Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Phil Wickham Children of God Album Review #ChildrenOfGod #FlyBy

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

Phil Wickham Children of God Album is a miracle album. A few months into the process of writing this, his seventh album, Phil was diagnosed with a vocal polyp, had surgery to remove it, and was told he could not speak or sing for a whole month. He remained ever faithful and through this trial overcame with a reawakening in his heart. Just two weeks into the healing process he was told by doctors they didn't see scarring and after some vocal therapy he was back and singing again.

I love this album. It reverberates his personal feelings and love towards the Savior. Phil's new voice is unwavering. This album of praise and worship music has new energy and confidence. His passionate words embrace what is in his heart. My favorite songs on this album is The Secret Place and Children of God. I could listen to this CD over and over again.

Track Listing:
  1. Doxology//Amen
  2. Better Than Life
  3. Your Love Awakens Me
  4. The Secret Place (feat. Madison Cunningham)
  5. Wide Awake
  6. My All In All
  7. Starmaker (High Above the Earth)
  8. Children of God
  9. Stand In Awe
  10. Body Mind & Soul
  11. As It Is In Heaven
  12. Spirit of God

Take a listen and watch the Phil Wickham - Your Love Awakens Me music video...


BE SOCIAL
Spotify: http://smarturl.it/PW-COG-Spotify

BUY IT


You can also purchase the Children of God Album at this fine retailer:
iTunes: http://smarturl.it/PW-COGiTunes

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Propeller / FlyBy Promotions for sending me this CD 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. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sunya Publishing Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting from Sunya Publishing for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Sunya Publishing is a brand new educational publisher that has so far developed two card games for fun and learning. The two card games are: Sunya the Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting - Ages 7 to Adult and Sunya the Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing - Ages 9 to Adult. Both of these games are great for math supplement and math practice for both homeschoolers and game lovers. Sunya is a word from the ancient and classical language called Sanskrit from India. The u in it is pronounced "oo" as in the word book. The word Sunya means being empty or without quantity and the player from the games exclaims this word as he or she runs out of cards and wins the game. These games are so new that they are not available to the public yet because they are still being developed. We, as Crew members, were very fortunate to get an advanced copy of our choice one of the games to receive a sneak peak and let you know all about it before it is supposed to air on May 27, 2016 for purchase on their website where the two games will be sold separately.

My family received the Sunya the Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting. It is a physical educational card game that is is unique as it reinforces adding and subtracting skills with math and science facts and riddles. Ages 7 and up can play this card game comfortably. In the game, addition goes up to 9+9=18 and subtraction goes up to 18-9=9. This game builds math skills in addition and subtraction. Seven and eight year old children can choose to play the game with older siblings or adults until they get their math facts memorized.

Sunya the Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting - Ages 7 to Adult includes:
  • Game Book for Sunya Adding & Subtracting
  • 60 Sunya Adding & Subtracting Playing Cards: number cards 0-9 (three 0s, four 1s, six 2s, six 3s, six 4s, six 5s, six 6s, six 7s, six 8s, six 9s, two wilds, and operation cards (1 minus sign, 1 plus sign, and 1 equal sign).
  • The Sunya Adding & Subtracting Number Line Tool 
  • 30 Math and Science Fact and Riddle Cards (all different facts and riddles than those with Sunya Multiplying & Dividing)

The game book is basically a school and homeschool teacher/parent guidebook that includes the instructions for the games in great detail. This softcover, comb bound booklet is 25 pages and goes into depth about the directions and rules of the game. Inside the contents are as follows: Introduction, Hindu-Arabic Numeral System, Home and School, Sunya Adding and Subtraction, Math Activities for Young Children, and Math and Science Facts and Riddles. These instructions can be a little intimidating at first, but once you have played the game the first time you will get the hang of it quickly. I believe that the book would be easier understood if it were entirely printed all in color instead of black and white.

