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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Crossmaker Review & Giveaway

See the Light has come out with The Crossmaker DVD just in time for Easter. There are 3 parts to the DVD. The first part tells the Easter Story through chalk drawings. The second part is the art lessons and lastly a bonus feature including the music of Breathing Room. The Crossmaker story is recommended for ages 3 and up with the art lessons being better suited for children at least 6 years old.

This art DVD starts out with a grandfather telling the children the story of Jesus death and resurrection through the eyes of a crossmaker. We see the grandfather tell part of the story and then they show us a chalk drawing to illustrate what was just told. Gloria Kohlmann does an excellent job in portraying the Easter story through her chalk drawings.

In the Art lesson the children are taught how to make creative lettering with chalk by Heidi Shorts, chalk drawing of the Resurrection by Pat Knepley, and how to draw Calvary with mixed media by Jim Pence. The step by step directions are very easy to follow along. My girls were able to complete their artwork on their own.

My favorite part is the Bonus Feature. It is very comforting watching Gloria Kohlmann draw the Easter Story while listening to music by Breathing Room.

 Amber's first try drawing the creative lettering.

I have one copy of The Crossmaker DVD to giveaway to one of my readers. I will chose the winner on Friday morning April 8th. Leave a comment on this post for each of the following.

Mandatory Entry: Visit See the Light and let me know which product interests you the most.
Additional Entries:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Latin for Children


♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫  -O,-S, -T, -MUS, -TIS, -NT  ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫

Three little girls shopping for groceries chanting Latin present tense verb endings can cause people to stare.
I think it is wonderful because it means my kids are remembering what we have been learning.

Who would have thought learning Latin could be so easy? And fun!

Some things in school have been easy to learn and others we have to work really hard at. Classical Academic Press has made learning Latin very easy. I have been learning right along with my kids and since it is taught directly to the student it has been very easy on the teacher. We have tried other foreign languages in our school when my older kids were younger and we struggled through them. We all ended up frustrated over the programs. We haven't felt that way with Latin for Children it is very easy to use. My girls love the videos and the chant CD. They watch the DVD everyday and they listen to the chant CD while they are doing their chores. The best part is that they are remembering what we have been working on. Yesterday we were shopping at a craft store and they picked up a rubber mallet and started hammering the air saying "laboro, laborare, laboravi, laboratum" (I work, to work, I worked, worked).

We have been using Latin for Children Level A from Classical Academic Press for a couple of months. Amber age 10 and Delaney age 8 have been using the worksheets and the online activities that go along with this program. Alaina age 6 joined in for the videos and the chants. There is a suggested schedule on the Classical Academic Press website, we didn't follow it exactly. My girls like the DVD so we watched that everyday we also listened to the CD Chants several times a day. Then we would work through our worksheets in the workbook and the Activity book. We spent about 30 minutes a day on our work. The History Reader is to be started at about lesson 18, we haven't reached that point yet, but my girls like to look through it to find words that they already know.

Latin for Children Level A is recommended for anyone learning Latin from grade 3-6 and is the first of a three year series. We are using the Master Bundle which contains Primer A (textbook), Primer A Answer Key, DVDs & Chant CD, History Reader and Activity Book! The bundle price is $99.95. This program teaches grammar, vocabulary and English derivatives in a way the children enjoy and remember. The DVD and the CD contain both the Classical and the Ecclesiastical Pronunciations so you get to chose which one you want to learn.


Classical Academic Press also has free resources on their website. There are worksheet, flashcards, quizzes, and tests. Headventure Land contains online games, videos, readers, and coloring sheets separated by language and level.
I think anyone can learn or teach Latin with this program. I highly encourage you to purchase the DVD and the CD. They really help make the words come to life.

You can read what other TOS Crew members thought about learning Latin here.

