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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Kwik Stix Giveaway #kwikstix #pencilgrip

I've always supported my kids in all of their hobbies. I try to encourage them and teach them as much as I can so they can reach their full potential in whatever they set out to do. Alaina loves to create things. She loves to color, draw, paint, and papier mache if it makes a mess and she is working with her hands she is all for it. That is one reason we love the Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint sticks from The Pencil Grip. Now they have a new set of paint stix that are Super Quick Drying.

Alaina has been using Quik Stix for several years. They allow her to paint without making a mess. When we go on a long car ride the first thing she packs in her bag is her drawing tablet and a package of Kwik Stix. She has so many sets now that she has to choose which ones she is packing to save room in her bag. I'm pretty sure the next trip we take she will want to take the Super Quick Drying set to make painting on the go even easier.


I have a set of the new Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint, Super Quick Drying, 12 Pack (TPG-602) to giveaway. Just enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Kwik Stix has offered me a set of the new Super Quick Drying Paint Sticks for myself and to giveaway to one of my readers in exchange for my blog post. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.  

Amber's first 14er #hiking #14er

Amber loves to hike in the mountains. She has hiked in Colorado, Montana, and Canada. Last week she hiked her first 14er. Mt Elbert is the second tallest point in the United States and is in CO. 
Amber and her friends made it the to the top at 14,433 feet!!

No-Nonsense Algebra Review #hsreviews #NoNonsenseAlgebra #Algebra #MathEssentials

Math Essentials
Amber is very good with practical math. She can figure fractions and percents easily, but when it comes to Algebra she struggled. Although she has completed Algebra I there were some concepts she struggled with. I wanted her to go back and see if we could get those concepts to make sense to her now so I have been having her complete some lessons in the No-Nonsense Algebra book from Math Essentials.

No-Nonsense Algebra
No-Nonsense Algebra is a 275-page softcover book that is divided into ten chapters and includes a corresponding video lesson for each lesson. This book is part of the Mastering Essential Math Skills Series. This is a complete Algebra course or it can be used to review certain topics alone. Each self-contained lesson has five key parts:

  1. An introduction and explanation of each topic that is easy to understand.
  2. A Helpful Hints section that includes tips and shortcuts. 
  3. Examples
  4. Written exercises 
  5. A chapter review. 
The chapters vary in length and they all have a chapter review and a note from the teacher. These notes are helpful hints and tips to get the most out of your study time. This course was written by Richard W. Fisher and he suggests the student write out each example step-by-step. He wants the student to be fully involved and have a deeper understanding. Each lesson is short and to the point. Amber gets frustrated when things are over explained and she thought these lessons are a good length.  

The back of the book contains a final review, a ten-page glossary of terms, a list of important formulas, important symbols, and charts of the multiplication table, commonly used prime numbers, squares and square roots, and fraction/decimal equivalents. The answer key is also in the back of the book. 

The online video lessons are taught by Richard W. Fisher as well. He explains what is going on and the problems are worked on a marker board. 

Richard graduated San Jose University in 1971 with a B.A. in mathematics and he has been teaching math or developing math materials ever since. As a teacher one-half of his sixth-grade students would bypass seventh-grade and move directly to eighth-grade algebra. 

Amber struggled with graphing inequalities and the Geometry concepts that are taught in Algebra I. I had her go through Chapter 5: Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities and Chapter 8: Radical Expressions and Geometry. She didn't complete each lesson as it was intended. She read the introduction and helpful hints and followed Richard's tip about writing down each example step-by-step. The topics she had been struggling with the most she worked some of those problems. She said writing down the example problems were a big help and she loves all the tips that were included in the book. She actually flipped through and read some that were in the other chapters. She also liked how the lessons are short and to the point. She said she likes this guy because he isn't too wordy. Math doesn't come very easy for her younger sisters either so I will have them use this book along with their regular curriculum because they aren't much for change when it comes to math. 

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No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek Review #hsreviews #greek #greeknstuff

Greek 'n' Stuff
If you enjoy learning Greek roots or if you want to study God's word in Greek you may want to check out Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek - Level 3 Set from Greek 'n' Stuff

Greek 'n' Stuff was founded by Karen Mohs. Karen homeschooled for over 12 years and shares her love of teaching in the workbooks she now creates. She offers not only Greek for all ages but Latin and bible studies as well. 

Hey, Andrew!Teach Me Some Greek!
Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek is recommended for children in the 4th grade to adults that are just beginning to learn Kione Greek. Kione Greek is not what is spoken today, but it is what was spoken when the new testament was written. We received the Level 3 Workbook, Level 3 "Full Text" Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD for Levels 3-4. You may also purchase the answer key by itself, quizzes and exams, flashcards on a ring, sheet music for the alphabet song, or a Bible Copybook- The Gospel of John for the program.