HOW TO PLAY

There are three different modes of play: Basic Game, Game II and Game III. These modes increase with difficulty. We only played the Basic version for this review. You set all the games up and deal the cards the same for all modes of play.
  1. Players can sit in a circle or semicircle around or facing the cards in a forward view of the number sentences that will be made.
  2. One player begins as the dealer and sets up the number sentence framework (+ for addition or - for subtraction operation and an = sign) with space in between for numbers that players will put in play to make correct number sentences.
  3. The Math and Science Fact and Riddle Cards are placed face down in a pile. These are put into play when a player wins.
  4. The dealer makes the first correct number sentence made up of three single digit whole numbers with their choice of the number cards 2-9 (no 0s, 1s, or wild cards) on the table, face up for all to see.
  5. Then the dealer shuffles the rest of the deck of number cards and deals one card to each player clockwise/to the left until 4 cards are dealt to each player. The remaining cards (0-9s and wilds) are placed face down in a pile to draw from. It doesn't matter if another player sees your cards so they can be in your hand or set out on the table.
  6. The player to the dealers left plays next.
  7. Turns proceed clockwise, turns at dealing also proceed clockwise/left.

Basic Game
  1. Set up game.
  2. Once it is your turn draw a card so that you have 5 to start with in your hand.
  3. Use 1, 2, or 3 of your cards to make a new number sentence on top of the one that was played last. This new number sentence can be made all from cards from your hand or a combination of cards from hand and in play. Don't play more than one card to a number sentence position within the same turn.
  4. The top cards on the number sentence are in play.
  5. If the player cannot make a number sentence, he/she draws one card at a time until he/she can.
  6. A card may not be played on top of the same number card, this goes for wilds too (so be sure to remember what the wild is). There are other rules in the Game Book as well that are also very important to follow, so make sure to read the guidebook carefully so you understand them.
  7. The first player to be without cards wins the game exclaiming, "Sunya!".
  8. The winning player gets to pick a Math and Science Fact or Riddle Card from the deck and ask the other players the questions about the fact or to solve the riddle.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

Teela playing Sunya The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting. Bottom Left is an example of an incorrect math sentence for the game because the Wild Card represents a double digit number. Only single digit numbers can be played.

I played the Basic version of Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting game with my daughter, Teela, who is 8 years old. We had a lot of fun with this game and she was really good at it. I was very happy she was getting addition and subtraction practice. We first played without the wild cards just to get a feel for how the game played. Then we added the wild cards later and played with them as well.

We had a great time playing Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting together. I love this math game! Game II and Game III get progressively more difficult with more rules to follow and are great to play with my older kids. Zari, Teela's younger sister can play with the cards as a matching game, go fish, sequencing game, flash cards, and making equations.

Teela telling a riddle from the Sunya Math and Science Fact and Riddle Cards.

The Math and Science Fact or Riddle Cards were my daughter's favorite and she tried to beat me in the game just so she would be able to read one to me and make me think. The riddles made us laugh. It would be great though if they could label these facts or riddles because the fact that asks, "Which is longer the Mississippi River or the Missouri River?" threw me off and I thought it was a riddle...I got it wrong thinking that Mississippi has more letters in it. We loved all the math fact fun and riddles, but also wish there were more.

We recommend Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting to everyone that loves card games. This one is both super fun and educational, so it is a win win. We will look forward to getting the Sunya the Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing later on to play too.

BUY IT
Look for these two games on the Sunya Publishing Website around June 6, 2016 to purchase. Both products will be available in limited quantities so don't forget to bookmark their website and mark your calendars!

Read other homeschool reviews (hsreviews) for Sunya Publishing...
Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Science Shepherd Introductory Science Level A Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Science Shepherd Introductory Science Level A for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Science Shepherd is a Christian biased science program with biblical perspective that is scripture based. Science Shepherd is produced by Scott Hardin, MD; a homeschooling father of six and medical doctor. The company provides courses in biology, life science, introductory science, and creation science. It has online videos that the student watches, a workbook, and teacher's answer key to go along with each program. These courses work for a variety of ages and levels from K-12. These cover a complete science curriculum that fills a void that secular science programs do not have. The on-demand videos feature full color graphics, animations, slides, and demonstrations. The workbooks help reinforce concepts in the video course. Online access grants you a full year to finish the program of choice at your own speed.


Science Shepherd Introductory Science Videos: Dr. Hardin behind a desk lecturing.


Science Shepherd Introductory Science Videos: 2 girls doing Video Activities.

Introductory Science is Science Shepherd's video science curriculum for ages six through eleven. You can choose from level A which is for students ages 6-8 or level B which is for ages 9-11. Students can work at their own pace, but this curriculum is intended to be used five days a week for 35 weeks. Each lesson is fairly short (2-5 minutes for the videos with activities) and covers a number of science topics, including: creation, geology, biology, astronomy, oceanography, and meteorology, etc. These, like the other programs, are biblically focused and have a number of references to scripture.

