Kids Around the World Giveaway

I am so excited to have the opportunity to share a great giveaway with you! It is full of wonderful prizes (I wish I could enter) that would make for a very in-depth study of Asia. AJ and I have recently been reviewing a great history and geography book all about Asia. It is full of beautiful pictures and plenty of fun useful information. The book, Asia: Its People and History, is not available yet but it will be soon. So far we are learning a lot and having a lot of fun. Be on the look out for my full review of the book in a few weeks.

  kids around the world giveaway 2
To celebrate the upcoming release of Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson, I am joining my launch team friends to share a Kids Around the World giveaway, an incredible gift especially for kids between the ages of 8-12! This giveaway as a total value of nearly $335! Prizes include a Kindle eReader, a one-year membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, some wonderful unit studies and lapbook set in Asia, and books about missionaries! Here’s everything you could win: Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson ($6.95 value) From SchoolhouseTeachers.com:  One-Year Membership ($139 value) From the Asia: Its People and History Launch Team: Kindle 6″ eReader plus a $15 USD Amazon Gift Card ($84 value) Philippians in 28 Weeks digital by Stacy Farrell ($14.95 value) From Ben and Me — YWAM Christian Heroes Then and Now Books 1-5 Gift Set ($32.47 value) From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine — eBook Bundle: Missionary Geography, TOS WeE-book by Maggie Hogan and Diana Waring and Mary Slessor: The White Ma of Calabar, TOS WeE-book by Diana Waring ($3.90 value) and  August 2013 Schoolhouse Expo – Bonnie Rose Hudson: How to Write for The Old Schoolhouse and the TOS Family ($4.95 value) From Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett – Download N Go Bundle: Expedition China, Expedition Israel, and Kite Capers ($26.85 value) From A Journey Through Learning Lapbook Bundle: Asia and My Favorite Country ($9 value) From author, Gwen Toliver, Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures ($12.50 value) To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S. and Canada only (excludes Quebec), age 18 and older. Other Terms and Conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reading Eggspress Review

Reading has been a difficult subject in our homeschool. I love to read and if I had more time I would more than likely spend it reading. AJ on the other hand has a strong dislike when it comes to reading. Ever since she was in second grade and was no longer “aloud” to sound out words, we have had a problem with reading. She likes to read easy books that are way below her reading level, but give her a long passage with no pictures and she will do one of two things. She will either pretend to read and then not be able to answer any questions, or she will take forever and by the time she is done she forgets half of what she reads. This year she is finally realizing that reading can be fun and she has started to even enjoy reading at times, but I was looking for something extra to help focus on her reading skills. Then we were given the opportunity to review Reading Eggs. At first I almost passed up the opportunity because I thought it was just for the younger set, but I was wrong. They have an entire section for kids ages 7 to 13 to help with reading and comprehension called Reading Eggspress.

Find out more about Reading Eggs:

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Here is a little more about Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress:

Reading Eggs

Full of educationally sound, fun and interactive activities, Reading Eggs focuses on the most fundamental skill needed in school – reading. Children from 3 –7 years or older children struggling with reading will enjoy the huge variety of reading lessons, activities and games that make up the Reading Eggs program.

In addition to the 120 reading lessons in Reading Eggs there is the Reading Eggs World which caters for children who already know the basics of reading but who still have much to learn about reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension. In the Reading Eggs World, children have their own house to decorate, a big shop and an avatar that can walk and travel to many new destinations on Reggie’s bus. Children are able to choose their own adventure from a wide range of activities and places to go, including the following content:
 • The Story Factory – this gives children an introduction to creative writing and they can put together stories to enter in a weekly story writing competition.

• Driving Tests – has 15 sight word tests, 15 letters and sounds test and 15 content word tests. Children are rewarded for correct completion with a driving game.

• Puzzle Park – children can access 32 word puzzles and practice sight word recognition.

• Skills Bank – holds 96 spelling lessons that take students up to the end of key stage 1.

• Storylands – this area builds reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills and is perfect for children who have begun to read but aren’t quite ready for Reading Eggspress. It currently includes 20 e-books to read.

