T-Tapp Deep Discount Tuesday: Finger and Foot Fitness!


I know a lot of us have feet and hand problems.  Here is T-Tapp Fitness to the rescue!  (See on the right hand side where it says Current Top Sellers if you are on the Store page or at the bottom in a Star that says Deep Discount Tuesday on the Home page.)

Personally, I have arthritis in my hands and plantar fasciitis in my feet!  I can certainly use Teresa’s expertise!

Finger & Foot Fitness is more than 50% off.  Normally $39.95, get Finger & Foot Fitness for only $16.50!  71 minutes of help for your hands and feet!

Deep Discount Tuesday offer valid through midnight on 08/19/14.

Remember, the foundation of fitness starts in the fingers and the feet.  Finger and Foot Fitness can help to wake up your neuro-kinetic connection all the way to the furthest extremities.  Therefore, can actually attain better muscle activation and, over time, better results!

Yes You Can!  

Check out this Finger Fitness video here:

 

Here are a few of my other favorite T-Tapp DVDs:

Basic Workout Plus (get a great 15-minute workout without spending an hour!)

TappCore (9 short moves, great for kids too!)

Step Away the Inches (25 minutes, great 2-mile workout)

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Our 2014-15 Homeschool Schedule and a BIG $500 Giveaway!

Homeschool Schedule 2014-15

 

Our 2014-15 Homeschool Schedule is going to be a work in progress, but I knew I needed to have something to help guide me as we get started and see what works.

The kids will be 8th grade (B), 7th grade (J), 6th grade (M), 3rd grade (R), 2nd grade (T), 1st grade (L), preschool (4 years-I), and toddler (2 years-E).  It will definitely be our most complicated year yet!

My oldest son wants to audition for all 3 Spotlight Youth Theater shows this year.  That requires a class each week, plus rehearsals Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.  The others will pick and choose which shows they want to do, but will probably do the classes all year.  We’ll be in the Institute for Cultural Communicators public speaking class twice a month.  The 3 oldest kids will be in band at Westlake Christian Academy (2 different bands, plus lessons).  Five kids will take violin lessons, four or five will take piano lessons, 1 in saxophone lessons, and 2 in drum lessons.  I really should start teaching them voice lessons, too.  Eeek!

I’m actually glad we are in the Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group this year because it will push all of us to get the week’s assignments due even if we are tired from all the other activities we are doing.

So, here are my thoughts for the schedule:  (Wednesday mornings are the Tapestry group.)

6:00 I get up, devotions, get ready, and exercise.  My husband and band kids get up and get ready.

7:00 Husband and band kids leave.  He rest of the kids get up and eat breakfast.  Chores and start dinner.

8:00 Written work for everyone.  Help them as needed (math, handwriting, grammar, writing, geography, science notebooks).  (Pick up kids from band on Mondays and Wednesdays.)

9:00  All About Reading lesson with R.  (Pick up kids from band on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)

9:30 Reading and phonics lessons with T, L, and I

10:00 Bible lesson for kids preschool through 6th grade (Finish “Jonah” Sword Study from BibleBee.org, then Who is God? from Apologia and Grapevine Studies of Old Testament) and Science reading (Apologia Exploring Creation With Astronomy). On Fridays we’ll do the Science experiments/projects.

11:00 All About Spelling lesson with R.

11:30 Lunch and chores

12:00 Free time

1:00 Toddler to bed

1:15-2:15 Read-Alouds of history and literature (Tapestry of Grace books.)

2:15 Science lesson with 3 middle school kids.  Help kids with math and check older kids’ work.

3:30 music lessons and practice; work on housework, office work, school planning, and blogging; Speech class on Thursdays, Drama class on Tuesdays, Spotlight rehearsals on Fridays.

5:30 Dinner and chores

8:00 Kids get ready for bed.  Husband read to older boys.  I read to younger kids.

9:00 Lights out for kids

10:00 Lights out for husband and me

Busy times!!!

 

If you homeschool, enter this giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with 29 other homeschool bloggers to bless a homeschooler with $500! The giveaway ends August 24th at 11:59pm EDT. You must have a Paypal account in order to win.

We can’t wait to bless a fellow homeschooler at the end of the week!

Bless_a_Homeschooler_Giveaway_300x300[1]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the other bloggers who have joined to provide this giveaway! Visit and thank them!



(Disclosure: I joined in with a group of other homeschoolers to provide this giveaway. We aren’t eligible to win.)

Skrafty Safe Homeschool Minecraft Server–review of classes and a giveaway!

 

SKrafty Reviews and Giveaways

Welcome!

If your kids are like mine, they are Minecraft fanatics!  We only have one Minecraft account, which means that only one kid can play at a time.  We also have some very specific rules that are posted right by the Minecraft computer: only after all schoolwork and chores are done, only 20 minutes a day on weekdays and 30 minutes on weekends, they only get to watch one other kid play, and if they forget to set the timer they lose their turn the next day, etc.

When I heard about a safe Minecraft server and that they offer homeschool classes, I was very intrigued!  The company is called Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft, and their website is whenyouriseup.com.

It’s back to school time, and for homeschool families – that means gathering curriculum, planning and finding new ways to inspire kids in their studies. SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft is the perfect way to add the fun and inspiration you need.

This fall, the class line up is spectacular! If you need homeschool math, science, bible, history, language arts or more . . . you are in for a treat. Using some of your favorite homeschool curriculum companies (including Apologia Science, Mystery of History, and A+ Interactive Math) you’ll learn to incorporate Minecraft projects into your family homeschool.

