Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Pencil Grip, Inc. Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit Review

Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog. My family had the privilege of trying The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit from The Pencil Grip, Inc. for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

In 1992 The Pencil Grip was invented by an educational therapist by the name of Dr. Lois Provda. The Pencil Grip, Inc. bloomed from there and now has hundreds of ingenious products for home, school, and office. There are so many neat products to choose from and a lot of kids school supplies.

The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors are scissors made primarily for ages 3 and up. These safety scissors have a permanent plastic shield to safely keep fingers away from the blades. These do not have blunt, dull blades like most children's scissors. To cut with them you slide the paper into the thin gap and cut the paper like normal. The sharp blades are enclosed providing optimum protection from kids being able to cut themselves. The scissors are ergonomic and easy to hold by little hands. These safety scissors for kids have a flexible, spring-loaded training lever that automatically opens the blades after being squeezed closed so that a less experienced user or one with limited strength or coordination can use these with ease. The lever can be folded in to give the child more control.

The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit comes with three pencil grips. These help the child to learn how to properly hold the writing implement in three consecutive steps: The Crossover Grip, The Pinch Grip, and The Pencil Grip. The first grip is The Crossover Grip. This grip has two finger guards on either side in the design of a "super hero cape" to place fingers in the correct position on the grip while holding the pencil. These finger guards stop the fingers from crossing over. This grip is best to be used with adult supervision for proper training. The Pinch Grip is used next after The Crossover Grip is mastered. It is used as a transition piece with writing implements to provide a gentle guide. It has special partial "wings" allow more freedom, but still has structure. Finally, the graduation grip, The Pencil Grip, has the famed tripod grasp for preventing bad habits from forming during pre-writing and writing instruction. All grips are made for both lefties and righties. These are latex and phthalate free.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

Zari using The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors.

 The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors are great for preschool age children or those that don't know how to operate scissors well. Since my children are older and know how to use regular scissors they really didn't care for these much. You really have to feed the paper through while cutting at a weird angle. I would suggest them only for very young children or these might be great for children with disabilities. These would be great preschool, daycare, and/or childcare training scissors!

Teela using the different grips in The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit.

The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit came to us on promotional pens with The Pencil Grip, Inc. printed on them. My 9 year old daughter, Teela has had an awful pencil holding position from day one and I have tried to get her to stop holding the pencil with a fist when she writes. This 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit looks like it will definitely do the trick and hopefully get her in the habit of holding the pencil correctly. We had Teela pose in the picture above with each grip, she had more trouble positioning the last grip herself. This proved she was not ready for The Pencil Grip. We will work with her more with the first and second grips before moving onto this last one.

Teela holding the pencil correctly with The Pencil Grip.

I like that you can also use this for a number of other writing, drawing, and painting implements as shown in the picture above. These feel pliable like silicone and are comfortable in the hand and on the fingers. These are great for people who need to have more reinforcement for proper writing position and also work well for those that have arthritis.

Follow Them on Social Media:
Website -
Facebook -
Pinterest -
Twitter - @ThePencilGrip
Suggested Hashtags:
#hsreviews #pencilgrip #safetyscissors #preschoolsupplies #homeschoolsupplies

You can purchase the Ultra Safe Safety Scissors for $4 and the 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit for $8.81 on Amazon.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for The Pencil Grip, Inc....
Ultra Safe Safety Scissors & Pencil Grip Training Kit {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reading Eggs Online Learning Games Review

My family had the privilege of trying the online learning games from Reading Eggs for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Reading Eggs is an online program that helps kids learn better literacy through reading lessons, activities, and ebooks. Reading Eggs is made up of  5 different kids learning programs: Reading Eggs JR for ages 2-4, Reading Eggs for ages 4-5, Reading Eggs for ages 6-7, Reading Eggspress for ages 7-13, and Mathseeds for ages 3-9. These self-paced educational games are recommended for kids ages 2 to 13. They are created by a team of qualified teachers, educational writers, animators and web developers. These online reading programs will engage your child or student to keep learning.

Student Menu

Reading Eggs JR is a brand new online reading game that teaches toddlers ages 2 to 4 words, sounds, and letters. These pre-reading skills are the first step to literacy. This has games, videos, and e-books to help motivate the younger child.

Reading Eggs is an online reading game that teaches kids ages 3 to 7. There are two parts: the lessons for ages 3 to 5 and the lessons for ages 6 to 7. The first teaches phonics, sight words, and essential reading skills needed to get ready for school. The second part gives the child practice with bonus activities and lessons that teach spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Reading Eggspress is an online reading game that teaches kids ages 7 to 13, grades 1 to 6. This game continues the online learning from previous Reading Eggs lessons. This teaches structured comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and grammar with live games, an online library, and more!

Mathseeds is an online math learning game that teaches kids ages 3 to 9. This program teaches early math skills. Great for beginners and young children in their first years of school.

Teela and Zari on Reading Eggs.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I have two young daughters. Teela is 9 years old and Zari will be 7 on October 19th. They are in 4th and 1st grades. My daughter Teela has done Reading Eggs before in 2013 because we got a free trial to try it out back then. Teela has grown to love reading and is doing so roughly at a 6th grade reading level now. My daughter Zari hadn't tried Reading Eggs at all and is just starting to read. We hadn't tried the other programs that came with our subscription.