As a member of TOS Crew I received the Latin for Children Level A Master Bundle from Classical Academic Press to use with my children in exchange for my review of the product.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Roundabout Winner

Congratulations!! to Sarah from My Homeschool Crew Reviews for winning my Roundabout Cupcake Sleeves. She said she liked the Graduation sleeves maybe she will stop by and let us know which one she chooses.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Big IQ Kids

Big IQ Title Banner
BigIQkids is an online program to help your kids become or stay A+ students. It is designed for students in K-8 grade and requires no parental help. The students are rewarded with game coins to use on fun strategy and educational games. As the teacher you can decide if you want to use the preloaded curriculum or if you would like to customize the lessons to go with the curriculum you already use. The material is not actually taught to the child, the lessons are individualized around the students own pace & they will not be advanced until they master the concept. Your child can benefit the most from in just 20-40 minutes a day. 

I used the Premium edition of BigIQkids with my 8 & 10 year old daughters. They both really liked this website and asked to work on it every day, they would complete at least one step for each program.The U.S. States program is their favorite and they are remembering a lot of facts about each one. The email feature for the parent/teacher is wonderful. As soon as the child completes the lesson I received an email with the results. Their enthusiasm has been so great that their 6 year old sister has been using the free option.


My girls were able to create their own BigIQBuddy. They had so much fun with this that I had to make some rules. They were not allowed to change their buddy until school was over for the day. They also loved the games and would ask to play them when school was out.BigIQkids Programs:
  • Spelling~There are 5 steps for each lesson.
    • The first step introduces the words and uses them in a sentence, the child types the word while they look at it.
    • The next step you can chose a robot practice or a spelling bee. In the spelling bee the child is on their own to spell the words. If they need a little help they should select robot practice to get help from the robot.
    • The third step can be the spelling bee or the word scramble. If the child is confident with spelling the words they can spell them in the spelling bee or if the child needs more practice they can unscramble the word given.
    • In step four the child is given a pop quiz. If they get them all correct they are added to the 100% club and can play a game. If some of the words are spelled incorrectly they have you work on the lesson again.
    • Step five is the actual spelling test and you cannot take the test until you reach the 100% club in step 4. 
  • Math~ In the math lesson you have the option of working the problems on the computer or printing it out and working it on paper. If you chose to work it on the computer the child is given a work sheet space at the side in case they need to write anything down to work the problem.
  • United States~ Each day the child will chose a state to learn about on the interactive map. There is a short lesson on that state and then the child is asked a question. They can only get credit for watching the video if they answer the question correctly. After the map the child can chose the next step, the activities are little different for each level. 
    • State Location~ You work on learning where the state is located.
    • State Spelling ~ The child spells the state that is given and they are also shown the shape of each state.
    • State Capital~ The capital is matched to the state.
    • State Abbreviations
    • State Fun Facts Game~ This game can only be played after completing viewing all 50 state interactive map lessons.
  • Vocabulary~
    • Introduction Lesson~ The words and their definitions given.
    • Matching~ The child matches the word to the definition.
    • Drag and Drop~ Each word can be picked up dropped off at the definition.
    • Synonyms and Antonyms~ The list of words appear with another word next to it & the child will chose if they are synonyms or antonyms.
    • Test~ The word is given & used in a sentence and the child will chose from a list of definitions, or they will be asked to chose the synonyms or antonym for the word.
  • Reading~There is an online book for the kids to read. While they are reading if they do not know a word they can click on it and it will be pronounced for them.
  • Vocabulary & Spelling Games~ You can create contests or enter ones already there. 
Big IQ Kids

No matter where our kids get their education BigIQkids is there to help. They give a list of 10 Steps to Better Grades so that parents can help our children learn.

There are several cost options for BigIQkids. You can use it free, pay by the month or year for individual or classrooms usage. You may also subscribe to just one subject. You can chose which option is right for you.

You can use BigIQkids for free but there are great benefits with the subscription. As a member BigIQkids monitors the progress of the child and they only move on when they have mastered the concept. The results are emailed to the parent right away (as soon as they would finish the work I would get an email with the results). The child has full access to the game page and can accumulate coins and high scores. The best part about being a Premium member is there are no ads during the lesson with very little advertisement at all.

I would recommend this program for any child.
You can read other Crew member reviews here.
As a member of TOS Crew I received a year long subscription to BigIQKids for two students in exchange for my review of their product.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Chick

In my life this week...
I only had one small anniversary cake for yesterday so I got a lot done around the house. I have 3 bags ready for the Goodwill (Amber thinks we need to have a garage sale) and I filled both of our trash containers. I can't wait for Spring Break.....I just might get rid of everything.