Level 3 reviews the alphabet that is taught in Levels One and Two. The students will learn to construct simple sentences with the special endings, work on vocabulary, and learn singular and plural forms. The workbook contains 180 pages plus flash card pages that can be cut out for practice. There are 36 lessons with an extensive appendix covering the alphabet, vowels, punctuation, word order, tenses, bible copy work, and more. 
Greek 'n' Stuff
Each lesson in Level 3 includes five worksheets one for each day. If you have an older student they may want to work at a faster pace. The first two lessons are alphabet review and cover three letters for each day. Each letter of the alphabet has its name, what sound it makes, three lines for writing practice, and a box that shows how to make the Greek letter. Lessons 3 & 4 cover vocabulary and include the Greek word, the meaning of the word, how it sounds, and an activity using the words. In Lesson 5 we start working with nouns, verbs, and gradually advances to reading more Greek. 

The Answer Key contains all the Worktext pages with the correct answer plus it has a recommended schedule of lessons. It includes further explanations, teacher tips, and indicates when to take the quizzes and exams.

The Pronunciation CD is for Level 3 and Level 4. The first track is the alphabet song and the vocabulary words are pronounced starting in Lesson 3. There is also an appendix which includes the Greek alphabet, articles, and other words that are learned.
Greek 'n' Stuff
I have been using this course with Alaina. She is twelve and only knew a few letters of the Greek alphabet before starting the program. She has been following the recommended worksheet per day right now because technically she is still on summer break. She has learned all the alphabet and vocabulary words from the first four lessons and is really starting to enjoy this course now that she is getting further into it. The worksheets include matching, writing, fill in the blank, drawing, and more. The flashcards are very important to help the student remember what has been taught. We love that each worksheet has a box to check if Alaina practiced her flashcards. That little box is a huge help during the summer time when we aren't on a regular school schedule. 

There isn't really anything to prepare before hand. I read the first couple of pages in the Answer Key to get a feel for what is going on and Alaina just got to work. Each worksheet has all the instructions and the only other thing is creating the flashcards. 

We found a Greek lexicon at a local thrift store a few years ago and we can't wait to learn enough Greek to be able to use that. 

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Teach Me Some Greek {Greek 'n' Stuff Reviews}
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Monday, August 7, 2017

Morgan's Photography

Morgan is currently in Utah. She does as much hiking there as she possibly can and of course, takes some amazing pictures while she does it. She always posts her pictures on Instagram and The World of Travel Photography noticed them and asked her to write an article on Bryce Canyon National Park.

I love that my kids want to make the most out of their hobbies and can share them with everyone else. Make sure you stop over and read her article and check out her Instagram page. You'll love it there!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Reign of TerrorReview #hsreviews #HeirloomAudio #InTheReignOfTerror #LiveTheAdventure #BringingHentyBack #AudioAdventures

Heirloom Audio Productions
Heirloom Audio Productions does an excellent job of dramatizing The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. My girls were having trouble waiting for the newest one In the Reign of Terror to add to our collection
In the Reign of Terror
In the Reign of Terror takes us to the French Revolution. We are taken back to France by a heroic 16-year old Harry. While he is saving a Christian family of French aristocrats he comes in contact with many people and by listening to his conversations we learn that the French Revolution was very different from the American War for Independence. The American War for Independence was based on the laws of nature and of nature's God whereas the French Revolution was about the glorification of human reason and the rejection of Christianity. The armed thugs were out for only themselves caused a lot of innocent people to be killed in a Reign of Terror.

G.A. Henty had a way of making history rememberable through his story telling. Heirloom Audio uses well-known people, music, and sound effects to take us back to history. The accents of the characters and the sound effects draw you into the story and make you feel like you are actually there. I know every time we receive a new audio theater from Heirloom Audio my kids will be on a time traveling adventure for a couple of hours. If I want to save the story for an upcoming car trip I have to hide it from my girls or they will beg me to let them listen to it right away. I wanted to keep this one for our trip, but the girls had other plans. They stopped what they were doing to listen right away and we have listened to it in the car again. Those 2 1/2 hours in the car went by fast & no one uttered a sound.
In the Reign of Terror is recommended for children 6-adult. It is a 2 1/2 hour adventure on two cds. Just like all the other Heirloom Audio Productions this one also has a Study Guide and bonus features. These are available on their brand new Live the Adventure Club site. The bonus features include the option to listen to the drama online, the ebook Study Guide & discussion starter, In the Reign of Terror original e-book with colorful pictures, the official soundtrack, a printable cast poster, inspirational verse poster, desktop wallpaper, and the official script download. 