Introductory Science Videos Screen Layout

When you log in to the Science Shepherd website it will go to your account information page. If you look on the left you will see a link to the course videos that says, "Introductory Science Videos". Click it and you will be redirected to the page for the course videos. At the top of the page there will be about seven tabs that span 5 weeks each. You can see the first 5 weeks on the first page as you scroll down. Each week has 5 videos, for a total of 175 lessons. Some video lessons show a man behind a desk lecturing and some show two girls in a kitchen doing activities. All the videos are short and don't take long to watch. Some also include activities and science projects that you can do along with the video at home.

Teela working in the Level A Workbook.

The softcover, spiral bound student workbook of 321 pages goes along with the online videos an follows along well. It has quite a bit of reading, question and answer, crossword puzzles, word searches, matching, circle the correct answer, etc. It also has other activities like drawing and coloring too. The Teacher's answer key comes with it for easy grading. You can get more workbooks if you have more than one student doing the course.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

My 8 year old daughter, Teela, did one lesson per weekday. For the purpose of this review, we were to complete at least four weeks of material. We started at the beginning and got to Meteorology. The lessons started with creation science reminding Teela that God is the creator of all things, He has dominion over all of us, and that His word is true. Both week one and two stressed these things. Then week three went into teaching science skills and tools. This covered: observing, comparing, sequencing, classifying, planning, measuring, labeling, predicting, experimenting, using/making models, concluding, reporting, instruments, and the scientific method. It was a lot of information in one week. Week four through six taught about Earth Science and Meteorology. In Week four Teela learned about atmosphere, weather, precipitation and the water cycle. In Week five Teela learned about temperature and seasons. In Week six Teela learned about storms, thunder, lightening, wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, and the Great Flood. This is roughly how far we got in the course. The course goes on to teach Earth Science: Geology, Oceanography, and Astronomy; Life Science: Plants, Underwater Creatures, Flying Creatures, Land Creatures, Human Beings, Be Healthy, and Ecology & Natural Resources; Physical Science: Matter, Energy, Motion, and Magnets.

Teela watching a Science Shepherd Introductory Science on-demand video. Don't mind the dust.

I enjoyed this course because of the high biblical content, but Teela got bored of the videos quickly even though they were short in length. Unfortunately they were not as engaging as she would have liked. I had to prompt her through the course because of this. She liked the hands-on activities though. I wish the videos were more interesting to her to hold her attention, but she likes lots of visuals and a man sitting behind a desk with a monotone voice and occasional images and words popping up on the screen didn't really cut it. The content of the curriculum was fantastic, but the videos needed more pizzazz. Everyone is different though and maybe your student would love these. I still think with the right audience the Science Shepherd Introductory Science would be wonderful. It just didn't work perfectly for us. It is; however, a complete course for homeschool science and a great introductory one for ages 6-11 who want to incorporate distinctly Christian principles into their learning of science.

BUY IT
You can watch a sample video, take a peak inside the workbook, look at the scope and sequence, and see the activity supply list on their website as well as purchase the course. The Science Shepherd Introductory Science is $35 for the video course, $12 for level A workbook, $15 for level B workbook, and $3 for each teacher's key. Also, if you need a extension for the course it is $5 per month, up to three months. 

Follow Them on Social Media:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ScienceShepherd/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/scienceshepherd
Pinterest - ​ https://www.pinterest.com/scienceshepherd
Hashtags: #hsreviews #homeschoolscience #onlinescience @scienceshepherd

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Science Shepherd...
Science Shepherd Review

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Monday, May 23, 2016

The Okee Dokee Brothers Saddle Up: A Western Adventure Album Review and Giveaway

We received this product free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this post. Thank you for supporting this blog.

The Okee Dokee Brothers, Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander, are wonderful outdoors men and Americana folk musicians. The duo are at it again with a new album and adventure. This new album is called Saddle Up: A Western Adventure and it is their third Adventure Album. This album, just like their first (Can You Canoe?: A Mississippi River Adventure) and their second (Through The Woods: An Appalachian Adventure) albums, has a DVD along with the CD that shares footage of their journey in the part of the USA they are trekking in and a field journal, liner notes from journals they kept.