• The Arcade – includes 24 arcade-style games to be used as rewards to motivate children to keep learning. They need to earn Golden Eggs to play these so encourages them to work through lessons and educational activities before using the arcade.

Reading Eggspress

 Reading Eggspress continues the reading adventure by taking children to a brand new world designed for 7 – 13 year olds focusing on comprehension and grammar. Reading Eggspress provides a unique learning environment where students’ can improve their English language and comprehension skills in a way that is exciting and relevant.

The Reading Eggspress program uses a spinning island which instantly engages children. They explore a complete world with a wide variety of both learning and fun experiences. The range of activities motivate students to return regularly to complete lessons, compete against others, earn more rewards and improve their skills.

The Reading Eggspress website has an enormous range of learning resources, lessons, motivational games and e-books. There are 4 areas of the Reading Eggspress World:

 • Library – the Reading Eggspress Library holds more than 1500 e-books including illustrated chapter books, full-color nonfiction books and a range of classics. Children can search for books by topic, series, author, reading age or book title. New books are added regularly.

The Comprehension Gym – children complete a placement test when they first visit the Gym which places students at the correct level for their current ability. The Gym holds 200 interactive comprehension lessons over five broad levels from years 2 to years 6 with 40 lessons per year level.

The Stadium – children compete in real time against students from around the world. The exciting head-to-head contest tests skills in one of four areas – spelling, vocabulary, usage and grammar.

Apartment and Mall – children can use their golden eggs to buy avatar clothes and apartment furniture. Within the apartment all the trophies, medals and trading cards children have collected can be viewed and children can also complete a 100-level quest-style game to expand and refresh learning and earn more golden eggs.

Progress within the Reading Eggspress program is measured by the completion of targets. These are split over 4 levels and help give children some guidance and structure for learning and encourage them to use all of the above areas.

Both the Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress programs have a comprehensive reporting system that tracks progress so that students and their parents can clearly see each child’s achievements.

There are currently over 2 million children using the Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress program around the world and over 90% of parents surveyed have reported a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading skills.

Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress is a program that really works by making learning a fun, interactive and enjoyable experience for all involved.

How we used the Program
 

The problem I normally have with computer based learning is that AJ will spend most of her time playing with her avatar and looking at the things that she can buy rather than learning. Unfortunately that was also the case with Reading Eggspress. The times I had her go on the site independently I saw no progress. She changed her apartment and her outfits and “forgot” that she was suppose to try and earn eggs and complete lessons.

So while I would have liked her experience with the program to have been independent, that was not how it ended up working. I ended up sitting with her for every lesson. Once we got over that hurdle, our experience was a success!

Our goal each time she logged in was to complete a lesson and then complete a target mission. Missions included things like buying things, reading and reviewing books, and passing quizzes with 10 answers correct in a row. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety of the lessons and missions. When she logged in to the comprehension gym it gave her a choice of 10 different books each was a different lesson. She clicked on the one she wanted to do and followed the directions. Each lesson was broken down into a few different activities.

Here is an example of a lesson for the book The Fine Line.
Cover Story
Using the picture on the cover, you answer questions regarding what the book will be about.
Dictionary
You pick 3 vocabulary words from a list, find each one in the dictionary, and answer questions about the part of speech and correct usage in a sentence. You also practice alphabetizing.
Pictures have Feelings Too
Using pictures from the story, you answer questions about characters’ feelings.
 
Key Words
 Match vocabulary words to their definition to unlock locks.
 
Who, What, Where, and When
You practice telling the who, what, when, and where with a simple sentence. Then you answer the same questions regarding a small section of the text.
  
Reading
You read a few pages of the story.
 
Quiz
You answer 16 questions about the reading, vocabulary, and basic grammar skills
 
 
What I liked
 
I like how there are so many different skills practiced in each lesson. I like how although some of the lessons are similar, there is enough variety to keep AJ interested. I was also pleased with the fact that even though they are using the computer, they are made to look up the vocabulary words using a pretend dictionary on the screen. I feel that a lot of the questions forced AJ to read closer. Having the avatar motivated AJ to earn more eggs so that she could buy more things. The library section was full of books on numerous topics. A few times I had her search for books on topics we were learning about and almost every subject had at least one book that she could read. The best part was that AJ wanted to go on the site every day. Every morning she would say, “I need to do my Reading Eggspress.” I honestly feel that working with this program has improved her reading.
 