The Study Guide & Discussion Starter can be downloaded or read online. There are 43 pages in the ebook with one page for each chapter plus a short biography of G.A. Henty, Maximilien Robespierre, and Marie Antoinette. There is also a bible study, more information on the French Revolution, and some historical background information for the Reign of Terror. Each lesson sheet is set up the same way. The disc number, the track number, and the run time of that chapter on the cd is at the top to easily find your place on the disc. There are three sections:
  • Listening Well ~ The questions here are to see how well you are listening.
  • Thinking Further ~ These questions have you looking up something you heard in the story or to help you draw conclusions from the actions of the character. They are intended to get your children thinking about what is happening. 
  • Expand Your Learning ~ This section uses the dictionary to enhance your child's vocabulary and understanding of the story.
There are some really neat new features available if you belong to the Live the Adventure Club. Not only do you have access to everything listed above, but if you choose to listen to the adventure online you can also read along to learn while you listen and stopping after each chapter to complete the seat work. There are quizzes, vocabulary words, and thinking further questions for each chapter that are answered online. 

The Adventure Club also has other things besides what goes with In the Reign of Terror. There is also an education section that offers books, and audio of Constitution and early American and World History. There is parent resources, kids activities, inspiration, and an Old Time Radio Vault. 
If you are curious about the Adventure Club you can sign up now for a three month trial for only $1. Not only that, but you will also get access to the digital version of the newest audio adventure Captain Baley's Heir.

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In the Reign of Terror
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We listen to Heirloom Audio together as a family and we all enjoy that time together.
In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
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Monday, July 31, 2017

English On A Roll Review #hsreviews #EnglishonaRoll #grammar

English on a Roll
We know using manipulatives for math is a huge benefit to kids, but what about using them for English grammar? English On A Roll uses word cubes for their English Grammar Teaching Method.

English on a Roll
English on a Roll was created by Linda Hopkins Koran in 2001. She was teaching English to students that did not speak English and she did not speak their language and she needed to find an easy way to teach them English. She came up with the idea and started with wooden blocks and paint to help them learn. 

English On A Roll can be used with any one ages 5 through adults. It can be used with students that are in special education, that have autism or dyslexia, students learning English as a second language, regular students learning English Grammar, a spring board for creative writing, or just for fun.
The English Grammar Teaching Method comes with the Instructor's Manual and one Cube Set that can be used with up to six students.

The Instructor's Manual is a 142-page softcover book. There are 37 lessons, a cube guide, and a section about English On A Roll. The Cube Guide lists all the blocks including the words on each block, their part of speech, the color of the letters, and their function. 

Each lesson is set up the same way to make teaching easier and includes a Prep, Notes and Vocabulary, Teach the Concepts, Games/Conversation, and Written Exercises section. The Prep section tells you everything you need for the lesson including which cubes to use, and what pages need to be copied and handed out. The Vocabulary section gives us the part of speech and examples or definitions. Teach and Concepts is written to the instructor and tells you exactly what to give each student and when. Conversation/games suggest games that can be played to go with each lesson. Finally, the Written exercises include fill in the blank sentences. 

The Cube Set comes with 40 cubes and a sheet of blank stickers. All the cubes are white with different color lettering according to their group. The pronoun cubes have blue letters, questions words are green, nouns, articles, and prepositions are dark blue, verbs are red, adverbs are orange, adjectives are purple, and punctuation & conjunctions are black. There are two blank cubes that can be customized with the blank stickers. The cubes are about an inch on all sides and they roll very well. 

Delaney loves words. She loves to write, spell, and correct everyone else's spelling mistakes!! Amber writes very well, but she doesn't love it like Delaney. Alaina is 12 and she is the one that struggles to write. She is the main one that has been using this method. The lessons start out pretty easy so we went through those pretty quickly and actually started in lesson 12- Adjectives and Adjective Phrases. It didn't hurt for everyone to go over the rules for each part of speech. Of course, the favorite part of the program are the games. They really liked rolling the cube to get the words they needed instead of just a bunch of sentences already made. Being able to move the cubes makes it easier to see what needs to be changed in a sentence to make it singular or plural, a statement or a question. We also like using the cubes for creative writing. It is fun to roll the cube to come up with a starter sentence for a short story or paragraph. This has been helping Alaina not be so fearful of writing. 

There is a great video on English On A Roll webpage that shows how this method in action. You 

English On A Roll will give you the first ten chapters of the Instructor's Manual and you can watch their video of the method in action
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English on a Roll {Reviews}
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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nichole Nordeman CD Review & Giveaway #everymilemattered #FlyBy

I'm so excited to share with you Nichole Nordeman's new CD Every Mile Mattered. Nichole says these songs have been working in her heart for years before they became songs. To her, every mile matters and these songs are mile markers even if she sees thing differently now. She wants theses songs to offer grace when we stumble. 

