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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree Review #hsreviews #readingsupplement #readingapp #readinggame

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review
Last year my girls played Orphs of the Woodland game for the computer & they were excited to receive the new story. This time they have been playing Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree from StarToaster in an app.

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree is not just a game it is actually an interactive chapter book and game for children ages 9-11. The story is divided into 23 chapters and covers math, science, grammar, vocabulary, arts, character, and thinking & life skills. After reading a chapter the child can go to work in Stumptown with Job Training. Some of the Job Training is video clips or something else to learn. Next they can look at the Help Wanted section to answer questions about what they learned in the chapter by clicking the highlighted words or from the Job Training.

Tangletree is about a flying squirrel named Abba. He takes care of orphaned animals called Orphs. They live a tree house in the woods and they leave each other notes in a secret place in a tree. The child that is playing the game must earn stars to buy the Orphs things they need like water, nuts, clothes, and more. The stars are earned by answering the Job Training multiple choice questions correctly. If the student chooses the wrong answer they are just told it is incorrect and they do not receive any stars.

Vocabulary words are highlighted throughout the book and you can click on them to read the definitions or some have a short video clip that tells you more about that word. For example the homonyms foul and fowl are used and if you click on one of them you get the definition for both of them as well as the definition of homonyms and there are also other examples of the homonyms. One video clip was for thunder and it goes over a little science lesson for the child. There are also jokes included in the video clips and on the definition pages.
Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review
Multiple kids can use the app at the same time by creating their own user name. You can also access the account to each user. Here you can see what subjects have been studied so far, and their progress. It shows how many lessons were completed, how many jobs were finished, how many pages have been read, and how many stars have been earned. You can also view the table of contents or download Art for offline reading.
Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review
StarToaster believes in being lifelong learners and that there are learning opportunities everywhere. They developed their products not only for children to learn from but they also want to instill positive character traits in them while they are learning.

Alaina is 11 and she was the main kid to use the Tangletree app. Amber also created herself a user name, but she didn't play as much because it is geared for younger children. We just wanted to see how it would work with multiple users and I know you can use it with up to twelve. Alaina likes the story in Tangletree and earning stars so she can help the Orphs. She thought the story should be longer and she actually thought some of the questions were too obvious. She is on the high end of the recommended ages, but some of the multiple choice questions were so obvious. It was basically pick the only one that wasn't silly. I really like the interactive part of the story. Adding grammar in with the definitions is a great way to help kids remember it. This is a great interactive story book that would be perfect for younger kids or struggling readers.

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree is an app available through iTunes. It will only run on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running ios 8.4 or later.

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Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament U16 Champions #lovesoccer #soccerwin

I love to watch my daughter's soccer team play especially when they are playing well together. This past weekend we played in the U16 Silver division at the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament. The girls didn't play very well on Friday, but they made up for it on Saturday & Sunday. We ended up taking first place & the girls played very well and the games were great to watch.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Heirloom Audio Beric the Briton Review #hsreviews #HeirloomAudio #BericTheBriton #LiveTheAdventure #BringingHentyBack #AudioAdventures

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review
Heirloom Audio Productions are such a hit at our house that my girls will ask me at least once a month if the next G.A. Henty audio drama has been released. Beric The Briton is the newest Extraordinary Adventure of G.A. Henty and it is just as good as the previous titles.

We received our copy of Beric the Briton at the perfect time. We were leaving for Indiana in two more days and this would make the time go by more quickly in the car any way. I wouldn't let the girls listen to it at home and it was torture on me to here them beg to listen to it before we left.

Beric the Briton Audio Drama is an adaption of G.A. Henty's book by the same name and tells the story of the Roman Invasion. Beric is a Briton chieftain that ruled during the reign of Roman Emperor Nero. Beric brought his men together to fight as a united legion. After the Romans whipped the tribal queen Boadicea the training paid off. They formed a rebellion with other Britons to go against the Romans. Later after Beric is taken captive he is forced into gladiator training but refuses to fight just for the amusement of others. In this story we not only see the battles, gladiators fighting and the burning of Rome but we also see noble people who uphold chivalry by standing up and fighting for the women. When Beric starts hearing about a man named Christus he starts thinking about his beliefs.