SKrafty Classes

See all the new classes SKrafty has to offer HERE

Find out more about the fully monitored SKrafty Minecraft server where it is safe for your family and children – and get whitelisted for FREE right HERE.

SKrafty is specially designed and the rules are constructed to encourage good sportsmanship – with no griefing allowed, no bad language or ugly talk, and no sharing of outside links to protect your children. See a full list of rules HERE.

What other parents are saying about SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft:

“Since starting Skrafty my son has blossomed. His typing has gotten a lot better. School work is not a chore any more I just give him the list of what needs to be done and he does it. He finds the lessons entertaining and engaging and he loves the activities that go along with them. We are all very grateful for Skrafty.” ~ Cheryl J.

“My son enjoys playing on Skrafty with other kids and I love that it is a safe, moderated Minecraft server! While playing on Skrafty he has learned creative building, developed critical thinking skills, made friends, and learned to be a team player. The classes have been fun and the reading program has encouraged him to read more than ever. Skrafty has been such a blessing to our family!” ~Julie B.

Special needs learning:

“Skrafty has been a huge blessing to our family! My son with dyslexia is not only learning but enjoying learning!!!! His reading and writing have developed more with Skrafty than any other program we have used. The classes are engaging because they are so hands on and truly turn learning into an adventure. I so highly recommend Skrafty!” ~ Caroline D.

 

What we learned:

My 2 oldest daughters have been working through the Virtual France Field Trip class.  There are 2 parts to each of the 4 weeks of lessons.  They read about some aspects of France and watch some short videos or look at photographs. Then they go on the Skrafty Minecraft server into the Virtual France Field Trip class portal and have some fun.  There they can explore some things that have already been built, like the Eiffel Tower and other places around France, and they get to build things as well.  Since they are joining other kids, they have to find an unclaimed spot and claim it in order to build.  It took some time, but they usually they found a spot. (This was the only complaint I have. The kids sometimes really have to search and search to find a free plot.) My kids had to share (split the plots in sections) since they are sharing one account.  But there was still enough space to build their French restaurants and other creations.

Some of the kids also spent some time doing some other things that the Skrafty Minecraft server offers, like building and exploring in Creative Mode.

Skrafty offers some pretty neat classes.  We love using Apologia science and Mystery of History books, and Skrafty offers classes in both!  I think we’re going to get the Apologia Astronomy self-paced class for the fall since that is the book we’ll be using with my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.  My 3 oldest kids (in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades) will be doing Apologia General Science, so I might get that one, too, if I think they’ll have time for it.

Overall, we were happy with the Minecraft class that we took.  There were a few things we didn’t understand how to do, but I just asked questions at the Skrafty Facebook group and received pretty prompt answers.  The kids sometimes thought some things weren’t as fun as other Minecraft servers, but I know my youngest daughter preferred Skrafty when she had her free time.  My kids don’t do chatting anyway, but if they did I would feel comfortable here with the Skrafty server.  I was happy that after they built things, such as their French restaurants, others weren’t able to mess it up. They could go through it and explore it, but not break anything on it.  I also liked the things they learned on the class website–what they read about France and the videos they watched.  The one about the battle of Normandy was especially interesting.

Here are some pictures of things they built:

A Merry-Go-Round.  We saw on a video that they had one at the beach at Normandy.

Piano and Skrafty Minecraft 005 Piano and Skrafty Minecraft 008 Piano and Skrafty Minecraft 009

Various French Restaurants:

Piano and Skrafty Minecraft 010

The Kitchen:

Piano and Skrafty Minecraft 013

Fried Apple-Sauce Cafe:

Piano and Skrafty Minecraft 014

A Music Room in the Restaurant:

Piano and Skrafty Minecraft 016 Piano and Skrafty Minecraft 019

 

Affordable:

Extremely affordable classes (between $6.99 – $32.00) make it easy to add creativity and excitement into your education at home. Sign up HERE for live classes or self-paced classes and begin your journey into the world of homeschool Minecraft with SKrafty.

Giveaway Companies – Multiple Winners!

SKrafty Giveaways

 

Check out all the wonderful companies and prizes you can win for your family homeschool:

3 SKrafty Fall Classes - Value up to $32 each

Mystery of History Volume 1,2, or 3 & Super Supplemental – Value $150

A+ Interactive Math - Family Package for 3 Students – Value $450

Adventures In ChildRearing - Wildlife Adventures bundle- Value $27.99

We Choose Virtues - Homeschool Kit – Value $98.99

Sidetracked Sarah – Crockpot Freezer Meals 3 pack – Value $8.97

Moore Family Films - ABC Say it With Me – Value $15.99

Not Consumed - Back to School 4 Pack – Value $12.50

Teach Them Diligently – Family Pass to 1 Convention – Value $65

Homeschool Adventure Co. – Philippians in 28 Weeks – Value $18.95

Media Angels – Homeschool Moms Rescue Set – Value $9.99

A Journey Through Learning - Math Lapbook - Value$15.00

Dave Ramsey – Financial Peace Jr. – Value $24.95

 

Enter with 1 entry or enter with them all:a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you decide to try a SKrafty class, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear about the other classes they offer to see if we should try them!

(Disclosure: I received a free Skrafty class in order to write this honest review. As a thank you, I will receive another class for this fall.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #79 (+ Giveaway!)

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Hey homeschooling moms–

Link up a bunch of homeschooling posts this week!

I’d love to see your curriculum, schedules, school-rooms, back-to-school pictures!

 

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3.  Optional:  Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

 

 
                    
 Loading InLinkz ...