In this album The Okee Dokee Brothers spent a month horseback riding, camping, exploring, filming, and making music (This whole CD and DVD!) on location along the Continental Divide. They met some neat people along the way that shared their stories and music with them while they took a small breather from exploring the outdoors and creating their own songs. This album is a wonderful compilation of 15 original tracks from The Okee Dokee Brothers with songs that feature some guest artists. This album features an array of instruments such as: banjo, guitar (electric, acoustic, & baritone), drums, wheelbarrow, washboard, whistling, coconuts, cardboard box, bottles, tin can, udu, rusted steel drum, trombone, electric bass, jawharp, hoots, hollers, autoharp, percussion, dobro, steel guitar, accordion, Navajo vocals and chants, harmonica, fiddle, upright bass, piano, Wurlitzer, organ, Nord keyboard, pedal steel, and vibes.

The Okee Dokee Brothers make riding horses look good :)


See the Trailer for the Saddle Up DVD here...



Track Listing on the CD:
  1. Saddle Up: The title track to this CD, this song has a lot of country heart.
  2. Don't Fence Me In: Upbeat song about riding in the wide open country.
  3. Cow Cow Yippee: This is a funny song about being a cowboy with the cows.
  4. The Great Divide: A nice song about the the Continental Divide.
  5. Jackalope (with Jim Campilongo): A very silly song about a creature that might, or might not be imaginary. This song has a ballad feel to it.
  6. One Horsepower: Song about trading your caddy and truck for driving cattle on a horse.
  7. The Legend of Tall Talkin' Sam (with Rosie Newton): Song about a girl named Sam that likes to tell tall tails.
  8. Hard Road To Travel: A very truthful song about life and that sometimes you just have to buck-up. I love the instraments in this one.
  9. Shootin' Star (with Cindy Cashdollar): A song about Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, & Calamity Jane and how even the sharp shooters put down their guns and bullets for a good song and strumming the guitar.
  10. Sister Moon and Brother Sun (with The Benally Family): A beautiful song with American Indian chants and the story about how the woods were made, rivers were forged, mountains were formed, days were split by the nights. I love this song so much and it is one of my favorites on the CD.
  11. Good Old Times: I love the fiddle in this one...a song about reminiscing about good times in the past.
  12. Lead A Horse To Water (with John Sebastian): This song has some great harmonica. It is about the spirit of the horse.
  13. Somos Amigos (con Carlos Medina): This is a great upbeat song that is great to dance to. It has some Spanish and is about being friends no matter how different you are. Has some great accordion and Mexican sounding beats.
  14. The Grass Is Always Greener: I love this song to dance to as well. It is upbeat and has some great fiddle and other instruments. This is a song about wishin' about stuff, but realizing that you still have it good right where you are.
  15. Last Lullaby: A soft lullaby lulling a little buckaroo to sleep with a great thought to go with it. This is a great sleepy song for getting your little cowpoke to bed.

With their beards, flannel shirts, overalls and instruments The Okee Dokee Brothers are sure fun to watch perform on stage as well. You can see when their next show is here.

Like all the Adventure Albums before, this one does not disappoint! It is great to take with you to listen to on a family road trip, around a campfire or even while hiking. It is a wonderful reminder to get outside to experience and explore nature with your family and friends. Saddle Up is wonderful music for kids that resonates with adults as well. The songs on this album are serious, silly and everything in between. Some will make you want to dance and others are lullabies that will help lull you to sleep. The messages in all the songs are good and wholesome and The Okee Dokee Brothers feel like Kindred Spirits to me. If they keep making these Adventure Albums I would be thrilled! I can't wait for the next adventure album in this series to see where they will be going next, if there is one. Saddle Up is a must have for any family music collection!

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Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/okeedokeebros
Twitter - https://twitter.com/OkeeDokeeBros
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/okeedokeebros/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/OkeeDokeeBros
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/okeedokeebros
BandsInTown - http://www.bandsintown.com/TheOkeeDokeeBrothers

BUY IT
Go HERE and you can buy The Okee Dokee Brothers merchandise.



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Prize: Win a copy of The Okee Dokee Brothers Saddle Up: A Western Adventure Album.

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Beth Blenz-Cluc​as of Sugar Mountain PR for sending me a free The Okee Dokee Brothers - Saddle Up: A Western Adventure Album CD/DVD 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. Affiliate links may be in this post. Thank you for supporting this blog.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Review #CleanEverywhere

We received the Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum free to facilitate this review.