 

What I didn’t like

 
Although I liked the program overall, I found a few issues that I feel worth mentioning. I found the language in a few of the books very questionable. In fact in the book The Fine Line the words idiot, stupid, and jerk are all used on just the few pages that are read for the lesson. I personally don’t want my child to be reading that type of language and now wonder if I will have to preread lessons before she completes them.  I also found some of the quiz questions confusing and poorly worded. The biggest issue I had was that the way it is set up, it is quite easy for the child to just guess and not read. If they get a question wrong the same question pops up later. There is also no explanation as to why the answer is wrong so instead of learning from the mistake the child is just expected to pick the correct answer the next time.
 
 
 
While I listed a few negatives I think we will continue with the program for a while and see how it goes. Here is the good news……. you can get a FREE 5 week trial to see for yourself if the program is right for your family. Use this link www.readingeggs.com/create  to start your 5 week free trial.  While you are looking into the free trial, you can also check out the fundraiser that is going on from February 3rd to March 7th to help raise funds for The National Children’s Cancer Society.
  *NCCS will earn a minimum of $25,000 from Reading Eggs plus 100% of the donations collected by RTCC participants
 
Prices vary based on the length of your subscription. Click here to learn more about pricing options.


Read other team member reviews by clicking the graphic below.

http://homeschoolmosaics.com/giving-love-with-the-gift-of-reading-reading-eggs-review/

Weeding out the Wheat – Review

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There are so many diet fads out there and it seems as if every month week the media is changing its mind as to what foods are considered healthy and what foods to avoid. I had been hearing so many people were going “gluten free” and like most of you I kept seeing gluten free options available from restaurants to supermarkets. I honestly thought it was just another diet trend and when I first saw the opportunity to review the book written by Luke and Trisha Gilkerson I decided I would pass. Then while I was talking with my mom, who is diabetic, about the book that I decided not to review, it got me thinking. The authors had made some very bold statements about wheat and since all I had to do was read the book, not actually go wheat free I decided to go ahead and read the book. Unlike most things that I review, I went into this review quite skeptical. I mean it is wheat, something people have been eating since the beginning of time, so how could it be that bad?
If any of that sounds familiar to you, then you need to read this book! While my family has not decided as of now to give up wheat, this book has been eye-opening and made us more knowledgeable about not only wheat but food in general.
Weeding out the Wheat is a Simple, Scientific, Faith-Based guide that talks about why the wheat of today is so bad for you. Here is a video that gives just a glimpse about the book.
The book is divided into three main sections.
  1. Wheat Gone Wild:  Understanding Wheat’s Connection to Deteriorating Health. This section is filled with information on why wheat is bad. It talks about how wheat in ancient times was actually different from the wheat we eat today and so much more. While there are a lot of facts presented, it is an easy and enjoyable read.
  2. Is wheat-free biblical? Reconciling a Wheat-Free Diet with a Bread-Filled Faith. I had honestly never thought of the Bible as a reason why to eat wheat. I just ate whatever I wanted, but after reading this section I can see how some people would feel that since bread represents Jesus’s body in communion that they may feel the need to eat wheat to remain spiritually close to God. I found this section to be very well written and full of good examples on why being wheat free is okay.
  3. Moving Forward: Making the Wheat-free Transition. The first thing I said before I read this book was, “What will I be able to eat?” Since I am allergic to corn, I eat a lot of rice and wheat. This part of the book helps you to understand how you can be wheat free. This is the part of the book was where I originally felt it was lacking a little bit, but after receiving feedback about the book the authors added more information to it and it is now full of wonderful information.
I found that I learned so much from this book. I think the best part is that Luke and Trisha acknowledge in the book that going wheat free is not for everyone. This is one of my favorite quotes:

“We’re not here to tell you that giving up wheat will be the panacea for all of your woes.  “

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I am very glad that I ended up taking the opportunity to review it. If you have been thinking about going wheat free, or if you want to learn more about it, I would highly recommend this book.  It is available from Amazon. Currently the soft cover book is $14.95and the Kindle version is $9.95.