In our homeschool this week...
My girls are really enjoying Latin for Children. Alaina was singing the chants the entire time we were at the grocery store.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
We were gone a lot this week. We attended a wedding last weekend and got to catch up with several friends. We went to Church, piano lessons, Science class at the children's museum, History class with the homeschool kids from church, facial party for Shelby's Mary Kay business, soccer practice. Oh and I almost forgot I took the girls to The Taste of Home Cooking Show....we were busy!

My favorite thing this week was...
I cleaned out my back porch which is where we enter our house and everyone just likes to drop everything. It is great for shoes and coats, but after winter is always a mess.

What's working/not working for us...
My laundry hasn't been working! I have gotten it all washed the last couple of weeks but we are having a hard time getting it put away. We have been so busy it just sits in our baskets.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
Thinking about what curriculum we want to use for school next year. It is so much fun to look at all my choices, the hard part is trying decide which ones to buy.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Roundabouts Cupcake Sleeves Review & Giveaway

Cupcakes have become very popular over the last couple of years. They are everywhere & in every flavor for every occasion. There is one thing that all these cupcakes have in common & that is the plain cupcake liner on the bottom.

Roundabouts Cupcake Sleeves can change that. There are cupcake sleeves for birthdays, holidays, and even weddings. I had the opportunity to try the Savannah Couture Sleeves and they were so easy to use and made the cupcake look so elegant. After decorating the cupcake all you have to do is remove the adhesive backing and wrap the sleeve around the cupcake.

I used some of my cupcakes for a centerpiece on my table and they look wonderful. Everyone that has come to our house in the last couple of days loved them. The sleeves look just as good as when I first put them on my cupcakes. There were no grease marks seeping onto the sleeves because the are made with a material that is resistant to water, grease, and oily substances.

Sheri Mersola founded Moon Cherie Inc. to sell her Roundabouts after making popcorn box sleeves for her daughters birthday. There are over 70 cupcake sleeves to choose from with the newest line  the Roundabouts Couture. 

The cupcake sleeves are so easy to use, my 10 year old daughter made this one.

Now for the fun part. Moon Cherie is giving my one set of Cupcake Sleeves to giveaway. This will be winner's choice. With over 70 designs it will be hard to choose.

Mandatory Entry: Visit Roundabout Cupcake Sleeves and let me know which design you would like to win.

Extra Entries: 
  • Like Roundabouts Cupcake Sleeves on Facebook.
  • Follow me with Google Friend Connect.
  • Follow me with Networked Blogs.
A winner will be chosen on Tuesday morning March 29.

I recieved one set of 12 Savanna Cupcake Sleeves from Moon Cherie and one set of Cupcake Sleeves to giveaway to use in exchange for my review of their product.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I love to use my grill and since we have finally had some decent weather I thought I would share the dinner we grilled this week. We had Italian Season Marinated Chicken and potatoes.

5 pieces of Chicken (I like to grill with boneless, skinless chicken breast)
1 Cup of Apple juice
1 Cup of Water
Italian season (I like the Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder from McCormick)

Combine apple juice, water & about 10-15 grinds of Italian seasoning.
Let marinate for a couple of hours.
Grill til done.

6 Potatoes
1 Onion
1/4 cup butter
Large piece of aluminum foil (to create cooking pouch)

Peel and slice potatoes and onion.
Cut butter into several pieces.
Lay out foil and put several pats of butter in the center.
Layer potatoes & onions.
Add remaining butter on top of the last layer of potatoes.
Pepper to taste.
Pull up the long sides of the foil and crimp together. Fold up & crimp the other two sides to create a pouch.
Grill for about 30 min. or until potatoes are tender.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who is God?

One  reason we chose to homeschool our children is to instill Biblical truths in them. We want them to have a good foundation in the truth so they can grow up and make their own convictions based on the word of God to guide their lives.

