was a little overwhelmed at all their was to choose from.  We like to keep things simple and Time4Learning provides so many choices at once that she didn't enjoy it as much.

Level Two is a little bit more challenging for older preschool students.  In Level 2, students learn about seasons, color mixing, healthy habits, more about numbers and themselves and even more.  Both levels cover ABC's, of course.  Since Laycie wasn't impressed with Level 1, we didn't make it to Level 2.

Laycie is a very hands-on child.  She prefers to learn at the table doing projects to the computer, as I've recently come to realize.  She does enjoy computer time but has specific games that she is set on playing and Time4Learning wasn't something she was really into, so it wasn't a great fit for us.  It would be a great fit for my 12 year old son though who greatly enjoys any learning on the computer.  It may also become a better fit for Laycie as she ages and learns to sit still for longer periods of time with less physical activity needing to be involved for her learning style.

If your child really enjoys online learning or computer time, they will enjoy using Time4Learning.  This is a great program for parents who have previously used online programming for homeschooling.  Many parents use Time4Learning as a supplemental program to their normal educational style.  The program is also designed to be used as an afterschool and summertime supplement for Public School students.  

Time4Learning is very easy to use and is available for one low price of $19.95 per student per month.  Additional students can be added for $14.95 per student per month.  This gives all students 24/7 access to the online learning program throughout the month.  Grade levels can be adjusted accordingly at any time and membership can be stopped at any time as well.  There is also a 14 day money-back gaurantee if for any reason you are not satisfied in the program.

To read more reviews in various grade levels for Time4Learning, please click the banner below!!

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Another Seizure Update


These days I feel like I am just floating through.  My mornings are filled with watching Laycie, making sure she sleeps long enough to keep the seizures away.  My afternoons are spent waiting and watching for Jackson next seizure.

We are stuck in limbo... waiting.  There is nothing to do to prevent them at this time.  There is no way to know what will happen next.

Because Jackson was on so many medications last month, he needs a brief detox before starting the next one: Phenobarbital.  He will start the new medicine this coming Friday but until then he will be on Klonopin while we give his body time to adjust from the last medicine.

This makes 6 medicines in less than a month that have been absorbed into my sweet boys bloodline.  I don't even want to think about how this has effected him and pray that it really hasn't.  I also pray that the Phenobarbital is the last drug for at least the next year for him.

I'm thankful that my sweet Laycie has remained controlled during this time though things are far from perfect with her.  She's lethargic in comparison to her normal self.  She's picky when eating.  She melts down mid afternoon.  But there are no seizures, save a few mild twitches through the night.

So this is where we are at.  God is surely holding me up, because I don't know how I manage to make it through the seizure every few nights right now.  I'm afraid to leave the house for him seizing.  I'll be so thrilled when we have control again.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Greene Bark Press {Review}


Greene Bark Press, Inc. specializes in original books that expand the imaginations of young readers.  They believe that in this digital age, it's still important to provide children with solid, colorful books that allow children to grow and learn.  They believe books should capture a child's attention.


Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again features the adorable Wally Waddlewater.  Wally wants to find a mailbox to send a birthday card to his Grandmother.  Through this book, Wally learns how to safely cross the road with rules.

This 26 page board book is full of color and detail.  Designed for ages 3-8, the words found in the book are challenging for the age group and easy to follow along.  The story itself teaches children the rules of street safety, showing them how to safely cross the road.  It also teaches safety in crossing train tracks and other important outdoor areas.

This was a wonderful book.  I wanted it specifically to share with Laycie since, out here in the boondocks, we don't have many roads for her to cross.  Street safety is something she really needed to learn since she can be very impulsive and what better way to learn than with this adorable book about one of her favorite animals: a duck!  She absolutely loved Wally Waddlewater and now she knows how to safely cross both the road, the parking lot and the train track.

We were able to practice the lesson we learned in this book by crossing our driveway.  We made sure to Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again as we did it, just like Wally Waddlewater did in the pages of the book!  She loved being able to reenact the story in this way and verified she had learned the lesson provided in the book.

Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again is available from Greene Bark Press, Inc for $8.50 plus shipping.  It is a boardbook written by Ginger Pate.

To read more reviews for Greene Bark Press, Inc., please click the banner below.


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