Find out what other reviewers thought about the book by clicking on the graphic below.

http://www.bowofbronze.com/2013/12/30/weeding-wheat-luke-trisha-gilkerson-read-reviews/

Udderly Smooth Review

I hate lotion. I hate it so much that even when I have dry skin, I put off using it for as long as possible. I have never liked to use lotion for as far back as I can remember. The sticky, slimy, greasy, mess is just something that I have never enjoyed. Unfortunately, AJ was blessed with not so great skin and has to use lotion a lot. The lotion recommended by the dermatologist is expensive and still leaves her skin dry! So, when I was given the opportunity to do a review for Udderly Smooth, I was excited.

Udderly Smooth is the lotion with the black and white cow spots. It was originally developed in Ohio to be used on dairy cows and is now used by people world wide on dry and chapped skin.

Udderly Smooth offers a variety of products including:

  • Moisturizing Lotion
  • Shea Butter Foot Cream
  • Body Cream
  • Udder Cream
  • Country Cream
  • Chamois Cream
  •  Hand & Body Moisturizing Lotion
  • Udderly Smooth Extra Care

I was given the opportunity to try the hand cream, foot cream, and body cream.

The body cream is a soft white cream that is non-greasy with a fresh scent. It moisturizes your skin leaving it soft and smooth. I used the body cream on AJ and it soaked right into her skin. I feel that it actually works better than the expensive lotion recommended by her dermatologist. We also tried it on my grandma’s face where she had some dry spots, by the next morning the spots were soft and smooth. The best part for me was that my hands didn’t feel sticky and slimy after I put it on them. This will definitely be a keeper in our house.

The foot cream was amazing! My mom is diabetic so I often rub her feet and the foot cream made it an enjoyable experience for both of us. She actually said, “I love this lotion!” It left her feet smooth, but not greasy. It also helped with the cracking on her heals. The foot cream is a little bit thicker than the body cream and has a similar fresh scent.

The hand lotion worked great too! In fact I put it on right before typing up this blog and have had no problem. With other lotions there would be no way that I could type after less than a minute of putting it on.

People have used these products for a number of different uses from dry skin to sunburns. The products are available online and at various retailers including Walmart. Prices vary depending on where you purchase it, but they are a great value.

Overall this lotion is wonderful. It goes on smooth and is not at all greasy. It is something that we will be using from now on in our home. It is a product that I would recommend in a second. If you have dry chapped skin look for the black and white spotted bottles!

Find out what others had to say by clicking on the graphic below.

http://mosaicreviews.com/udderly-smooth/

Write From Early Modern History – Review

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AJ’s weakest subject is writing. She actually hates to write and I would say that most issues that we have while doing school work come from writing. There are so many writing programs out there and just as many ways to teach writing. When I was given the opportunity, I was happy to review Write From History.

What is Write From History?

Write From History is an elementary writing program that teaches grammar, spelling, and history all at the same time. It is based off of Charlotte Mason’s methods and uses narration, copywork, and dictation to teach writing.

There are four different eras to choose from:

  • Ancient History
  • Medieval History
  • Early Modern History
  • Modern History

With the exception of Modern History, each era of history is available in either a level 1 or level 2. Modern History is only available in level 2 right now. Level one is geared for kids in grades 1 through 3 and level 2 is geared for kids grades 3 to 5. The level one books are currently only available in manuscript while the level 2 books are available in either manuscript or cursive.

While this is not a complete history curriculum it would be a great supplement to any program. We decided to review Write through Early Modern History Level 2 Cursive.

About the Book

Early Modern History covers 1600 to 1850. It starts with a passage about John Smith and ends with a passage about the Gold Rush. The book is broken into four different sections.

  1. Short stories
  2. Primary sources
  3. Poetry
  4. Folk Tales

The book is extremely flexible and can really be used however you see fit. The author gives a suggested schedule which has the child reading either a short story or a folk tale on day 1. After reading the passage the child does an oral narration and a short written summary about the passage. On day 2 the child completes copywork and grammar from the first day’s reading. The third day has the child doing studied dictation. On the fourth day the child reads either a primary source or poetry and does oral narration and copywork. The fifth day has more studied dictation. Each day takes between 15 and 45 minutes depending on the amount of reading and the length of the copywork.