Heirloom Audio Productions has once again made a wonderful audio drama. The people chosen for the voices are perfect for each part. The background sounds and music envelope you and make you feel like you are part of the story. The excitement while the swords are clashing during the battle and the compassion shown for the women in the story can be felt.

Beric the Briton audio is over two hours long and is on two Cds. Along with the audio drama Heirloom Audio has a study guide with discussion and other extras items to get the most out of the story. We received Beric the Briton MP3 set, Beric the Briton e-book, the Official Soundtrack, Beric the Briton Study Guide with Discussion, Printable Cast Poster, Inspiration Verse poster, Live the Adventure e-newsletter, and a Behind the Scenes Video.

The colorful Study Guide is beautiful and very easy to use. There are short biographies for G.A. Henty, Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, and Queen Boadicea. There is a study page for each track on the CD and the exact spot on the CD is included at the top of the page to help you find the exact spot on the recording. Each page includes three sections. The Listening Well sections includes questions about the story segment, the Thinking Further section has the listener thinking and drawing conclusions, and Defining Words helps you expand your vocabulary. At the end of the study is Historical Information on Beric the Briton, a list of recommended resources, the Significance of the Colosseum in Christianity, and three bible studies.

We all listened to Beric the Briton in the car for pure enjoyment and the make the time go by faster on our trip. After we got home we listened to it several more times while we were doing our chores around the house. I decided not to print the study guide, but we used it more for discussion. We read and answered the questions out loud together. I love that the track information for the CD is included at the top. It was very easy to go back and listen to anything we were unsure of.

We own every Extraordinary Adventure of G.A. Henty from Heirloom Audio Productions and we will keep adding to our collection as they are produced. Beric the Briton is one of my favorites so far. I really like that it shows how Beric is being told about Christus. It really puts World History and Biblical History together in a way that you can see how they tie together.

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

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Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lexington Youth Camp 2016

My girls are growing up way to fast. When I am around them everyday I don't realize just how fast. But then they go to camp and someone sends me a couple of pictures of them while they are enjoying their time there & they look so much more grown up. Where does the time go?

The Power in Your Hands Review #hsreviews #highschoolwriting #writingcurriculum

Writing with Sharon Watson Review
Last year we had the opportunity to review Illuminating Literature from Writing with Sharon Watson. I was so impressed with it that when the Crew was offered The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School 2nd Edition from Writing With Sharon Watson I knew we wanted to use this as well. 

Right now I have one high school student that loves to write and I have one who only writes when I make her. Delaney is my writer and I wanted her to use The Power in Your Hands so she can make the most out of her writing. She writes way more than I can keep up with and I want her to become the best writer she possibly can without the limitations of me. After receiving the book and Delaney got started I realized Amber really needs to use this course. 
We received The Power in Your Hands 2nd Edition and the Teacher's Guide. There are 23 chapters with 117 daily lessons that are written in a conversation style directed to the student. There is very little prep work for the teacher and this course can be used in a classroom, co-op, or homeschool with different levels of writing experience.

Students will learn to write essays, reports, articles, and narratives while learning to be their own editors. The book also goes over an interview process and how to write emails, devotionals, newspaper writing, and letters of condolence and thanks. 

Even though the student book is written directly to the student there is so much information in the Teacher's Guide. There are charts, checklists, and grading grids for writing assignments that may be copied for your personal use only. The best part of the book for me is the Grading Toolbox for Teachers. I have always struggled with giving my older students a grade on their writing assignments and now I feel more confident in doing so.