The Dyson V6 Animal is a lightweight cordless vacuum that is easy to assemble and use. It is balanced with the center of gravity towards the grip for floor to ceiling cleaning. This particular Dyson vacuum is perfect for sucking up pet fur, hair, ground-in dirt, and fine dust. The wand quickly detaches and tools can be directly attached to the cyclone pack for a handheld vacuum conversion that cleans corners, crevices, edges, upholstery, stairs, car interiors, etc. easily and reliably. It comes with a 2 year limited warranty, operations manual, 5 attachments, and a docking station. This particular limited edition model comes in a slate-gray color that is only available to purchase from Target.

Specifications and Features:
  • Lightweight: only 5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 47.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Digital Motor V6: digitally controlled, the motor spins at up to 110,000 rpm
  • Max Power Mode: 2 speeds, push MAX button to select this mode which provides 6 minutes of 100AW (Airwatts) higher suction power for more difficult tasks
  • Cleaning Path Width: 9.8"
  • Canister Volume: holds .11 Gallon with one handed quick release button for easy, hygienic dirt removal
  • Run Time: 6-20 minutes, trigger releases instantly to not use up battery power when not cleaning
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours with convenient docking station to hold vacuum and additional attachments while recharging (rechargeable battery and charger included)
  • Washable Lifetime Filter
  • 2 Tier Radial Cyclones: 15 cyclones, arranged across two tiers, work in parallel to increase airflow and capture more fine dust
  • 5 On-Board Attachments Included:
    • Direct Drive Cleaner Head: 75% more brush bar power than the Dyson V6 vacuum and drives stiff nylon bristles deeper into the carpet to remove stubborn ground-in dirt and carbon fiber filaments remove fine dust from hard floors for more efficient cleaning
    • Mini Motorized Tool: perfect for upholstery, furniture, car seats, and tight spaces
    • Soft Dusting Brush: great for gently dusting flat surfaces and furniture with its soft bristles
    • Combination Tool: two tools in one, with the push of a button you can slide the brush back to use the crevice function and forward to use the brush function
    • Crevice tool: gets into edges, cracks, crevices, and corners well
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty: covers parts and labor

I was very excited to try the Dyson V6 Animal out because the only vacuum I had previously was a large, heavy upright Kirby. I have had my eye on a Dyson Animal Upright Vacuum (most recently the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy) because of the people with asthma in our home and so that I may replace my ancient Kirby vacuum, but since most come with a hefty price tag I just placed it on my wishlist and never purchased one myself. My bulky Kirby is hard to get up and down the stairs in our house and misses dirt in hard to get places. I found the Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum was perfect to have in addition to my upright. I have listed the reasons below...

Look how well the Dyson V6 Animal picked up Prince's dog fur and dirt!
  
Pros:
The Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum is incredibly versatile, lightweight, convenient, and powerful. It goes up and down stairs like a breeze, unlike my clunky Kirby. It also cleans all the areas that my Kirby missed. It gets into the tight spots better and with the long wand cleans spiderwebs and dusts areas that are hard to reach. I love how simply it converts from a stick vacuum to a handheld and how the attachments effortlessly clip to the wand or vacuum for moving from one task to another quickly. I love to also use this for vacuuming the vehicle and under furniture that my Kirby cannot get to. My large dog, Prince, does shed quite a bit and this vacuum is perfect for sucking up his fur from off of surfaces and the carpet. My kids can use this vacuum with ease as well. I love how handy and multipurpose it is! Also, since this vacuum is cord free I am not tethered to a spot in my home to clean and do not have a trip hazard in the middle of my floor. It is so portable without the hassle of a cord. There is a blue light indicating that it is charged and when it is close to losing power the light blinks. I also love how this vacuum is bagless and the dirt cup is easy to dump out and clean. It also gets put away easily with the wall mounted docking station helping the vacuum stay off the floor and out of the way.

Dyson V6 Animal Canister Overfilled...oops.

Cons:
Even though I love the Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum for: my stairs, dusting, getting rid of cobwebs, pet hair, spot cleaning, and getting into tight spots, this vacuum really is not that well suited for cleaning large homes with lots of floor area because of the short run time on the battery. Dyson was trying to spare this by making you have to hold down the trigger to keep it on, but some think this is a nuisance. Like most that have this vacuum, I wish the charge just lasted longer. This will not replace your upright. This stick vacuum does not stand on its own. It is noisy, but relatively quiet next to my Kirby. It does have a distinctively drill-like sound when turned on. You also have to empty out the canister frequently and because the door flap drops down quickly to release the dirt you might get a dust cloud, so be sure you contain it within the trash bag while emptying. I learned the hard way that if you fill the canister/dust cup above the max line the dirt won't come out as readily, especially if there is a lot of hair and fur in with the dirt (see above picture). The docking station also doesn't hold all the attachments that go with the vacuum, just some. This vacuum has a hefty price tag of $499.99, but there really isn't anything comparable for less.