You are encouraged to set your child up for success and make changes as needed. In fact children who have never done dictation are encouraged to start out with only one sentence and work there way up to a short passage.

There are really great passages in the book including Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry, The Declaration of Independence, George Washington’s Farewell Address, and many more. There is poetry from many different poets like, Henry Longfellow, William Blake, Isaac Watts, and more. Throughout the study children are exposed to many different types of writing. A lot of the reading in the book is way above the third through fifth grade level, but parents are encouraged to read the harder selections to the student.

What I liked

Flexibility! I love the fact that while you have an optional schedule to follow, you are able to make changes to fit the needs of your child. AJ has never really done dictation so the dictation passages were a bit too long for her to start with. I can have her write a smaller section and work up to the longer ones.

Clear Writing. So often in copywork I see the transitions in cursive writing done incorrectly. This book not only has it written correctly, but the font is easy to read. There is also ample space for copying the selections.

Directions in plain English. I have not read up on Charlotte Mason’s teachings and originally I was a little unsure of what to do for dictation and narration. The author spells it all out at the beginning of the book.

History is Studied in more depth. This is by no means a full history course, but I love the fact that we can read about what we are studying in history, especially the primary sources that bring history to life.

Great Price. The book is available for only $22.95 for an e-book or $30.95 for a printed soft cover book.

Things I would change / didn’t work for us

Grammar– While the book can help teach grammar with a color coding system, (circling nouns in one color and verbs in another) I feel a separate grammar program would be a better option for the older grades. There is not an answer key at this time for the grammar section which may be a downfall to some.

Appendix is not removable. The appendix at the back of the book says to remove it and use for student dictation. It would be great if the pages were either perforated or already out of the book. I was unable to remove them.

The Charlotte Mason method. Not necessarily a negative, but as of right now I don’t know how I feel about using copywork and dictation for teaching spelling and grammar. Many people use it and love the methods. I personally do not feel there is enough writing instruction with this method. For now I think we will keep our own spelling and writing program.

Final Thoughts

I love the variety of reading selections available. While I don’t think I will use the program to teach spelling, writing, and grammar, I do plan on ordering the Ancient History book to use next year as a supplement to our reading and history study. For us it would be worth the price for just the reading selections. Those that are familiar with Charlotte Mason’s methods would love this book.

http://themultitaskinmom.com/write-history-reviews/

A Tale of Two Kingdoms – Review

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When I was younger I read the entire Bible and felt like it was a huge accomplishment. For some time now I have not been reading the Bible as much as I should. Then this year AJ’s curriculum included daily Bible reading. I have been reading more of the Bible again but felt I could use a good Bible study. So when I was recently given the opportunity to review two books by Heather A Kendall I thought that it would be a good study. I reviewed A Tale of Two Kingdoms and God’s Unfolding Story of  Salvation. The books are meant to be used either together or they can stand alone.


About the Book

A Tale of Two Kingdoms is a 448 page book that is divided into two sections. The first section is, Waiting for the Promised Seed and the second is Responding to the Promised Seed. The promised seed is of course our Savior Jesus Christ. The book traces the story of salvation from Genesis to Revelations. The book also includes maps, timelines, and key people and events in the Bible. The book is meant to serve as a big picture overview of the Bible.

What did I think?

To be honest this book was just not for me. Throughout the book Heather tells stories of her own life and it is intertwined with the Bible study. I found it not only distracting but at times confusing. Everyone interprets the Bible differently and I found a few places in the book where her interpretation of scripture and my thoughts on scripture differed. While I love the idea of the book I felt it was hard to read and at times boring. The book was not all bad, and it could be that it was not right for me at this time in my life. I do agree with the general premise of the book and feel that it might be a good starting point for those who are either new to reading the Bible or those who want to understand the big picture of the Bible before studying it more in-depth.

The second book was God’s Unfolding Story of  Salvation.