Follow on Bloglovin

See lots of great homeschooling posts this week at the

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back
Michelle @ Delightful Learning 
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining 

 

And don’t miss the Awesome, Incredible $1300 Homeschool Curriculum and Cash Giveaway!
Back to Homeschool Grand Prize Giveaway
 

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft Facebook Party

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Join us at the Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft Facebook Party Thursday night at 9 pm EST. (It originally was at 8, but is now at 9.)
Fall classes start soon! Join our Facebook party to see what our team of reviewers thought of the SKrafty classes, enter BIG Back to HomeSchool giveaways & enjoy FREEBIES.

Learn about using Minecraft to inspire learning in your family homeschool! Enter the party or sign up to go here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1536801393208125/

Intro to Our Brand New Curriculum: Tapestry of Grace (+ Giveaway!)

TOG Y4

We are doing something new this year:  Tapestry of Grace!

I’m really excited about it because it completely fits in with my style of teaching: some Charlotte Mason (reading living books) and Classical Education (learning all humanities through the guidance of the the history we’re studying).  We’re doing Year 4, which means we will all be studying 20th Century history, literature, music, and art.  The kids will also have writing assignments for history and literature “class.”

Our family will be partcipating in a brand-new Tapestry of Grace Fellowship group that will be meeting on Wednesday mornings for 3 hours.  Thirty-five families are involved! My oldest two boys will be in the Dialectic group, which means they will have assignments to read and complete each week so that they will be able to participate in the discussions.  Here are the books they will be reading this year:  The Call of the Wild, Tales of O. Henry, Anne of Green Gables, Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost, Peter Pan, Our Town, The Snow Goose, Homeless Bird, The Little Prince, My Side of the Mountain, Onion John, Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes, The Lilies of the Field, Have Space Suit – Will Travel, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood, Raising Dragons, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

 

My oldest daughter will be in the Upper Grammar class.  The next 3 kids are in Lower Grammar.  The Grammar classes will be doing all kinds of neat projects and activities that will enrich our read-alouds at home.  I’ll share what they are after we do them!

My youngest son will be in the preschool class, and my 2-year-old in the nursery.

I will be teaching 4 music classes at our Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group: 20th Century Music History/Appreciation for Dialectic/Rhetoric classes (middle school and high school), 20th Century Music History/Appreciation for the Grammar (elementary) classes, Early Childhood Music and Movement for the preschool class, and Early Childhood Music and Movement for the nursery class.  I’ve been working hard this summer to come up with the music history/appreciation curriculum. I’ve actually been writing it since I haven’t been able to find exactly what I was wanting to teach.  It’s going to be so exciting to share this music with the kids.  They won’t all like it, but I do hope they will learn to appreciate classical music more!

For the preschoolers and baby/toddlers I’ll be teaching music and movement classes that I have taught for 15 years.  I love teaching those classes!

I’m glad we don’t start until the end of the month because I still have so much planning and writing to do.  I’ve been slowly ordering the books we need.  At least we’re set for the first couple of weeks.  It’s going to be an exciting year!

 

Read some other homeschooling posts at these blogs this week:

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back
Michelle @ Delightful Learning 
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining 

And don’t miss the Awesome, Incredible $1300 Homeschool Curriculum and Cash Giveaway!
Back to Homeschool Grand Prize Giveaway
 

Our fun last year with “Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics” (+ Giveaway!)

Science Experiments Collage final

I’ve been meaning to do this post for a long time!  We thoroughly enjoyed Apologia’s Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics by Jeannie Fulbright last year.  We did all the reading at home, and the kids did the experiments and projects at their co-op.

Enjoy our pictorial journal of the year.  And I hope you’ll love doing this book with your kids as well.  We used it with all our kids, ages Kindergarten through 7th grade (although the 7th grader supplemented his reading with Bright Idea Press’s Christian Kids Explore Physics book).

Apologia’s Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics.

Chemistry and Physics

Christian Kids Explore Physics.

Christian Kids Explore Physics - NEW 2nd Edition

Testing different surfaces for friction (water, oil):

Science Experiment 022

Learning about amorphous solids (have the characteristics of both solids and liquids):

IMG_0426

Seeing how acids react with metal (vinegar and steel wool):

co-op and science 024

Chromatography:

recipes, science 042 recipes, science 044

Projects with Simple Machines:

Simple Machines Collage

Light refraction:

Shrek Video 2 006

Making a periscope:

Shrek Video 2 008

Making Terrariums to understand the water cycle:

IMG_0472

Lava lamps to understand density and solutions:

IMG_0393

My husband even came in to teach a couple of classes for the kids.

The chemistry class he taught I only took video for–so no pictures.  :(

 

Magnetism.  This is a copper pipe.  Copper conducts electricity, but isn’t magnetic, so a strong neodydium magnet slowly floats down the tube!

science zoo Creation Museum 013

Magnetizing a steel nail to pick up paper clips:

science zoo Creation Museum 006

Making a simple motor:

science zoo Creation Museum 004

The teacher explaining about magnetism:

science zoo Creation Museum 001

The kids had so much fun with all the chemistry and physics projects!

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Find some other great bloggers participating this week in the

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back
Michelle @ Delightful Learning 
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining 
And don’t miss the Awesome, Incredible $1300 Homeschool Curriculum and Cash Giveaway!
Back to Homeschool Grand Prize Giveaway

Follow on Bloglovin

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

Our 2014-15 Homeschool Curriculum Choices (+ Giveaway!)