Dyson V6 Animal all parts out of the box.

The Dyson V6 Animal vacuum is so practical to have in addition to any upright. It is perfect for anyone with a smaller home, someone who needs a vacuum that is lightweight and versatile, or someone needing a vacuum that gets the dirt, dust, hair, and fur that their other vacuum missed.

BUY IT
You can purchase the limited edition Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum in Slate Gray Color exclusively at Target for $499.99.

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.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Memoria Press D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Review


My family had the privilege of trying the D'Aulaires' Greek Myths from Memoria Press for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Memoria Press is a family-run publishing company that produces simple and easy-to-use classical Christian education materials for home and private schools. It was founded by a woman named Cheryl Lowe in 1994. They currently have preschool through ninth grade in most of their curriculum and some through twelfth grade. They also cover subjects in: Classical Core Curriculum, Latin, Classical Studies, Christian Studies, Logic & Rhetoric, Phonics & Early Reading, Penmanship, Literature & Poetry, American & Modern Studies, Writing & English Grammar, Science & Math, Greek, Modern Languages, Educational Resources, eBooks, Special-Needs, and Art & Music.

The D'Aulaires' Greek Myths is a great curriculum all about Greek Mythology. This set includes a book, student guide, teacher guide and flashcards. Geared towards 3rd through 6th grade it introduces students to the stories and tales of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. This is a great addition to a classical education and homeschool.

Set includes:
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
  • D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Student Guide
  • D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Teacher Guide
  • D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Flashcards

Teela reading the D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Book and some illustrations.

The D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire is not really by Memoria Press, but is still a very important part of the rest of the set and is sold with it. This over-sized volume has lovely illustrations with a beginning that talks about In Olden Times, Gaea (Mother Earth), and the Titans. It then goes into three main sections that talk about Zeus and his family, Minor Gods (nymphs, satyrs, and centaurs), and Mortal Descendants of Zeus. These sections go into each character or thing in greater detail. The book ends with an Index listing things in alphabetical order, giving page numbers to locate them within the book.


Teela working in the D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Student Guide Workbook.

The D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Student Guide by Cheryl Lowe & Leigh Lowe follows along with the Book by the D'Aulaires and covers about 30 lessons. This workbook has important facts to know, vocabulary, comprehension questions, a picture review, and activities section. It begins with a chapter on why we should study Greek Mythology and an explanation about how to use the guide. After each set of five lessons it has a review with write in, matching, vocabulary, map activities, and some drawing pages. The student guide ends with a final review (fill in missing information, identification, name and describe characters that match the category, short answer), Final Study Sheet, more than 100 Drill Questions for Greek Mythology, Greek Myths List, Maps, and a D'Aulaires' Pronunciation Guide.
The D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Teacher Guide by Cheryl Lowe & Leigh Lowe follows along with the Book by the D'Aulaires and covers the same 30 lessons as the student guide. This has the answers for easy correcting and grading. It also has all the tests and their answer keys as well.

Teela using the D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Flashcards as a learning aid.

The D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Flashcards are a set of 107 flashcards. These contain short descriptions on one side and the corresponding person, place, or thing on the other. These flashcards are to be used as review with the rest of the curriculum. Memoria Press sends them as nine sheets of twelve (one is a place keeper with the barcode, D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths Flashcards, and a copyright 2011 Memoria Press printed on it) that you will have to punch out yourself.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

Even though my daughter Teela is in second grade she reads at a fifth-sixth grade reading level. This is why I picked her to do the reading and work from the workbook for testing the products of the D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths Set. I knew she could handle it.

We have done a lot of classical studies in our homeschool. My older children, my two sons, have had the majority of the studies having to do with Greek Mythology though. Their studies have included: The Iliad and The Odyssey, Shakespeare, and Argonautica. They also have read a very popular book series, called Percy Jackson & The Olympians. All of these books and some of the plays by William Shakespeare have to do with Greek Mythology in some regard. Also, a lot of our pop culture gives a nod to these Greek stories. Take the Apollo Space Program or the Xena Warrior Princess TV series for example. In order to better understand our society and pop culture Greek Mythology needs to be taught. This is why I feel that Greek Mythology should be taught in our homeschool classroom. It is a part of our history and a large part of the world around us, whether we want to admit it or not. Even though this is true, since I am a Christian I do point out to my children that each of these Greek gods were envisaged to only have a small part of what our GOD encompasses. We believe our GOD is omnipotent (all seeing and all knowing) and has power over all.