This new album has 11 tracks and I'm really having a hard time choosing the song I like the best. If you listen to Christian radio I'm sure you have heard Slow Down. I really like that song as well as the rest of the album. The order of the songs does tell a story that we can all relate to.
  • Every Mile Mattered
  • You're Here
  • Dear Me
  • No Longer
  • Lean
  • Hush, Hush
  • Listen To Your Life
  • Beautiful Day
  • Sound of Surviving 
  • Anywhere We Are
  • Slow Down
I love when I get a new CD. My kids usually hog the radio and CD player in the house and the car. I do like their music, but sometimes I would rather listen to something else. When I have a new album they are nice enough to let me listen to it over and over. They do like Nichole's music and they have been singing along. 

Moms everywhere like the song Slow Down and now Nichole has a book celebrating the everyday moments of motherhood coming out August 22, 2017.

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I have an additional copy of Nichole Nordeman's CD Every Mile Mattered to giveaway to one of my readers in the continental United States. Just enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
“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.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Phoenix Homeschool Literary Magazine

The second edition of The Phoenix literary magazine has been published & Delaney has a story printed in it as well. Make sure you check out page 37. This time she stepped out of her comfort zone to write a sci-fi story.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Activa Quik-Sculpting Kit Review #hsreviews #activaproject

ACTÍVA Products
Alaina is my crafty kid, she has always got a few things going on and a lot more she is thinking about. Her newest projects she created by using the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTIVA Products. We received the kit along with the free eBook ACTIVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS.

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit
The Quik-Sculpting Kit includes:
  • 2-  4 inch X 5 yard rolls of Rigid Wrap
  • 1-  8 oz package of CelluClay Instant Papier-Mache
  • Complete instructions to make 12 different projects
You will need water and an armature to make your shaped projects. Paint and embellishments will also need to be purchased separately. 

Rigid Wrap comes in a roll that looks like gauze and already has the plaster on it. Once you choose the sculpture you would like to make you cut the gauze into smaller pieces, dip into a bowl of warm water and lay it on your armature. While applying the plaster gauze let the water drip off each piece and then smooth it down on your sculpture form until you no longer see the holes in the gauze. You will continue this process until you have the desired thickness for your papier-mache craft. Drying time depends on how large and how thick your project is. The drying process can be sped up by using the microwave as long as there is no metal in your framework. 
The CelluClay is not really like clay. It comes in a bag and is really like instant papier-mache. It is very powdery and is recommended to mix some of the dry CelluClay and water in a baggy. It becomes like clay and you can roll it out flat on a shape or you can use it to add dimension to your projects. The drying time will vary on this as well depending on how large and how thick your piece is. 

The free eBook of ACTIVA's Products' Favorite Sculpture Kids Crafts is a 29-page pdf that includes step-by-step instructions and colorful pictures for twelve projects. Some of the projects are for bead making, a snowman ornament, a silly spider, butterfly, pumpkin, and even a piece of cake.
Once you create your project out of Rigid Wrap or CelluClay you can add more dimension to your piece by adding on more CelluClay. Once everything is dry the piece can be painted and then embellished with other art supplies. 
Alaina is twelve and is very crafty so she used our Quik-Sculpting Kit on her own. She is a collector of all things pretty, small, smelly, anything really so she decided she would start by making a cute little bowl to store some of her things. We already had some silver spray paint and she decided to paint her bowl silver and then paint some details on top.
She had covered the real bowl with saran wrap before applying the Rigid Wrap so it would be easier to remove. After spraying the inside of her bowl with the silver spray paint, she said she should have smoothed out the inside with water or CelluClay to get rid of her wrinkles because it looks like aluminum foil. Alaina likes the rigid wrap and said it was a fairly quick way to create a project.

Alaina decided she wanted to make an ice cream cone, after making the ice cream part she decided to make a mug to look like a latte with lots of whipped cream. The lid comes off so she can put more things inside. 

One day while Alaina was crafting we were watching my friend's two-year old daughter and of course, she had to get in on the fun. She really just liked playing in the water, but it kept her occupied for a long time and didn't make a huge mess. She didn't actually make anything, but she thought it was fun and it is non-toxic so it is safe for children of all ages.
Rigid Wrap and CelluClay are a fun way to create papier-mache projects without a huge mess. It is very easy to use for children of all ages and adults. Alaina really enjoyed this review and we plan on looking at the rest of the Crew reviews together to see what everyone else created.
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Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}
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