2014-15 Homeschool Curriculum

B (8th grade): CA vacation camara full 311

Math:  Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra and Algebra I

Science: Apologia General Science

History: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century history, including discussion time at Fellowship Group, Mystery of History Volume 4*

Literature: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century literature, including discussion time at Fellowship Group

Logic: Finish Critical Thinking Level 3 figural book, then Bluedorn books (Logic in 100 Minutes, The Thinking Toolbox, and The Fallacy Detective)

Grammar and Writing: Tapestry of Grace Daily Grams , and Cover Story and maybe Creative Freewriting Adventure Creative Freewriting Adventure

Bible: “Jonah” Sword Study from Bible Bee, then Phillipians in 28 Weeks *

Public Speaking: Institute for Cultural Communicators Class

 

Music:  Band (percussion) at Christian school, violin lessons, piano lessons, maybe voice lessons with Mom

20th Century Music History/Appreciation at Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group

Theater: Classes and Musicals through Spotlight Youth Theater

 

 

J (7th grade):   J portrait Mayo-31

Math:  Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra

Science: Apologia General Science

History: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century history, including discussion time at Fellowship Group, Mystery of History Volume 4*

Literature: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century literature, including discussion time at Fellowship Group

Grammar and Writing: Tapestry of Grace Daily Grams , and Cover Story and maybe Creative Freewriting Adventure Creative Freewriting Adventure *

Public Speaking: Institute for Cultural Communicators Class

Logic: Finish Critical Thinking Level 3 figural book, then Bluedorn books (Logic in 100 Minutes, The Thinking Toolbox, and The Fallacy Detective)

Latin: First Form Latin

Music:  Band (percussion) at Christian school, violin lessons, piano lessons

20th Century Music History/Appreciation at Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group

Theater: Classes and Musicals through Spotlight Youth Theater

M (6th grade): CA vacation camara full 802

Math:  Math-U-See Epsilon and Zeta

Science: Apologia General Science

History: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century history, Mystery of History Volume 4*

Literature: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century literature

Grammar and Writing: Tapestry of Grace, Daily Grams, and Cover Story

Bible: “Jonah” Sword Study from Bible Bee, then Grapevine Studies Old Testament  *

Public Speaking: Institute for Cultural Communicators Class

Logic: Finish Critical Thinking Level 2

Spanish: Finish The Easy Spanish  *  *

Music:  Band (percussion) at Christian school, violin lessons, piano lessons

20th Century Music History/Appreciation at Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group

Theater: Classes and Musicals through Spotlight Youth Theater

R (3rd grade): CA vacation camara full 627

Math:  Math-U-See Beta

Science: Apologia Astronomy

History: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century history, Mystery of History Volume 4*

Literature: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century literature

Grammar and Writing: Tapestry of Grace

All About Reading Level 3 and All About Spelling Level 1   AAR - Symptoms of Dyslexia Checklist *

Bible: “Jonah” Sword Study from Bible Bee, then Grapevine Studies Old Testament  * ,  Jesus Storybook Bible   *

Art: See the Light DVDs *

Public Speaking: Institute for Cultural Communicators Class

Music: piano lessons

20th Century Music History/Appreciation at Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group

Theater: Classes and Musicals through Spotlight Youth Theater

T (2nd grade): CA vacation camara full 504

Math:  CTC Math

Science: Apologia Astronomy

History: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century history, Mystery of History Volume 4*

Literature: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century literature

Grammar and Writing: Tapestry of Grace

Spelling You See

Handwriting Without Tears and copywork

Explode the Code workbooks

Bible: “Jonah” Sword Study from Bible Bee, then Grapevine Studies Old Testament  * ,  Jesus Storybook Bible   *

Art: See the Light DVDs *

Public Speaking: Institute for Cultural Communicators Class

Music: violin lessons

20th Century Music History/Appreciation at Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group

Theater: Classes and Musicals through Spotlight Youth Theater

L (1st grade): Mayo-32

Math:  CTC Math

Science: Apologia Astronomy

History: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century history, Mystery of History Volume 4*

Literature: Tapestry of Grace 20th Century literature

Grammar and Writing: Tapestry of Grace

Spelling You See

Handwriting Without Tears and copywork

Bible: “Jonah” Sword Study from Bible Bee, then Grapevine Studies Old Testament  *,  Jesus Storybook Bible   *

Art: See the Light DVDs *

Public Speaking: Institute for Cultural Communicators Class

Music: violin lessons

20th Century Music History/Appreciation at Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group

Theater: Classes through Spotlight Youth Theater

I (Pre-K, 4 years): Sfzorzando String Camp 001

Handwriting Without Tears

Start phonics instruction with Mom (Alpha-phonics) 

Preschool class at Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group

Early childhood music and movement class

Listening in on read-alouds often

Bible: Grapevine Studies Old Testament  * and Jesus Storybook Bible   *

 

E (2 years): CA vacation camara full 119

Early childhood music and movement class

 

Be sure to check out some other really great homeschooling posts this week at the

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back
Michelle @ Delightful Learning 
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining 

And don’t miss the Awesome, Incredible $1300 Homeschool Curriculum and Cash Giveaway!
Back to Homeschool Grand Prize Giveaway


(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, labeled with * .)

Awesome, Incredible Homeschool Giveaway: $765 Curriculum + $150 Cash!

Back to Homeschool Giveaway

Wow–what an awesome, incredible giveaway I have today!  This one is specifically for homeschoolers because it includes $765 worth of homeschool curriculum plus $150 cash!  See below for all the wonderful things you can win.  I own a lot of these and can verify that they will certainly be an asset to your homeschool!

