Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: A Light for my Path

When I saw that we were going to be reviewing an Apologia book I got a little bit excited. First off, I know I'm rarely ever disappointed with Apologia and second, an ABC Picture book with two preschoolers is right up our alley.

A Light for My Path is written by Davis Carman and was illustrated by Alice Ratterree. The ABC Book is based on Psalm 119. It also includes all 176 verses of the chapter broken down along with the Hebrew Alphabet. 

I must say when I opened it up I was immediately impressed with the fantastic illustrations. She just does a beautiful job giving each page the details and attention it deserves. I was excited to get my kids down to read it and as always get opinions from them, after all it was written with them in mind, not me. :) 

We opened it up and as we began reading the repetitious pages I noticed my kids got involved by reading the "letter" associated word as well as telling me the animal or plant name. They seem to enjoy each page of the alphabet and my youngest didn't lose their attention until close to the end.  I began reading the beginning verses of Psalm 119 and showing them the Hebrew Letters but they immediately lost interest. No biggie, my kids are young and that part might need to be broken down into separate readings. 

I asked my little ones to tell me what they thought about the book and overall it was given a thumbs up! They loved the illustrations, which I bragged on before and talked about it together while flipping through the pages. My oldest said He thought it was great that someone thought to write a book about ABC's as well as learning Scripture. :) 

My Thumbs Up: 
  • Love the colorful Illustrations...Have I mentioned that?! ;) 
  • Each page includes a colorful upper and lower case letter. 
  • Each page contains not only a picture of the new letter but one from the previous letter. Such as, the letter "H" has Hippos but also a Giraffe from the letter G page. So it makes for a great review as you go. :) 

What's Not for me: 
  • We observed that the vocabulary was a bit advanced for our crew. Every family is different, so your preschoolers might be ready for it. 
  • My crew isn't ready for the Hebrew Alphabet or the depth of the longest chapter in the bible. :) 

 I really feel this would be a good book to add to your family library and can be purchased here for $14. You can also read reviews from some of the team members here

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Homeschool Programming Inc.

Homeschool Programming Inc. is a full line Computer Science Curriculum teaching how to write computer programs and games. Though I think adults could benefit from this program as well, it's focus is on Kids & Teens in the 4th-12th grade levels! 

This program was created by Homeschooling Parents who were approached to help a family with Computer Programming due to their background of B.S. & M.S. degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Their 17 years of Computer Software experience led them to be the perfect Source. They quickly discovered that nothing like this was being offered to teach Homeschool Families and thus The Homeschool Programming Incwas birthed! 

So, I know your dying to know the courses offered and lots of yummy details, so here is the list of course options. Click on the links and it will give you a more detailed look at each course. 

KidCoder Web Series                                     

We were given the KidCoder Beginning Web Design to review. This is a two semester series and we have the first. The purchase gives you a CD and book to work from which would be very beneficial, but for
review purposes we were given downloads. I did have some minor set backs in downloading at first, but I don't foresee this being a problem when purchasing. 

Initially when I looked into this program I jumped at the chance to review it for one main reason. I have a son who is in love with the computer and quite frankly has to be pulled off of it every day. I really wanted to give him the opportunity to learn about how the internet works and how to create a web site. This course gives you the opportunity to not only learn about coding, but to practice on a website: Raptors: Birds of Prey. I really appreciate that the lessons are self taught and that it requires little help from a "Teacher". The course offers options on learning styles as well. So if you have a visual or auditory learner you can watch videos as well. 

Check out some sample lessons and Videos. 

Topics Covered in this Course (Taken from Website) KidCoder: Beginning Web Design
  • Mark-up concepts
  • Website layouts and files
  • Backing up projects
  • Essential HTML symbols
  • Styling of text
  • Using symbols and lists
  • Internal and external hyperlinks
  • Navigation bars and footers
  • Simple CSS effects
  • Spacing and positioning
  • Graphics and image editing
  • Tables

 The Beginning Web Design  can be purchased several ways to give you the best option for your family.  

KidCoder: Beginning Web Design (Course Only) $70
KidCoder: Beginning Web Design (Course & Video) $85
KidCoder: Beginning Web Design (Video Only) $20

There is also a Package deal for those who would like to order that way, and you can find those pricing and package details here

Now, with all the details laid before you, I must say that we were not successful at doing the course at this time.  My Son is starting 4th grade this year but is on the younger side of the grade, as he's just turned 9. He currently doesn't have the basic knowledge of the computer that would be needed to successfully take the course on his own. However, I DO plan to try again next year and see where we are. Over the next year he will take typing courses as well as learn basic knowledge that will be helpful for him to do the course. He is very excited about taking it one day and was disappointed that he couldn't do it now. However, if my husband or myself gain some free time we may be able to do the course alongside him. 

I would most definitely refer this to family and friends and feel they could benefit from it! I might just take the course myself, I could use it in "blog land"! :) 

I really would love it if you would check out the other reviews given on it. So you can see it from a different perspective and maybe gain some more from personal experience. You can find their reviews here. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: The Classical Historian Medieval History Memory Game

We had the opportunity to review The Medieval History Memory Game by The Classical Historian. I must admit at first I wasn't sure how the kids would respond to it, considering we are on our Summer break and anything "School" related over the summer can get a...well..let's say not so nice response. :) I also wasn't sure how the little ones would respond being only 3 and 4, but to my surprise the games are created for students from preschool through the 12th grade. Score! 

The Classical Historian is a family run business that is focused on creating a love for learning History by using Games and Activities. The family consists of John De Gree, his wife Zdenka and their seven children which they homeschool. Mrs. De Gree,while growing up in Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia, found that playing fun games helped her learn simple facts about history and wanted to implement those same ideas here. 