I was very excited to receive Who is God? from Apologia. This book is first book in the What We Believe series and was written by John Hay and David Webb. It is a family-inclusive study introducing children ages 6-14 the basic truths of Christian faith. There are 10 chapters in the 252 page book. It may be purchased from Apologia for $39.00. On the Apologia website you will have access to additional resources to use along with the book. You can view all of lesson 1 here and the table of contents.
I used this book with my children ages 6, 8, and 9. We haven't finished it yet, but we have enjoyed the chapters we have completed. There is a suggested lesson plan, but we did not follow it. We read and completed different amounts each day. We printed off the extra worksheets from the website to go along with it.

My husband liked the book so much that he read several chapters at once & then tried to steal it from us to take with him on a work trip.

There is a structure to each lesson:
  • The Big Idea~ introduces the main topic.
  • What You Will Do~ states the learning objectives.
  • Short Story~ Several lessons contain stories with children about the same ages as your children.
  • Think About It~ Contains thought provoking questions that dig deeper into the short story section.
  • Words You Need to Know~ Important vocabulary words.
  • Hide It in Your Heart~ Gives two bible verses to be written into your child's notebook & should be used for memorization.
  • Integrated Learning~ Provides age-appropriate interesting articles related to the main text.
  • What Should I Do~ Teaches a godly character trait that goes with what you just learned about God.
  • Prayer~ Each chapter contains a prayer that helps the child acknowledge specific attributes to God.
  • Worldview Study~ Helps us understand how people perceive the world.
  • House of Truth~ As new concepts are learned, the foundations, walls, and roof are constructed.
My girls favorite part of the book is the short stories. They could really relate to the kids in the story and the ideas they portray. The authors did a wonderful job in teaching the message of each chapter to the kids.

As with any book we go to the Bible to see if what is being taught is biblical. In Who is God? the plan of salvation is laid out as belief, repentance. My Bible also states that we need to confess & be baptized.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10

Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12

Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. Mark 16:16

Who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:20-21

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4

Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name. Acts 22:16

You can read what other TOS Crew members thought about this book here.

As a member of TOS Crew, I received Who is God to use with my family in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I have 2 winners!!!
Each winner will receive 1 TheraBreath Toothpaste and 1 TheraBreath Fresh Breath Mouthwash. Congratulations!!!

Winner #1
BethElderton said...
I'd like to try the Throat Spray to counter-act post nasal drip

Winner #2
Blossom said...
I follow you on GFC

Thank You TheraBreath for allowing my followers to win!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blog Walk 17

With 3 inches of snow on the ground and more to come, I'm not walking outside. So won't you join me in a stroll of my fellow TOS Crew members blogs.

1. Homeschool Circus
2. Discover Their Gifts
3. The Joys of Homeschooling
4. Nicki Black A Mosaic in the Making
5. Ever After... My Way
6. Created 2B Creative
7. Wrightsboro Sonrise Center
8. Knee Deep in Grace
9. Indoor Garden Musings
10. Mom of Many Bentzs

Reading Kingdom

Teaching your child to read can sometimes be tricky, but it is the most rewarding thing to teach.

Reading Kingdom is a reading program for children ages 4-10, it teaches them how to read and write to a third grade level. Dr. Marion Blank created this program after spending 40 years studying how children learn to read and is one of the world's top experts in literacy.

Her program teaches the 6 skills needed for reading and writing success.


The Reading Kingdom philosophy says there are significant problems with reading education. Here are two reasons they give for this.
  1. For decades now, government figures show that 40% of children, across all socio-economic backgrounds, are failing to master the crucial skill of reading. (Source: US Dept. of Education)
  2. The dominant method of reading instruction - phonics, or sounding out - does not work!
I agree with them on the fact that there is a problem with the literacy rate in our country, I do not think it is because of the phonics programs. I feel that phonics plays a very important role in learning to read. I have taught all 5 of my children with a combination of phonics and sigth words. My 4 older children's reading levels are way beyond their grade level and can sound out any word that is presented to them.

I am a firm believer in teaching my kids phonics but I also teach them sight words. That is where Reading Kingdom can come into play.