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have joined forces during our August Back to Homeschool Blog Hop to bring you these giveaways, totaling more than $1300 in homeschool curriculum and Paypal cash!

Back to Homeschool Grand Prize Giveaway

 

Grand Prize Giveaway

In the Grand Prize  Giveaway, someone will win $765 in curriculum, plus $150 in Paypal cash to help you finish up your homeschool shopping! You could win all of the following. Please click on the prize links to learn more about each product.

From Home School Adventure Co. — Philosophy Adventure–Pre-Socratics and Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal (digital editions)

From Diana Waring Presents -Experience History Through Music

From Writing with Sharon WatsonThe Power in Your Hands: Writing NonFiction in High School and Writing Fiction [in High School]

From Homeschool LegacyWestward Ho I & Westward Ho II Once-a-Week Unit Studies

From The Old Schoolhouse MagazineOne-Year Membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com

From Shining Dawn Books – Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Bundle (Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Loving Living Math, Grammar Packets, and Creative Nature Walks)

From Memoria PressLatina Christiana I Set

From Excelerate Spanish – Excelerate SPANISH DVD Lessons 1-6

From WriteShop – Winner’s Choice of WriteShop Primary Book A, B, or C (Teacher’s Guide + Activity Pack)

From New Millennium Girl Books – Isabel Writing Bundle

From Write Bonnie RoseAsia: It’s People and History

From Home School in the Woods – Project Passport: The Middle Ages

From NotebookingPages.comLifetime Treasury Membership

From Victus Study Skills SystemVictus Study Skills Student Workbook & Teacher Edition Bundle

From the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers — $150 Paypal Cash

Back to Homeschool Second Prize Giveaway

 2nd Prize Giveaway

In the 2nd Prize Giveaway, someone will win $325 in curriculum, plus $100 in Paypal cash to help you finish up your homeschool shopping! You could win all of the following. Please click on the prize links to learn more about each product.

From Home School Adventure Co. — Philippians in 28 Weeks, The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Question, and The Wise Woman Print Set (digital editions)

From Writing with Sharon WatsonJump In: a workbook for reluctant and eager writers

From Home School in the Woods – K-2 Lap-Pak: Knights

From Write Bonnie Rose — Printables Bundle (Writing Prompts About Space Bonus Pack; Revolutionary War Activities: Patriotic Copywork; Revolutionary War Activities for Kids: Puzzles, Games, and Quizzes; Praying Through the Produce Aisle; Summer Olympics and Paralympics Unit Study)

From Excelerate Spanish – Excelerate SPANISH DVD Lessons 1-6

From Memoria PressPrima Latina Text Set

From New Millennium Girl Books – Callie’s Contest of Courage Mid grade novel and Callie’s Contest of Courage Literature Guide

From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine – One-Year Membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com

From the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers — $100 Paypal Cash

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S., ago 18 and older only. See more Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review/ Giveaway “Share A Blessing” book of postcards and stickers

 

My daughters didn’t come out of their room for an hour after I gave them this book yesterday!  It’s called Share A Blessing and is a book that contains 24 postcards and over 1000 sweet and fun stickers that girls can use to write encouraging notes to their friends and family!  In this increasingly digital age, it’s still so fun to receive real mail in your mailbox.  That’s why this book is called Share A Blessing.  Girls are learning how to share blessings with others, and we pray it brightens someone’s day when they receive them!

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 001  Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 003

Share A Blessing is best for girls ages 6-11.

The postcards include uplifting Christian messages and notes.

Sticker book 017

Sticker book 018

Sticker book 016

Here are a few pictures of the book.  See the cute elastic enclosure?

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 002

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 004

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 007

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 005

My youngest daughter preferred putting all the stickers she was given on her shirt. :)

Enter on the Rafflecopter below in order to win a copy!  The winner will be chosen on Saturday August 16 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  U.S. only, ages 18+ only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Tommy Nelson in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #78

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

 

 

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3.  Optional:  Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

 

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Follow on Bloglovin

 

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Time to Enter to Win $500 in the Summer Dreams Cash Giveaway!

SummerDreams

 

Here’s another cash giveaway to enter!  You never know– you might win this time!  I’m happy to join some other bloggers to offer this to you.  All you do is enter through the Rafflecopter app below.  Get as many chances as possible!

Are there any summer dreams that haven’t come true for you yet?  I think (if I could enter and win–but I can’t) that I would use the money to go on a special weekend trip with my husband.  We haven’t ever done that before!  Leave a comment and let me know what you would use the money for!

Welcome to the $500 Summer Dreams Cash Giveaway!

We have joined forces with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you this great giveaway. One lucky person will win $500 cash.


Enter to win $500 cash via PayPal.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.

Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.

Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm ET on August 19th, 2014.

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This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.
If you love entering giveaways, visit Giveaway Promote to find the greatest giveaways listed in one place.

TypeKids.com Review: Online Typing Course for Kids

Touch typing course for children

I’m happy to review TypeKids.com today.  My 10-year-old daughter has been using the program for the last few weeks.  I’m really happy with it!  (They have a free trial of the first 3 lessons, so you can try it yourself!)

In HOME, kids can choose between Exercises, Review, Story, Games, and Messages.  I like the Review section where it tells the kids how well they are doing–which keys they are great with and which ones need more work.  Here is how they describe it: “The program detects which letters require more practice and changes the exercises accordingly. This way the typing course automatically adapts itself to the needs of each student.”  It’s an intelligent typing course!