The Memory Game Comes in three different categories, Medieval, American, and Ancient History. We reviewed the Medieval History. The Memory Game comes with two different versions to play. The first is the traditional Memory Game and the second is Categories. Considering the ages of my kids (3-8) we decided to just play the Memory game for now. The game comes with 64 matching cards and instructions for both games. 

I was thinking at first I would just let my older boys 6 and 8, play the game, but the littles were ecstatic at the mention of "Memory" so I decided to start the game with 24 tiles as opposed to 64 and work our way up by adding sets. To my surprise even my 3 year old LOVED the game (enter here sad face that my phone ended up with water damage and I lost the photos of them playing...the face he made making his first match was priceless!) Also, I was thrilled that even though we aren't in "School" at the time, each card sparked questions based on the photos and the names and gave us an opportunity to begin talking about these events. The littles did fantastic and I left the four to continue playing rounds and increasing cards as they go. I'm excited about using this, as well as, their other games and activities as a tool when studying History in the future. I would also highly recommend purchasing any of the 3 games as a tool in your own studies as well.  So, I know your just dying to know how to get your hands on your very own game aren't you?

Well lucky for you, I have the information you need to get one of these bad boys yourself! ;) The Memory Games sell for $14.95 each and can be purchased from their website. By visiting The Classical Historian you can also see the other options they have including go fish games and History Curriculum for 6-12 grades. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: How Do We Know God is Really There?

First off, I'm ecstatic to be writing my FIRST Review for Mosiac Reviews! This is going to be a great tool for our family and I look forward to sharing some fun & useful things with everyone! :) So, without further adieu, here's the first! :) I freely welcome your comments. (Keep them nice please!)

How Do We Know God is Really There? 
By Melissa Cain Travis

I was thrilled with the chance to review this book. Not because we struggle with our Faith or knowing if God exists, but simply because there are times it would be great to have a tool to use when sharing with the others about the Lord. Also, I feel that Science can be awfully confusing when so many subjects contradict what we are taught to believe through the Word of God. I'm Blessed to be able to Homeschool, and know that my Kids are being taught that not only does God exist, but he loves them very much. However, not everyone is called to teach their children, or for others it simply may not be a possibility. So with education not always being faith based, I truly believe this would be a great book to read and share with your kids or others who have questions regarding God's existence. 

Melissa Cain Travis is not only the fabulous creator of this book, but a Homeschooling mom with an advanced degree in Science and Religion from Biola University. She also works along side Apologia and speaks at Apologetic conferences and workshops regarding Science and Faith.

"I love Thomas pretending he's on a skateboard in space"- Princess Peach, 4 yrs

Thomas and his Dad love to spend their evenings together exploring space through the telescope in the backyard tree house. Like most kids, Thomas is curious and asks his Dad, How we Know God is Really There? Together they explore the evidence of God's existence by looking into space.

How do we Know God is Really There?' is just the first of a series of picture books that helps answer questions some might have regarding the Christian Faith.  Even pre-readers will enjoy the illustrations as they do a fabulous job of telling the story as well! My 3 & 4 year old's have sat and read it out loud just by looking at the pictures, but they also enjoy listening to it being read to them.

Although the graphics are easy to interrupt, the book is written so that older kids can understand it more and paint a great picture in their minds. I loved that my kids asked questions as we went along and popped up in the "ah-ha" moments. :)

"It's an awesome book! It really helps you understand that God made everything, something couldn't have come from nothing" Mario, 6

 How Do We Know That God is Really There? is available to purchase through the Apologia Website for only $16, This is a great investment into your book collection, to buy for a neighbor, friend, co-worker, or anyone who has questions or is struggling with understanding creation. My family is really enjoying this book and I'm confident that yours will as well. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sibling Rivalry

It's possible that I'm not the only mom that has a problem with sibling rivalry, right? It seems that Homeschooling can even add to this considering the kids are together all day, every day. I have always wanted my kids to be close together, and it concerned me that I recently witnessed more fighting than normal.

I noticed that the most difficult situation was (and is) the relationship between my oldest (8) and my youngest (3) boys. I sat down with my oldest in attempt to get to the heart issue and find out why he is having such a hard time loving his little brother. It's rare that I see this behavior toward his sister or other brother, so I'm very curious as to why he chooses such harsh attitudes towards the youngest.

With that said, I began praying that the Lord would show me how to handle this and reveal to me the heart issue related to this behavior.  One day, a little before Easter, I was reading John 13:1-17 and the Lord confirmed that He wanted us to wash each other's feet. What a place of humility for all of us! Not only to do the washing, but to receive it as well. I felt that my oldest was to wash the feet of my youngest. However, I wasn't sure how he would handle this. 

Luigi (oldest) washing  Yoshi's (youngest) Feet. :)

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

I was surprised that not only was my son not opposed to washing his feet, but I saw compassion toward his brother while he did it. I wish I could say that at this moment I understand the conflicts between these two,  and that I had great answers on how to solve it. Yet the truth is...I don't. I DO however have John 13:7 on which to stand. Also, I can trust that God sees what I don't see, and knows exactly what the future is for these two! I pray that God would create a strong bond between the two of them that is unbreakable. 

Mario washing Princess Peach's Feet :) 

Daddy helping Princess Peach wash Luigi's feet :)

There was so much love and compassion as we humbled ourselves to serve the ones that we tend to take so easily for granted. I'm certain that this is something we will do again as a reminder of what it means to love and serve each other as we should. I seriously wish I had all the answers to fix this sibling rivalry thing, but for now I'm going to have to trust the Lord in giving me each step. 

Do you deal with Sibling Rivalry? If so, Do you have certain ways you handle it? Has the Lord shown you specific things for your family? I would love to hear your thoughts on this, I'm all open to great ideas!! :)