About the Book
 
God’s Unfolding Story of Salvation is a 196 page Bible study that is divided into 38 lessons. The lessons are divided into four sections.

  • Part One Preparing for the Promised Seed
  • Part Two The Prophets: Waiting for the Promised Seed
  • Part Three Jesus, the Promised Seed
  • Part Four The Church: Proclaiming the Promised Seed

This book can be used for a group or individual Bible study. The same premise is presented in this book, but the difference is that you are instructed to read various verses in the Bible and then answer questions. After the questions there is a summary of the verses along with Heather’s interpretation of them. It is suitable for older teens and adults.

What did I think?

While I found this book more useful than the other one, it still was not something I would use. The way the questions were set up  requires a lot of writing and some of the questions were quite redundant. They also have you jumping all over the Bible reading a few verses here and there. While I don’t think the Bible has to be read from beginning to end, I do feel that reading little bits here and there can lead to misinterpretations of the scripture. In a Bible study I like questions that are open-ended and make you think, unfortunately those were not the types of questions I found. I felt the questions were set up more like reading comprehension questions than ones that made you think and grow closer to God.

All that being said, if you are looking for a Bible study where the focus is primarily on facts in the Bible, this would be what you are looking for. It might be good for those who are new to the Bible and those who want the scriptures broken down and explained for them.

According to the author the books can stand alone or be used together. After trying numerous times I was unable to match up the chapters so that both books were talking about the same thing. I would recommend using the books separately as they make more sense that way.

Overall these books didn’t work for me. I love the idea behind the books but personally I did not enjoy them. Just because they didn’t work for me doesn’t mean they won’t work for you. Check out a sample from the books and decide for yourself.

God’s Unfolding Story of Salvation is available for $22 with free shipping and handling from the author’s website and for $23 from Amazon.

A Tale of Two Kingdoms is available for $23 with free shipping and handling from the author’s website and for $19.17 from Amazon. It is also available for Kindle.

Find out what others on the team thought of the books by clicking on the graphic below.

http://mosaicreviews.com/a-tale-of-two-kingdoms/

H is for Health – Weeding out the Wheat

H is for Health

Gluten free products are everywhere, and it seems everyday someone else is saying why wheat can be causing all sorts of health problems. In fact just this week Dr. Oz  had a whole show devoted to the subject. Should you take the wheat out of your diet? Is it something you are thinking about?

 I am in the process of reviewing a new book, Weeding out the Wheat written by Luke and Trisha Gilkerson. It is a great book that explains everything about wheat in laymen’s terms. Here is a video that explains it a little more.

You can purchase Weeding Out the Wheat here. Look for my full review coming at the end of the month.

Why I Give An Activity Book – Review & Giveaway

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G is for Giving!

I recently was able to review a book and activity book written by Corine Hyman, Ph.D. The book is, Why We Give  Gifts at Christmas Time.

From the back of the book:

“Why do we give gifts to each other at Christmas time if it is Jesus’ birthday? This is a question that everyone has wondered at least once in their life. However, few have been able to come up with an answer. Join Evelyn and her friends as they discover the reason why we give gifts at Christmas time if it is Jesus’ birthday.”

About the book:

It is a hard covered 16 page picture book that is full of color. The images in the book are child like and fun. It is geared for children ages 3 to 8 and gives a great message. The book has you follow Evelyn as she asks all of her friends why they give gifts at Christmas time. Each of her friends gives a reason that is then backed up by a Bible verse. The verses are written in either NIV or NCV versions.

What did I think?

I really liked the idea of the book and feel that it gives a great message. It is very well made and the illustrations are kid friendly. AJ liked the fact that she was able to read it by herself and that there were so many pictures. The story is cute, but I would stick to the recommended ages because AJ found it a bit boring. I am also a cheapskate so I found the recommended price to be a little too high for the book. Then again I couldn’t justify spending $16.95 on any book.

It is available as a Kindle ebook from Amazon. You can also get the hardcover book here. Prices on Amazon change, but at the time of this post the ebook was $4.99 and the hardcover book was $10.86.