The program has your child start with a Skills Survey. Through these activities, it will determine what skills your child has and does not have and will place them where they will get the greatest benefit from the program.
This program has six levels:
  1. Pre-Reading Skills- This section works on Visual Sequencing and Keyboarding Skills. In this section your child will learn to recognize individual letters in a group and get used to going in order from left to right.
  2. Level 1 teaches your child common nouns, verbs, and "helping" words. Once a group of words are learned they are given a story to read.
  3. Level 2 adds more nouns and verbs that can go with them, pronouns, additional "helping" words, and words that ask questions. 
  4. Level 3 continues adding nouns, verbs, "helping words", along with adjectives, and words that convey past tense.
  5. Level 4 introduces reading subject matter that is different from typical stories. More questions words are learned along with objects and beings from the natural words. The learned words are then used in books to convey science information.
  6. Level 5 continues to add nouns, verbs, and complex ideas. The fun stories will teach complex cause and effect relationships.
The child will not move forward until they have mastered the word. If in the periodic progress check your child shows a weakness they will be given review lessons for one to two weeks.

I used this program with Alaina who is 6 years old. She was already reading some when she started the Reading Kingdom program. We use a phonics program and introduce sight words along with it. We continued to use our phonics along with the Reading Kingdom.

She completed the Skills Survey and was placed in the Visual Sequencing and Keyboarding Skills. During this time it is very beneficial for the parent/teacher to sit with the child. This section lasted for several weeks and my daughter grew very tired of doing the same thing over and over. Sometimes the mistakes she made wasn't because she didn't know the correct answer it was because she would click or type before the instructions were finished or her attention would be on something else going on in the room when it was time to answer & she would be to slow.

When she entered level 1 she really started to like the program. She is capable of reading most of the words that she has been introduced to, but since she is reading phonetically she doesn't spell them correctly. So this reading program has helped her tremendously in her spelling. Each lesson for the day only lasts about 5 minutes. There are extra activities to do if the child wants or needs more practice. Some days Alaina would come back later in the day to work some more and it would automatically put her in the next days lesson.

Alaina has only reached level 1 so we don't have any thoughts on the next levels, but we were given a year subscription and we plan on using it the entire year. I really want to see if she gets to a 3rd grade reading level with this program.

All kids do not learn the same way, but I think every child could benefit from this program in one way or another. It would also be good for a late reader or a child that just needs extra practice.
As the child learns to type the letters they are then added to the keyboard.

The child is shone the word and then once it is gone they are asked to fill in the missing letters of the word.

On this screen the child is asked which word on the train cars can be used to spell kids.

Here the child is shown three pictures and is told to click on the picture with girls. Once the correct picture has been chosen the child has to spell the word.
This is Alaina's favorite part of Reading Kingdom.

If you would like your child to use Reading Kingdom a year subscription is $199. you can also subscribe monthly for $19.99. You may also try the program free for 1 month. They are so passionate about getting everyone to read that they offer scholarships to those who truely cannot afford the product.

Other TOS Crew members reviewed this product as well and some of them could have made it to a higher level. If you would like to read their thoughts about this product head on over to TOS Blog.
As a member of the TOS Crew I was given a year subscription to Reading Kingdom to use with Alaina in exchange for my review of their program.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Little Life hosts a Five Question Friday every week. She posts 5 questions for people to answer & I thought I would join in this time.

1. Have you ever forgotten your child in a store or at school?
2. Where did you go on your very first date? (Like...first first, not first with your spouse or current significant other!)
On my very first date I went to the see Back to the Future at the movie theatre & then to McDonald's (that was the hang out).

3. What's your "silly" fear? (We're not talking water and heights.)
I'm pretty boring, I don't have any fears. This might count.
When we lived in Japan there were these huge cockroaches & I did not like them. They would get in your house, you could kill them but it wasn't easy. If you sprayed them with Raid they would eventually die, but you wouldn't know where because they would run away. I didn't want to squish them or pick them up because they were so big and made this loud crunch when you stepped on them. So I would spray them with the foamy Basin, Tub & Tile Cleaner so they couldn't move & then I would spray them with Raid until they died. If my kids were in bed & my husband was coming home soon I would leave them for him to pick up because I was afraid they would crawl on me!

4. Confrontation: do you cause it, deal with is as it comes, or run far far away?
I have changed quit a bit over the years. At one time in my life I was very very confrontational!! Now I try to run as fast as I can.

5. Wood floors or carpet? I love wood floors, but we have carpet in some rooms.
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