My two daughters who are the youngest have not really had a chance to be a part of this slice of classical education. The other studies I was doing with my boys were too complicated for the girls to follow and my very youngest was not ready to learn about the Greek Myths anyway. This is why I love the D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Set sold by Memoria Press. Teela was the perfect candidate for these studies. The reading book was perfect for her reading level and she did not have any trouble with the workbook tasks. This book is written with younger children in mind and does not go into anything too explicit or graphic. It has gorgeous illustrations on every page and was even engaging to my youngest. She loved flipping through the pages looking at the drawings.

We also thought the flashcards were very handy to have with the set. Besides containing a small amount of information these are also numbered. These numbers correspond to the what chapter the information on them is found. We used these to further aid in learning the Greek Myths.

I found the teacher's guide very convenient and thorough. I had all the answers at my fingertips and I did not have to read the D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths myself, even though I did. As a homeschooling teacher, I actually highly recommend reading the whole book even though they spell it all out for you in the teacher's guide, because you get more out of the lessons as well and can discuss everything about it with the student.

I highly recommend the Memoria Press D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Set. It is great for learning more about classical education and our own pop culture. We enjoyed this homeschooling curriculum very much and learned so much along the way.

BUY IT
You can purchase the D'Aulaires' Greek Myths Set on the Memoria Press website for $57.

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Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Institute for Excellence in Writing Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization plus the Student Book by Institute for Excellence in Writing for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum products. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Institute for Excellence in Writing is a company that helps homeschooling parents and teachers to teach language arts, mainly: reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and communication through speaking and listening effectively. They have many products to help with this. I received physical copies of their Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization to review.

Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization is a program that teaches effective communication,  English language patterns, how to understand and use complex English syntax, memorization skills, speaking skills, language, and vocabulary. These linguistic skills will be developed by internalizing the rhythmic, beautiful patterns of English language with poetry memorization through repetition and recitation. This is great for grades K-12.

We got the Student Pages Spiral as a bonus.

What is Included:
  • Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization: A Mastery Learning Approach Teacher's Manual (spiral bound)
  • Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization: A Mastery Learning Approach Student Pages eBook (spiral bound also available at additional charge)
  • 7 Audio MP3s you can download from a website
  • 5 CDs of Poems and Speeches, one disk for each of the 5 levels
  • DVD: Nurturing Competent Communicators, featuring Andrew Pudewa, the director of IEW and author of the program

The Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization: A Mastery Learning Approach Teacher's Manual is a great guide for teaching this curriculum. With this you can download the eBook Student Pages and 7 MP3s with the included instructions. The Introduction has topics covered like: Prerequisites for Effective Communication, Why Memorization?, Why Poetry?, Mastery Learning - What is it?, How This Program is Set Up, and How to Teach the Program. After the Introduction, it follows the same layout of the Student Pages with the same levels, poems, and speeches with added annotations along the side. The Appendix 1 and 2 are exact copies of the ones in the Student Pages, but an additional appendix, Appendix 3 has optional lesson enhancements. This has suggested activities to study the elements of poetry as well as include other subjects in the learning.

The 7 Audio MP3 Lectures Include:
  • Nurturing Competent Communicators
  • Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and Individualized Education
  • Ten Thousand Times and Then Begins Understanding
  • On Listening
  • On Speaking
  • On Reading
  • On Writing
These lectures are quite long, but provide the listener with a great amount of information.

The Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization: A Mastery Learning Approach Student Pages eBook is available through a link given in the teachers manual (this link also supplies the 7 MP3s to download). This eBook is 170 pages and is the same as the preprinted spiral bound book that we also received. The spiral version can be ordered at additional cost. The student pages have 5 levels in this curriculum which introduce students to 76 classic poems and 20 speeches. Each of these poems are featured in large easily readable font with a black and white lined illustration accompanying it that your student can color. The speeches have annotations along the side of the speech to give more information or an explanation about it. This book ends in short biographies of the poetry/speech writers, going in alphabetical by last name, in Appendix 1 and a bibliography of works in Appendix 2.