Kids earn coins after completing a lesson.  There are 30 lessons total (about 15 hours). Then they can play a game that fits the theme such as Shark Attack (the sharks are attacking the ship.  You have to type the letter that’s on each shark before it gets there), Hammer Game, Keyboard Jumper, etc.  They unlock games by finding the treasure chest throughout the course.

The graphics of the sea, pirates, etc. are very appealing to the kids.  They also include some animation to show how the fingers are to move over the keys.

There are instructions for how to use the course (spoken aloud with animation) and how to place the hands on base position. I like their encouragement to say the letter out loud when first learning to type it.  They teach good posture (ergonomics)–how to sit correctly in your seat and how to position the chair, keyboard, and monitor.  After finishing the course, they estimate that kids who finish it will increase their typing speed up to 5 times!

There is a fun story of Jack joining a pirate ship and the adventures he experiences.  The kids can hear more chapters of the exciting story as they complete lessons.  I would only wish they had more “pictures” in the online book that’s being read aloud to them.

Kids earn special badges by accomplishing different things (like typing fast, finishing the first lesson, doing three exercises in one week, etc.).  The badges can be shared on Facebook.  Just another way to encourage and reward the kids for doing well!

Overall, I really like TypeKids.com.  We have 2 other programs to compare it to.  One was free but had very annoying sounds and graphics, and certainly wasn’t “intelligent”.  TypeKids.com is fun and kid-friendly, but not annoying to kids–and helps kids know exactly how well they are doing and what needs more work.  The other online program we tried was very dry and boring. It would be fine for adults wanting to improve their typing skills, but wouldn’t motivate kids to learn.  So, I highly recommend TypeKids and plan to use it for my kids who haven’t learned to type yet!

You can get a Free Trial of the First Three Lessons (no credit card required).  Give it a try!

Touch typing course for children

 

(Disclosure:  I received a free account in order to write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review “The Pioneer Adventure” and Sale on “The Pilgrim Adventure”

Just in time for back-to-school,  The Pioneer Adventure by Susan Kilbride is now available.  This is the fifth book in the Our America. . . series.  I have also reviewed The Pilgrim Adventure, The King Phillip’s War Adventure, The Salem Adventure, and The Revolutionary War Adventure.
The twins Finn and Ginny are still trying to find their parents who are lost back in time.  Each time they go back, they enter a different period of history and experience it first-hand while always keeping an eye out for their parents.  This time they land back in a wagon train that is heading to west on the Oregon Trail.  They find out that it’s not all fun and games traveling with wagon train.
Susan Kilbride, the author, pored through many journals of first-hand accounts of traveling west on the Oregon Trail.  She chose several exciting, true events which have been incorporated into this story.
The twins experience a cholera epidemic, Indian attacks, floods while trying to cross rivers, dangers traveling through the steep mountain trails, having to take their wagon apart to go down river a while and then put it back together, oxen dying, and Finn even gets amnesia when he falls off his horse.  A couple of the stories are truly amazing, such as one where people hear a mysterious voice calling out a message which ends up saving many peoples’ lives.
There is also a surprise at the end.  If you’ve read the other books, you’ll definitely want to read this one as well to find out what it is!
I have said numerous times that reading books like this is the best way to study history.  It really brings you into the time period.  This book is perfect for older elementary or middle school kids to read to themselves, or for Mom to read aloud to all.  It’s 114 pages long and includes a drawing and a map.
Susan has also provided a free pdf of activities to do along with reading the book!  There are recipes for beef jerky and apple fruit leather (and more), and directions for making a daisy chain, a Thaumatrope, a silhouette, and a yarn doll.  Have fun studying the Oregon Trail this year!
The Kindle version of The Pilgrim Adventure will be on sale for $2.99 on August 4, 5, & 6. 
Susan Kilbride’s other books:
(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Pioneer Adventure in order to write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Our Homeschool Verse of the Year & Ultimate Back to School Link Up Party

Phil 2 3-4

Here is our Homeschool Verse of the Year!  Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  

I pray that the words of this Scripture will not only make a difference in my kids’ lives, but also my own.  Yes, I am a selfish person, too, and it’s hard for me to give of myself so much every day.  But I know I am doing the Lord’s will and He will be with me!

Do you have a verse of the year?  Please share in the comments!

And be sure to join the Ultimate Back to School Link Up Party!

Linked to Living and Learning at Home

Review Mystery of History Volume 4

MOH4

It’s finally here!  Have you been waiting as long as I have?  We love the Mystery of History volumes, and Volume 4–the last–is finally out.

Many, many years ago when I first started homeschooling, we were turned onto “living books” (such as biographies and historical fiction) and the use of story-telling as the best way to study and learn history.  The other story curriculum we used wasn’t written from a Christian perspective, however.  And ALL history is written from someone’s point of view.  Later on as my children mature I will want them to read the other perspectives out there.  They need to know how to discern and compare and contrast.  But while they are young, I want them to learn history as it relates to God working in our world.

You get the best of both –the fun stories of history and written from a Christian perspective– in Mystery of History.  Volume 4 is organized as the previous volumes have been, with a lesson that you can read aloud to your kids (or the older ones can read to themselves), activities for various ages and tests and quizzes if you’d like to use them.  I am so grateful that all the maps are included because we love doing the map activities (and I don’t like searching for maps), and I adore the Supplemental Reading list.  We always get a ton of those items from the library!

Here are some details about Volume 4 (I have only seen Quarter 1, so this information is based on that):

* It is available for pre-order now.  You will receive the first quarter in PDF download so you can start using it or planning before the actual book is sent in September 2014.

* If you pre-order, you’ll also receive the coloring pages in PDF download for free.