There is an activity book that can stand alone or go with the book. It is called, Why I Give an Activity Book. The activity book is designed to help cultivate a heart of giving all of the time, not just at Christmas.

About the Activity Book:

It is a 64 page downloadable ebook that contains coloring pages, journal pages, puzzles, and gift ideas that kids can either make or help make. The coloring pages are based off of the characters from the book, Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time. On the bottom of each coloring page there is a Bible verse related to giving. There are a variety of different puzzle pages including, mazes, filling in the blank pages, word searches and more.

What did I think?

I really liked the activity book. I liked that there were such a variety of different puzzles. AJ found them fun and challenging enough to keep her interest. The gift ideas were great. So many times kids want to give but don’t have the money to buy a gift, in this activity book it gives them ideas that they can use. We made a soap ball and it turned out great! When you buy this activity book you are getting way more than a coloring book!

There are even printable memory verse cards that you can use to play memory or go-fish. I really like the fact that you can just print off a page for your child to do and that you don’t have to print out the ones that your child isn’t in to. AJ isn’t that into coloring, but she loves puzzles. I feel there is something for everyone in this book.

Both the book and the activity book are available at Corine’s website.

Connect with Corine:

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Celebrate Jesus Light of the World – Review and Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links.

Are you looking for a way to keep Christmas focused on God? If so then the newest product I was able to review might be just for you. I received a copy of Celebrate Jesus Light of the World written by Amy Blevins from Homeschool Encouragement. It is an advent journey for families. Amy and her family have been using parts of this book and adding ideas to it for the last 10 years to help them celebrate Jesus.

This is the second product of Amy’s that I have had the pleasure of reviewing and this one did not disappoint!

Celebrate Jesus Light of the World is a 81 page ebook, with daily schedules including Bible reading, crafts, songs, copy work, and even recipes to help you and your family celebrate this Christmas season. Each day the advent activities can be completed in a relatively short amount of time with out too much reading so little ones can stay focused. She even provides a link for Christmas coloring pages that can be used.

Here is what a sample day would look like:

  1. You light a candle
  2. Pray together
  3. Read the scripture together
  4. Listen to a song/hymn (She gives a website where almost all of the songs are found for free)
  5. Do an activity

The crafts and activities included throughout the book don’t require too many supplies and most of them you probably have on hand. The best part is that there is a page that has all of the materials you will need for each day so you can plan ahead. You don’t need to do all of the activities you can pick and choose what works for your family. This point is stressed in the book, it should be a time of celebration with your family.

I love that the activities are simple yet meaningful. After the daily activities there is a section full of Christmas recipes. We made the sugar cookies and they were wonderful! Unfortunately due to my corn allergy we couldn’t try the other recipes because they call for ingredients that I haven’t found good substitutes for. They all look really good though. Some of them are; ginger cream frosting, peanut butter fudge, pie crusts, and more. She even includes a few gluten free recipes as well.

At the end of the book you will find Christmas Copywork. Like the Thanksgiving Copywork it is beautiful. Each page has a scripture verse with plenty of lined space for the verse to be copied. There are also pictures on each page. You can work on both penmanship and Bible at the same time!

How did we use it?

Since advent hasn’t started yet we didn’t use the book quite as intended yet. We will be using it starting Sunday and I can’t wait! For this review I read the book and we did a few different activities. We also listened to some songs on the website that she lists. I have to say this book is very well written. I love that she includes Bible Study questions for mom and older kids. The questions she has make you think and help you to really understand the verses. I think my favorite part is that the scripture readings are short enough to keep your child’s interest.

Here are some of the activities we tried.

  • We made the sugar cookies (they were Thanksgiving themed, but we will make Christmas ones soon.)

  • Made a pipe cleaner wreath

  • Attempted to make a paper star. (We will try again but so far ours looks a little odd.)
  • Made a paper chain.

There are a lot more activities that we can’t wait to try.

Where can you get a copy?

Amazingly this ebook is only $4.99 and you can get it here. It is available in both KJV and ESV. If you are looking for just the copywork pages those can be purchased separately too for only $1.99.

I am going to have a QUICK giveaway for one copy of the ebook. Enter for your chance to win below!
  

