From House to Home {Link Party} #81

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!

 

Follow on Bloglovin

 

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

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Review “UberSmart Math Facts” software

UberSmart Math Facts Review

 

Are you looking for a great way for your kids to learn or practice their math facts?  Today I’m happy to review UberSmart Software, which has created the product we used called

UberSmart Math Facts.  

Math facts are so important for kids to learn.  They can’t easily go on to the next concept in math if they are still trying to remember them.  If you aren’t sure what I mean by “math facts,” it’s knowing their basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems by heart.  They should know the answers to 6+7 or 9 x 3 without having to think at all.

How do they accomplish that?  They could use paper flash cards or a computer game.  They can take written tests or have someone quiz them orally.  Or they could use  UberSmart Math Facts.   

UberSmart Math Facts is actually not a fancy computer game.  It’s a simple no-nonsense and straight-forward way for learning and practicing math facts.

It’s specifically geared for grades K-6, but any age that needs math facts reinforcement can utilize it. 

This is a DOWNLOADABLE SOFTWARE for mastering math facts. It can be used by eight or more students and will enable your student to practice the following:

*Dot Cards (like adding domino faces)
*Keyboard Entry (Ten-Key Numbers)
*Flash Cards (add, subtract, multiplication, division)

*The Addition/Subtraction goes up through the 9s
*Multiplication/Division has the option to set it to go up to 9′s – 20′s. 

SYSTEM SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: This is for Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista only.  There isn’t a Mac version.

Take a look as some of these screen shots to get a better idea of what you’ll find in UberSmart Math Facts.

Here is a test.  You see the previous (just completed) problem first, then there is the one the student is supposed to answer by typing, and third is the next problem.  This particular test is testing the “12′s.”  You can choose which numbers need work, just like you can choose which operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) needs work.

 

UberSmart Math Facts Review
This screen shot is giving the child the opportunity to practice typing numbers fast and correctly.  They can’t “master” without typing the answers accurately and quickly.

UberSmart Math Facts Review
The next screenshot shows a Practice screen.  When kids are just learning a new fact, they can use this screen which first shows the flash card without the answer.  They can try to answer it out loud, and then hit “enter” to see what the answer is.

UberSmart Math Facts Review
This next screen is fun and reminds me of dominoes! This might be great for younger kids.  (The ones I had using it were 6 and 7 years old.) 
UberSmart Math Facts Review
Overall, we really liked UberSmart Math Facts, and I’m so glad we have it now!  I have all 8 of my kids listed in it so I can keep track of their progress and know which facts still need to be worked on.  We had trouble at first getting the software to work, but the developer was extremely helpful and worked on it for a few weeks to get it updated.  It now works great!
The cost is $24.95 for a Family License. With this license you can run Math Facts on all the computers in your home! You also get free upgrades and support.
 

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Review of The Berenstain Bears “God Shows the Way”

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 008

 

Are you looking for a great book for your early readers?  I’m happy to review The Berenstain Bears God Shows the Way.  It’s actually 3 books in 1!  And it’s hardcover, so it will last a lot longer.  :)

The first book is called Faith Gets Us Through.  I love how each story has a Bible verse related to it.  This book has Psalm 23:4.

In the story Papa Bear takes the cubs into a cave to earn their merit badge.  They encounter a few fun and scary things while in there, but they had faith in God and He helped them get out safely!

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 011

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 014

The second book is called Do Not Fear, God is Near, with the verse Psalm 34:4.  In this story Sister Bear has lots of things she is afraid of, especially her shadow!  Brother Bear is unkind and teases her, but his parents don’t allow it and encourage him to be kind.  Finally, Papa finds an ingenious way to help Sister not be afraid of her shadow anymore!

 

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 012

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 009

The third story is called Piggy Bank Blessings and uses the verse Proverbs 13:11.  Mama teaches the cubs that they need to be careful how they spend their money and that they should save it for something special.  At the end she is afraid they have blown it on something useless, but she is pleasantly surprised when she finds out what they did spend it on!