The book starts out having the student look at their Writing Self by selecting the descriptions that apply to them. Of course Delaney wanted to know what everyone would choose and compare them. 
Delaney chose:
~When something interesting happens to me, I like to write it down.
~I make lists and like to take notes; they help me remember sermons and lectures.
~I have many ideas for writing, and I keep them in a notebook so I can use them later. 
~I like playing with words and finding just the right one.
The one she put extra stars by:
~Forget everything else-let me write stories.

Her older sister's response:
~ You gotta be kidding. checking this box is enough writing for me for one day.

Now you see the two extremes I am dealing with.

After Delaney sent her sister away she got started on her book. She really likes how this is written and she told Amber that even she could learn to write with this book. Delaney likes that the topics are things that interest her and that there are writing examples throughout the book. 

I like that the proofreading and grammar facts are scattered throughout this course. There are icons to indicate the sections that give information for Your Toolbox, Digging Deeper, Grammar Factoid, and Be Your Own Editor. I like that there are instructions on more than just writing an essay. It teaches writing that anyone may encounter in their daily lives. I am really happy to see that Delaney is learning to proofread her own paper. She normally writes a rough draft and then she will edit big things, rewrite it and give it to me. Since starting this she has been taking more time cleaning up her writing whether it is for me or for fun. 
My adult son had met a gentleman from a company that he may wish to work for when he is finished with college. The man indicated that he should come see him when he has graduated. My son wanted the man to actually see his name and information in writing and decided to send the man a short email about how nice it was to get to talk with him. Of course he called and asked me what was the best way to go about writing it. I told him what I thought and then I looked through that section in The Power in Your Hands and educated myself to help him. 

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Writing with Sharon Watson Review
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

ArtAcheive Review #hsreviews #drawinglessonsforkids, #ArtAchieve

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
Two of my five kids are very artistic. All of my girls like to draw, but Morgan and Alaina love anything artsy. Alaina was thrilled when she heard we were getting the Entire Level II from ArtAchieve to review.
ArtAchieve is online art instruction that teaches children drawing and painting. The artwork that is created is inspired from around the world and is recommended for students and adults of all ages. The Entire Level II has 14 lessons that can be purchased individually or as a complete set. Each lesson is $5.00 or all 14 can be purchased for $53 which comes out to $3.78 a lesson. Once you make your purchase you have access to the files for one year.

Each lesson has a video version and a PowerPoint version from John Hofland. There are also printouts for each project that include warm up exercises and the actual project. The PowerPoint presentations contain 59 slides and the video versions last about 25 minutes. Not only do these lessons teach the student to create artwork from around the world, but they also teach them a little about their origin through Social Studies, Science, and also Language Arts.

John Hofand and his wife homeschooled their children and they have traveled around the world and each lesson is an image they collected on their travels. His drawing lessons will create success. The student's artwork will look like it should with their own designs by utilizing their own artistic liberties.

Lesson 5: The Ukrainian Cat is one of Alaina's favorite lessons. In this lesson she watched the video segment first. At the beginning of the video John tells and shows the students exactly what they need for the lesson including any printouts. He also leads the students in a hand warm up and instructs the students to relax and listen to relaxing music. There are rules for drawing and then John tells the students how he draws the picture as he is drawing. At the end of the video the student should reflect on their artwork they created. The PowerPoint presentation is the same as the video except the words are included in a text box next to the section that was just drawn.

John is very encouraging to the students. He tells them there is no right or wrong way to draw and your artwork will not look just like anyone else's and they will all be unique. He even tells them ways to use lines they don't like later with other details.
Alaina has really enjoyed using these art lessons. When I asked her why she said they are easy drawing tutorials. She also said she likes that he showed her different examples of the project and she knew that her picture would not look exactly like any of them. She also liked watching the video version instead of the PowerPoint because she could actually see how the picture was drawn. When I started taking pictures of her artwork she looked a little worried and she asked me how long she had access to the lessons. When I told her she still had access to them she said she was glad because she wanted to draw them all.