* It covers the Wars of Independence (1708) through Modern Times (2014). 84 lessons divided into 4 quarters.

* Written by Linda Lacour Hobar

* Here is some of what you’ll learn in Quarter 1 of Volume 4:  Bach and Handel, the Thirteen Colonies, the Great Awakening, the Seven Years’ War, leaders of the Enlightenment,  Benjamin Franklin, the French and Indian War, Catherine the Great, American Revolution, Mozart, French Revolution, Napoleon, Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, William Wilberforce, Beethoven, Mexican War of Independence, War of 1812, Battle of Waterloo, Simon Bolivar, Greek War of Independence.

* Quarter 1 covers 7 weeks, 21 lessons (3 lessons a week), years 1708-1829.

* Quarter 2 covers the years 1822-1877.  Quarters 3 and 4 cover the rest of modern history.

* This volume is in color!  It has beautiful color pictures, photographs, and maps!  I especially like the famous paintings (like Washington Crossing the Delaware) and the portraits of famous men and women.

*  The reading difficulty of Volume 4 is 9th/10th grade reading level.  But don’t let that scare you from reading it aloud to your younger kids.  Skip parts or change words if you must, but I usually just read as is.

*  The Companion Guide is chock full of wonderful things to do along with your reading.

Here is what you’ll find in the Companion Guide (Again, I have only seen the portion for Quarter 1.):

* Quarter Summaries

* “What Do You Know?” Pre-tests (I always do these orally, but they can be copied and filled out by the kids.)

* Enough extra work for high school students to reach 4-5 hours a week on history in order to earn their high school history credit.

* How to make Memory cards (homemade flash cards)

* How to make Timelines

* Map activities.  The special maps needed for Volume 4 are all included in the Companion Guide.

* “What Did You Miss?” exercises–many of these are in the form of a game or competition.

* “What Did You Learn” quizzes (I do these orally, as well.)

* “Put it All Together” Quarterly Worksheets

* Semester Tests

* Supplemental Reading (I have LOVED picking and choosing extra books and DVDs from this list in the previous Mystery of History volumes!  This  is also important for high school students to add onto their reading of the time period.)  The Supplemental Reading appendix has different categories like primary sources, classic books of the time period, and other resources for specific grades.

* Explanations on how to set up a student history notebook and how to adapt the text and activities for your specific kids’ ages,

* Details on how to use Mystery of History for high school credit.

* Answer Keys

 

There are additional purchases you can make to add-on to Volume 4 of Mystery of History (not all are quite ready yet): audio version of the student text (with and without music of the time period), challenge cards, coloring pages, notebooking pages, and folderbooks.

Overall, Mystery of History is a must-have, in my opinion, for any Christian homeschooling family.  We add lots of resources to it, especially living books.  This year we will even be using a different curriculum to study 20th Century History, but we will also be reading the lessons and doing some of the activities from Mystery of History. I’ll be back at the end of the year to give a more comprehensive review of Volume 4 after we use it this year.

In the meantime, head over to Bright Ideas Press to see sample pages of Mystery of History Volume 4.


(Disclosure: I received the PDF version of Quarter 1 of Mystery of History Volume 4 in order to write this honest review. I will receive the full volume when it is released and will be back later in the year to write a more comprehensive review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

 

Sfzorzando String Camp (Morton Arboretum & Naper Settlement)

A couple of weeks ago my violinists partcipated in their first string camp. I also had 2 of my little ones who haven’t played yet be in the Pre-Twinkles program. It was a great Christian camp called Sfzorzando String Camp. It was about an hour from our house–so that was the hardest part of it for me. Also, since I had kids in all 5 different levels, they finished at 5 different times of the day. So, we hung out a lot at the church–at the playground, in the nursery, in the gym, and in the van!

They had a pretty strict dress code. I had to do quite a bit of shopping to prepare for the camp! I found some at the resale shop and made the girls’ black skirts. It was nice to see the kids looking so pretty and spiffy! I also loved that my older kids got to play in orchestras for the first time. The directors were really fine. The older kids also had choir, theory class, composition class, and chapel. My oldest son played in a chamber group (trio) as well as the orchestra. sfz camp and morton arboretum 052 sfz camp and morton arboretum 051 sfz camp and morton arboretum 045 sfz camp and morton arboretum 042

One of the neatest pieces the kids played was called a “wrap-around” piece because the three lower orchestras stood around the auditorium (with cellists in the middle) while the advanced orchestra was on the stage.

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I really loved that my kids got to participate in a choir.

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Here is the advanced orchestra playing hymns by ear.

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The Pre-Twinkles class was fun for my 4-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.  My son was the youngest kid and the only boy.  He almost dropped his violin during the final performance!

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He sure is adorable, isn’t he?

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The Advanced orchestra:

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Intermediate orchestra:

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The Beginning orchestra:

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I also took advantage of the location to go on a couple of field trips with the younger kids in the afternoons when the intermediate and advanced orchestras were still practicing.  Here is the Children’s Garden at the Morton Arboretum:

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And going back to the “Little House on the Prairie” days at Naper Settlement:

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Review “Body & Soul” by Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton, world-champion surfer, has written a new book that I love!  Today I share a review of Body & Soul: A Girl’s Guide to a Fit, Fun, and Fabulous Life (co-written with Dustin Dillberg.)

You may remember Bethany as the 13-year-old young lady whose arm was taken by a tiger shark off the coast of Hawaii where she lived.  She had been surfing all her life, and even after losing her arm, couldn’t wait to get back in the water.  She wrote an autobiography called Soul Surfer (which I also enjoyed reading) that was turned into the movie Soul Surfer. Through the years Bethany has learned techniques for exercising and eating well to keep her body in top-notch condition for surfing competitions.  Bethany recently married and is a believer in Jesus.  I found this book to be a wonderful opportunity to share a role model with my daughters.