 

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 010

 

Sticker Book Berenstain Bears 013

 

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

 

 

 

Review of “The Alabaster Jar” by Anna Alden-Tirrill

annie

 

Today’s review is the 5th book in the Annie’s Adventures Series called The Alabaster Jar: The Miracle of Love by Anna Alden-Tirrill.  It was my 10-year-old daughter’s favorite book of the series!

Annie, who is a 13-year-old Christian homeschooled girl is now living in Australia with her parents.  We see her do a few things in Sydney, but soon the focus of the story is on Europe and Israel.  She sure is a world traveler!

Annie receives a package from a lady who was a character in the fourth book, The Promise Box.  In it is an ossuary with several items inside that were believed to have belonged to Mary Magdalene.  We learn about Mary and about the special items in the box.  Everything is checked out and is believed to be genuine.  We then follow Annie on an adventure with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, running from the bad guys who want to steal the priceless relics. There is danger and excitement, with a little history, geography, and science thrown in.

The story was fun to read.  There were a few moments where the action got bogged down by too much narration.  But overall, the book flowed and was an easy read.

I think most teen and pre-teen girls will really enjoy reading this story.  By the way, you don’t have to have read the other books to follow this one.  Everything relevant is explained again.

 

Read my reviews of the other Annie books: My Paris ConnectionMy Timeless Locket,  My Riviera Connection, and The Promise Box.

Check out Annie’s Adventure’s website to order the books.

Or here:


(Disclosure:  I received complimentary copies of the Annie’s Adventures series in order to write these honest reviews. This post contains affiliate links.)

 

 

 

Orkin Fact or Fake (Giveaway!)

Factorfake prizepack

Here’s a fun giveaway for you today!  It’s scientific prize pack from Orkin just for back-to-school time.  I’m really excited about the iPhone camera lens! Orkin is back with their awesome Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake series of famous bug myths!

 Take the quiz on the  Orkin Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake Blog App to test your knowledge and share the app with your friends!

One of you will win the Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK!

The Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK includes: 
- Clip-on Fisheye Lens (iPhone, Galaxy, Android compatible)
- Orkin On-the-Go Drink Tumbler
- Orkin Drawstring Bag
- Orkin “Field Notes” Notebook w/ Pen


You’ve heard the myths about bugs before. Do you know what’s fact and what’s fake?

“Daddy longlegs are poisonous.”
“Mosquitoes prefer adults over children.”
“Ants can survive underwater.”

 

Take Orkin’s Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake™ Quiz to test your knowledge, and be sure to watch every clip for the scoop on these infamous bug myths.  Some of them are really funny!

 

Orkin uses the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop a treatment that’s right for your home and your needs. To learn more about pest control that’s based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit orkin.com or call (844) 503-8251.

Orkin Facebook Page: facebook.com/OrkinPestControl
Ask The Orkin Man® Twitter Page: twitter.com/AskTheOrkinMan
Orkin YouTube Channel: youtube.com/user/OrkinVideo
Tweet using the #OrkinMan hashtag


 

Winner must live in U.S.  The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. My winner will be chosen on August 30 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

Enter on the Rafflecopter app below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I will receive a prize pack for my kids in exchange for promoting this event for Orkin LLC and they are responsible for delivering the prizes. I received no other compensation, and this post does not contain affiliate links.)

Review “Happy Kids Songs”

Happy Kids Songs Review

For the past couple of months we have been listening to some “Happy Kids Songs” by Dr. Mac and Friends and will be sharing a review today!  
We received THREE Song Sets via Download (15 songs total):
Friends & Sharing (Set 1)
Happiness & Attitude (Set 6)
Manners & Character (Set 7)

and

Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social & Emotional Skills physical softcover book.

When I received the downloads by email it was very easy to burn them onto a CD.  If you haven’t done that before, here’s how I did it:  Download the free software called iTunes.  Then you click on the download of the MP3 and tell the computer to open it in iTunes (or you can drag the file into iTunes).  After that you create a playlist in iTunes with just the Happy Kids Songs on it.  When you put a blank CD into the computer, it will ask you to choose a playlist to burn.  You choose the Happy Kids Songs playlist, and that’s all there is to it!  We kept the CD in the car and listened to it often.