Reading Eggs Navigation

We received a six month subscription to Reading Eggs this time around. This included access to Reading Eggs Junior, Reading Eggs, and Reading Eggspress. We also got a six month subscription to MathSeeds. Both Teela and Zari worked on this educational game an average of three days per week since we got signed up.

Both started with a reading assessment to see where they needed to be. Since Teela had already done one in 2013 she needed to redo hers to see where she was now. They both started with Reading Eggs. I believe Teela made some mistakes on her assessment because she was trying to plow through she was put at a lower level than she should have been. When she went on to the games in Reading Eggs at lesson 111, map 12 they gave her she said the games were boring and that she already knew this stuff. I agreed with her that she already knew it and asked her if she wanted to redo the assessment for a second time and she didn't. So, she just did the rest of the Reading Eggs games and then moved onto Reading Eggspress. Zari was placed in the right place. She started on lesson 41, map 5. There are 120 lessons total in Reading Eggs with about 6-14 games per lesson.

Reading Eggs Lesson Maps

Reading Eggs Lesson Map
  • Step 1 Starting Out in the Zoo (Lessons 1-40, Map 1-4): For children ages 4-6 that have little to no reading skills. Children will learn first reading skills, including: learning sounds and names of the alphabet letters, reading their first sight words, and phonetics to read three letter words. Includes simple stories to read featuring Sam the Ant.
  • Step 2 Beginning to Read in The Playground (Lessons 41-80, Map 5-8): Builds on skills learned in step 1 focusing on short vowel words and constructing reading skills. Children will learn more high frequency sight words, make word families, and read 40 more books that build vocabulary.
  • Step 3 Building Confidence at the Theme Park (Lessons 81-120, Map 5-12): These lessons cover long vowels words and focus on reading for meaning, comprehension, and understanding of longer words and sentences.

Reading Eggs Lesson Parts Examples

Reading Eggs Lesson Parts Example
  • Parts 1 & 2 The Main Lesson: interactive animations that are led by a character modeling the concepts. Students need to get 7 correct responses to move on.
  • Part 3 Dot to Dot: Students learn correct letter formation with dot to dot.
  • Part 4 Letter Recognition: builds letter recognition of upper and lower case letters.
  • Part 5 Vocabulary: activities that build vocabulary to be able to read the books.
  • Part 6 The e-book: electronic book with audio support so kids can read along.
  • Part 7 The Egg Hatches: students are rewarded with creatures that hatch to add to their online collection.

With each reading program there are colorful graphics, characters, and designs to engage the student to keep going. There are fun games, videos, and e-books to also teach the concepts. The students are awarded golden eggs to be later used in the store to buy things for the house and avatar, etc. The navigation around the program is fairly simple. My daughters liked that they could change the look of their avatar, buy things in the shop with golden eggs they acquired through doing well in the lessons, and see their certificates in the My Awards section. I loved that I could see their progress at a glance.

Program Guides for Homeschoolers

Also, in the Parent Dashboard (the home page after signing in) under the menu that has "Bonus Material" you can find Program Guides for Homeschoolers. These are free and downloadable once logged in. These colorful, detailed week-by-week overviews help homeschooling parents to see learning outcomes for children in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade. Each guide contains a 36-week teaching and learning sequence for Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. These map out online lessons, books, quizzes, and assessments.

This is an excellent interactive game that teaches kids better reading skills. I definitely saw improvement in my daughter Zari's literacy skills. My girls loved Reading Eggs and I recommend it to anyone who homeschools or wants a reading supplement for their children or students.

Follow Them on Social Media:

My readers get 4 weeks FREE trial access to the program to try for themselves! This offer expires on November 30, 2017.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Reading Eggs...
Reading Eggs

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, October 13, 2017

Jesus Always: 365 Devotions for Kids Book Review and Giveaway

I received this book free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

The Jesus Always: 365 Devotions for Kids book is by Sarah Young, the bestselling author of Jesus Calling. This is Sarah Young’s newest 365-day devotional for kids adapted by Tama Fortner. In this hardcover book she focuses on the biblical teaching of joy we can experience at any time and in all circumstances with scripture and new personal reflections to children. Adapted from the bestselling Jesus Always, each day’s devotion has the same theme as the adult version, as well as written-out Scriptures. It is a wonderful choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together. Written as if Jesus Himself is speaking directly to the reader, Jesus Always: 365 Devotions for Kids will engage your children and help them connect to Jesus and find joy. Recommended for children ages 8-12.

Teela reading the Jesus Always: 365 Devotions for Kids Book.

What We Thought:
This is my first devotional from Sarah Young and it is just wonderful. The introduction in the book is written by the author and has a personal feel. The way this devotional is written, like it is straight from Jesus is different. Each day has a theme and scripture at the top of the page...then it goes into thoughts and feelings that Jesus might have for the child and recommendations of what the child should do to make their day full of Christ and joy. At the bottom of the page is a Read On Your Own scriptures from the Bible for the child to explore on their own. I had to explain to my children that this was written as if Jesus was speaking. Teela, my 9 year old daughter, really enjoyed reading these. They are thought provoking and make the reader feel loved.

Purchase Jesus Always: 365 Devotions for Kids for $11.69 on Amazon.

Prize: Jesus Always: 365 Devotions for Kids Book
Host: Thomas Nelson Publishing and FrontGate Media.
Who Can Enter: Open to US Residents 18 years or older.
Selection Process: winners will be selected on 10/25/2017 and notified by email.
Where to Enter: Go to this link and fill out the form to enter.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.