Body & Soul is written specifically for teen and tween girls.  It is a 155-page paperback book that is beautifully graphically designed.  I just love looking through the book!  The photographs of food and exercises, the fonts and graphics–it’s all gorgeous!  But the content is even greater.

Here is the list of the chapters (with explanations and highlights):

1. In Total Confidence:  This first chapter presents the challenge.  Do you really want to get healthy?  Lots of encouragement from Bethany and from Scripture (verses are sprinkled throughout the book).

2. Your Body is a Gift:  You’ll learn how God made your body for a purpose and it’s our responsibility to take care of it.  We are made in His image.

3. Have an Amazing Outlook: Change your mindset in order to make healthy changes.  No using the word “can’t.”  Set goals.

4. Get Your Eat On:  Understanding about how food affects our bodies.  Learning about protein and carbs, whole foods, where to buy them, portion sizes, creating meal plans, what healthy snacks to take with you, how much water to drink (and how to spice it up), and recipes for green smoothies and sun tea.

5. Surfer Secrets For Your Best Bod:  First, Bethany shares about why posture is so important.  Then there are four workouts–with full instructions and pictures.

6. Tackle Your Challenges:  Q and A, like what other fitness options there are, identifying your fitness style, making eating healthy fun, and not getting burned out.

7. Go the Distance:  More encouragement to persevere.

8. Clean Green Recipes:  An awesome chapter with tons of recipes: breakfast (mango muffins, poached eggs with kale), juices/smoothies, lunch (chicken nori wrap, summer rolls), theme salads, dinner (macadamia nut crusted chicken, grilled veggie salad), side dishes (oven-roasted broccoli, guacamole), desserts and snacks (kale chips, banana “ice cream”).

9. Your Perfect Plan: Another favorite chapter of mine with the meal selections for every meal and every snack for a whole week!

 

One really fun thing about this book (that I know the teens will love) is that they can use the HarperCollins Unbound app to scan throughout the book to get multimedia and interactive content on their device!  I especially liked seeing videos of a couple of exercises and Bethany and a friend making the recipe for a Green Smoothie.

Overall, I recommend Body & Soul for anyone who has a teen or tween girl they would like to inspire to get healthier.  It will also encourage them in their walk with God!

I review for BookLook Bloggers

 

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Body & Soul from BookLook Bloggers.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review Music for Little Learners Kit #1

 

Music for Little Learners Kit #1

Are you a piano or elementary music teacher?  Or maybe you’d like to teach music to your own kids or at a homeschool co-op?  Read today’s review–because it might be what you’re looking for!

Music for Little Learners is an approach to teaching music (piano prep) for young children, ages 4 and up.  Joleen Steel is the master teacher who created Music for Little Learners.  I reviewed Kit #1 this summer.

My 5-year-old daughter has been wanting to start playing the piano for quite a while now.  This kit was so fun to use with her this summer to get her prepared for real lessons.

Here is what is included in Kit #1:

* A Lesson Booklet, containing 35 lessons plus 6 added games

*  A pair of white gloves (with velcro on the fingers)

* Velcro letters and numbers, 2 each of A-B-C-D-E-F-G and 1-2-3-4-5 (to put on the gloves)

*  A Treble clef mat

* A Bass clef mat

* 32 pages of scale cards

* 3 song cards (“This Old Man,” “MAry Had a Little Lamb,” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,”)

* 2 “Lines of the Staff” cards

* Square green plastic tiles, 2 each of A-B-C-D-E-F-G

* Square blue pastic tiles, 2 each of 1-2-3-4-5

* Square red plastic tiles, one each of A#-C#-D#-F#-G#

* Round red and yellow tokens, 3 each of A-B-C-D-E -F-G

* Foam pieces of treble clef, bass clef, brace, 2 “4″s (for time signature), whole note, 2 half notes, 4 quarter notes, and a bar line

It’s all included in this cute little suitcase:
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Here are some of the fun lessons you’ll teach:

The kids will learn about the staff and basic music notation with the staff cards and foam pieces in the box.

Here is a lesson on numbering the lines and spaces.  The kids practice with the staff cards and number tiles.

 

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Then they can play different types of games to practice it (speed drills!).

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Here they built the grand staff with the staff cards, but it also works well with the blue mats.

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My daughter really loved making the caterpillars, which helps them to recognize how the notes ascend up the staff in a scale, and that they repeat.  See one way to do them at the top picture of this post. Below is another way we did it–to build 3 C Major scales.  Included in the box were little googly eyes that you can glue to the head of the caterpillar.

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Then, of course, there is lots of actual piano playing.  The cards and gloves really help the young kids be successful at playing songs and scales.

See how the gloves can be labeled?  You can use the numbers for finger numbers or the notes, changing them around or removing them depending on what the particular song needs.

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My daughter absolutely loved using the gloves.  She would go grab them out of the box with the song cards and play all by herself!  We still need lots of practice with the scales, but that will come.

Kit #1 is really great for using at a Music 4 Little Learners Piano Camp!  Joleen has done those this summer, so contact her for more information about it!  Here is her blog where she shares lots of wonderful music teaching ideas. Or look into purchasing the kits (or specific items from the kit) for your own family or studio!

(Disclosure: I received Kit#1 in order to provide an honest review.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #77

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

 

 

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3.  Optional:  Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

 


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