The Happy Kids Songs have one purpose–to teach kids to have better character!  They are learning about how to treat others better, how to have good manners, and how to be a good friend.  The Happy Kids Songs website has lots of videos and song samples, so you can hear what they sound like before you buy.

Happy Kids Songs Review

The first five songs were about being a good friend and sharing.  The songs are called “Sailing on the Seven Cs,” “Everybody Wants to Find a Friend,” Sharing Friends,” Happy as Happy Can Be,” and “Together.”  My kids’ favorite was “Sailing on the Seven Cs,” which is a clever song about sailing on the good ship, Friendship!  The seven Cs are what helps us to be good friends: caring, consideration, commitment, communication, concern, curiosity, and cooperation.

Happy Kids Songs Review
The next song-set was about Happiness & Attitude.  The songs are “Shake it Out and Dance,” “Who Knows What’s a Kudo?,”I Don’t Understand,” “Be Good to Yourself,” and “Better Together.”  My favorite of this set was “Who Knows What’s a Kudo?”. This song teaches kids how to find things to compliment others in and then encourages them to actually share those kudos!

Happy Kids Songs Review

The last set we listened to was Manners & Character.  The songs were “H-o-n-e-s-t-y,” “The Magic Word,” “Quirks,” “The Golden Rule,” and “Six Little Kids.”  The song “Quirks” is really fun.

What I liked:

As a professional musician myself, I tend to be quite critical of many CDs for kids.  Put bluntly, many are very poorly produced with annoying singing and bad musicianship.  Not so with Happy Kids Songs!  These are high quality!  I loved listening the kids sing.  They are so talented!  But the adult singers and instrumentalists were also great!  The songs are well-written with clever little ad-libs, and with a variety of styles and arrangements.  The purpose of the songs is also a great feature.  We want our kids to grow in their character.  Even though these songs are not specifically Christian, they do encourage Christian themes, such as the Golden Rule.

What I didn’t like:

There are a few songs that talk about classroom teachers, so it’s clear that these songs were specifically written to be used in a school.  They can be used in a homeschool, too, of course, but there aren’t many songs that we reviewed that spoke of the kids’ parents.  I also didn’t like a few of the lyrics.  In the song “Quirks” which is helping kids recognize that all of us have quirks and we need to be patient and gracious with others.  But one line says “Some folks’ tempers flare up But they’re all just little quirks.”  I don’t believe a bad temper is a little quirk (like whistling while you work or having slicked up hair).  It’s a character flaw which should be overcome.  The other line I didn’t like was in “Six Little Kids.” The song is really cute and tells the story of 6 kids who encounter an elephant for the first time.  They don’t look at it, but just feel it.  So, the one that feels the elephant’s side thinks it is a wall; the one who feels the tail thinks it’s a rope, etc.  The song is teaching about how people have different points of view.  They say, “Which one of them is true?. . .All of them are true!”  Well, that’s just not the case.  A person who mistakenly thinks an elephant is a wall or a rope is wrong.  Their point of view is wrong.  An elephant is an elephant.

Activity Book:

We also received the 124-page activity book which has all 40 songs’ lyrics with accompanying activity pages like coloring sheets, mazes, word searches, etc.  There is also a section for teachers to do classroom activities to go along with the songs–dances, simple science experiments, games, etc.  It’s a great resource!

piano recital Happy Kids Songs 076 piano recital Happy Kids Songs 077
piano recital Happy Kids Songs 078
Age Range:

This is geared for ages 3-8, but children ages 0-9 are likely to enjoy this.

Cost:

Each 5-song set is $4.95 or $.99 for a single song.  The 124-page activity book is $12.56.

Follow Happy Kids Songs on FacebookTwitter: @howsyourfam, and YouTube!

Happy Kids Songs Review
 

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From House to Home {Link Party} #80

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!

 


Follow on Bloglovin

 

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

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

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!

 

 Loading InLinkz ...

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.)