This is a great art program for any age. John is so encouraging to the students and he makes sure they understand that the artwork they produce is an original even if they copy a picture.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

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Twitter @artachieve
Members of the Review Crew received access to three levels out of five. Make sure you stop over and read the review of the Entire Level I and the Entire Level III.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Scripture Scribes Review with discountcode #hsreviews #statehistory #penmanship #latinreaders

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
I think it is important for my kids to have nice penmanship. Mine isn't that good unless I really try and I can actually write better with an icing bag than with pen and paper. I want my girls to develope legible handwriting, and the best way to do that is through copy work. I recently recieved Men of Honor and Women of Grace from Laurelwood Books that uses scripture for copy work to use with Amber. 
Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
I want to start off by saying this book is beautiful, we all love the look and feel of the cover. Men of Honor Women of Grace is divided into 22 lessons covering a different character trait per lesson. Each trait is introduced with the question "What is...?" then the question is answered by giving the dictionary definition and the biblical definition. Then there are verses of scripture about that trait that can be traced and/or copied.  It is recommended to read and discuss the definitions, trace and copy the quotes and verses, write out the definitions, research one of the quotes, write a report about one of the traits, and keep a notebook about how these of the character traits are part of the students lives or how they can improve in that area. Some of the character traits are joy, peace, humility, and truth to just name a few. On each page the scripture or quote is beautifully printed inside of a box. Directly underneath each box the verse is repeated to allow the student to trace the words and there are blank lines where the student can just write the quote. Part way through the book there are charts that show the development of the scriptures, and in the back of the book there is a little bit about the history of copying scriptures.
Men of Honor Women of Grace is part of the Scriputer Scribes series. There are currently four titles available for grades K-3, 4-6, and 7-12 with more coming soon. They each use scripture to copy and practice the students penmanship. They are each $19.95 and if you use the discount code: blogger121 by August 15, 2016 you will receive 20% off. 
I am having Amber (age 15) use this Scripture Scribes. She needs to work on her penmanship and I love that she is practicing using character trait verses and quotes. I think the size of the font is perfect for age and is very pretty without being to fancy. The Development of Scriptures is a great chart to have. Sure we can look up who wrote each book, when, and in what language but it is very nice having it in all in one place. Amber likes using this book because it only takes a few minutes a day. She also likes the variety of quotes that were chosen for this book.
Laurelwood Books offers a variety of homeschool materials. The Review Crew received several different products. Some members received other titles in the Scripture Scribe series, State the Facts, Patriotic Penmanship, and Latin products. Make sure you head over to the Crew blog to read those reviews. 

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Laurelwood Books
Scripture Scribes
Men of Honor Women of Grace
Discount Code: blogger121 good until August 15, 2016.

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
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Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Life We Never Expected Review &Giveaway #FlyBy #thelifeweneverexpected

All children are special and a gift from God. None of my children have special needs, but I have several friends that deal with this in their families. The Life We Never Expected is filled with personal stories and biblical encouragement from two parents of special needs children. This book has given me a good idea of what my special needs families go through on a daily basis. 

Andrew and Rachel Wilson are parents of two special needs children. The Life We Never Expected is about surviving and thriving spiritually when something goes wrong. They decided to write the book because they were looking for a book just like it when they started their journey. There are five cycles in the book that have a Weeping, Worshiping, Waiting, Witnessing, and Breathe chapters. They are very honest while sharing about their daily lives and what they have to face. 

Whether you have a special needs child for years or you are just starting on this journey you will be encouraged to read about another family that deals with this on a daily basis. Maybe you have friends or family members with a special needs child this book will help you see how their daily lives are. 

~~~~ Giveaway~~~~

I have an additional copy of The Life We Never Expected to giveaway to one of my readers in the United States or Canada. Just leave a comment below and tell me who in your life is special. 

I will draw a random winner on Monday July 18, 2016. 

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post
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