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Simply Put: A Study in Economics Review

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I have never taken an economics class or really thought about the subject very much. I love to learn new things though so when I was given the opportunity to review Catherine Jaime’s book, Simply Put: A Study In Economics, I jumped at the chance.

Catherine Jaime is a homeschooling mom of 12 who studied economics at M.I.T. She has written numerous books on many subjects including; Leonardo da Vinci, homeschooling, US history, travel, Shakespeare and more. You can find out more about her and her available books at her website.

About the Book

The name of this book says it all! It is a simplified version of economics covering a lot of different topics in plain everyday language. Although the book itself doesn’t go into great depths on any one topic, the author gives ideas and suggestions as to where more information can be found. This book is written from a very conservative point of view which is clear throughout the book.

Simply Put: A Study In Economics is a book that is meant to satisfy the half credit of economics that most high school students need in order to graduate. It was written by Catherine Jaime when she was unable to find a good economics textbook that she could recommend to high schoolers that didn’t put her to sleep. It is a 139 page book that includes 36 lessons, 8 appendixes, a glossary, review questions, a midterm and final exam. The lessons can be completed in either one semester or a year depending on how the subject is taught.

The book covers topics such as:

  • The difference between micro and macro economics.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences
  • Prices
  • Division of Labor
  • The differences between Capitalism and Socialism.
  • Markets
  • Minimum Wage
  • Price gouging
  • and more

Since the book is meant for high school students, I decided to do the study myself. AJ is only 10 and not quite ready to be learning economics. I sat down with the book and a tablet and began to read. I had originally planned on doing one lesson a day, but I was able to complete several lessons in a very short time. I read the lesson and answered the questions quite easily. I finished the entire book including all of the review questions and the two tests.

What did I think?

Overall I feel that the book is very well written. Throughout the book the author quotes many different economists and presidents and quotes sources for nearly all of her opinions. The way in which the book is written requires you to think. One of my favorite quotes from the author is found on page 60. She writes, “Sometimes we seem to forget that the Declaration of Independence talks about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – not life, liberty, and happiness.”

The book covers a lot of history while explaining economic topics. It also explains the Constitution and how it relates to economics. The appendix even contains a brief timeline of the Great Depression.

A lot of things in the book were eye opening. Appendix 2 talks about how the pilgrims tried communism and it failed!

Although I enjoyed reading the book and feel that I learned a lot of the basics of economics, I don’t feel that the book alone would be enough to cover a semester of economics for high school. Most of the lessons are less than two pages long with review questions ranging from only 3 questions for a short chapter to 10 questions for a longer one. I feel the book would be a great starting point and if the other sources recommended by the author were used in connection with possible reports and research that it could create a great course if study. I feel the author took a difficult subject and presents it in a way that not only makes sense but makes it not overwhelming either.

I feel that the book should also be read by others just to gain knowledge. I learned a lot of things while reading this book and it has made me think of things that I hadn’t previously thought of before. I would recommend this book to anyone who was going to take economics at any level.

Things I would Change

  • The one thing that really bugged me while reading the book was the fact that the review questions were at the end of the book instead of after the lesson. Its seems like such a  small thing, but having to search for the review questions after each lesson irritated me.
  • The formatting of the book. The way the book is formatted causes there to be large spaces between the words in some places. I found myself rereading the first lesson a few times thinking that maybe something was left out. I got use to it after a few lessons, but felt it was worth mentioning.  *When I was reading a sample of the digital copy, I did not see these same formatting issues.*

Where can you get it?

You can get a digital copy of Simply Put: A Study in Economics from CurrClick, the normal price is $16 but at the time of this post it is on sale for only $6.99.

Amazon also has the paperback version available for $17.55 and the Kindle version for $6.99. (prices are correct as of this posting)

In addition to the student book there is a teacher guide available that gives the answers to the mid term and final exam as well as a few activities to try if you are studying the book in a group.

Overall I feel the book is a great value, is well written, and will make your student think. While I don’t feel it would be enough as a stand alone curriculum, I think it can be made into one with some supplementing. If you are not a conservative this book is not for you! I will be keeping this book on my shelve and plan on using it when AJ starts 9th grade.

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