Each level in the Student Pages begins with a "Getting Started" page in which instructions are given on how to proceed and ends with a certificate of completion award. Level One has 19 poems plus a poem you can personally select. It tells the student to begin with the first poem, highlight it in the list, practice until you can recite it (using the audio recordings to help), work down the list, recite all highlighted poems daily, record progress on the chart in the book. Level Two has 19 poems more plus a poem you can personally select. Instead of reciting all the Level One poems everyday along with the new ones in Level Two it says to recite odd numbered poems for Level One odd days and even numbered poems for Level One even days still going through the Level Two poetry list in order until mastered. Level Three has another 19 poems plus a different poem you can personally select. The lists for maintaining earlier levels gets a little more complicated for Level Three, but you follow their list and use one half for the first ten poems and the last half for the last ten poems. Level Four has has another 19 poems plus a different poem you can personally select. Maintaining the poems from earlier levels in this level will have to use the handy lists provided because of complexity. Level Five has 20 speeches. The student goes through memorizing and reciting the speeches like the poetry, one by one in order, highlighting and charting as they have mastered them. On the last day of each month the student is to recite their favorite poems and speeches that they have memorized.

In the box along with the Teacher's Manual is a case that holds 5 CDs of Poems and Speeches, a DVD, and a link to download zip files of all 5 CDs' MP3s.The CD/DVD case is very nice. It looks like leather that is stitched all around the edges and has the IEW logo on it. Their are 4 CDs of Poems and the 5th one for Speeches. They go along with the 5 levels and are the audio versions of each poem or speech. The case also includes a bonus DVD of Andrew Pudewa's conference talk Nurturing Competent Communicators.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

I was very excited to get this in the mail because I love poetry and wanted my children to be able to partake in this curriculum. Being from IEW, I knew that it would be top notch. Teela, my second grader, accepted the challenge of the program.

When I looked all of the components over I noticed that this curriculum can be used with many types of learners and grades. My youngest, who is 5 and in preschool can listen to the audio of the poetry and memorize the poetry this way since she doesn't read much yet. This will help her also with reading readiness as she can also follow along in the book. My daughter Teela used both the audio and read the words from the pages. I would think that my older sons who are 14 and 15 would just use the book and read them to memorize because they wouldn't need the feedback from the audio.

Teela did exactly what the Student Pages said and I was thankful that I received a physical book because my printer was almost out of ink. Thank you IEW for being so generous! We used this program for 3 days a week for the review period. With this program Teela has been able to work at her own pace and is getting so much better at poetry memorization and recitation. I am amazed at the simplicity of this program and the advances Teela has made just by memorizing poetry. Her vocabulary has expanded and she has gotten better at public speaking, just for starters.

I love how versatile this program is. It can be done just about anywhere, including: at home, in the car, while doing chores, or out on a walk. We have brought this with us on a number of occasions.

I loved the DVD as well. Andrew Pudewa's conference talk Nurturing Competent Communicators was very inspiring. Pudewa talks about how poetry memorization makes you smarter and why we should all be doing it. It was very informative.

Institute for Excellence in Writing Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization is a wonderful curriculum for poetry memorization and recitation. We love this mastery learning study! We recommend it to everyone that would like to add poetry memorization to their curriculum to enhance and benefit the learning experience.


BUY IT
You can purchase Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization for $65 on the IEW website. You can purchase the preprinted spiral bound book of Student Pages for $19.

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Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization  IEW Review

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Tips for Overcoming Sickness Quickly: Pfizer Pediatric Platform Products at Target Review and Giveaway #SickJustGotReal


I received the Pfizer Pediatric Platform Products that are available at Target free to facilitate this review.

Living on a farm, homemaking, and homeschooling I have a lot to do and accomplish everyday. When my kids get sick everything else seems to come to a sudden halt. Being sick myself or having a sick child can disrupt everything because of the time involved in care. This is why overcoming sickness quickly is a must in my home. Here are some tips to help do so...

  1. Disinfect things. Surface areas, knobs, handles and other most touched surfaces can cause someone to get germs easily from others who have them if touched by them, so using a disinfectant to wipe these areas down is important.
  2. Eat Healthy and Get Plenty of Fluids. Eating healthy well balanced meals in your home with your family will help in keeping everyone's body strong. Make sure you and your family also stays hydrated by getting plenty of fluids.
  3. Get your sleep. Getting a good amount of sleep helps with keeping your body well rested and your immune system working well. Also make sure your family members are not staying up late and are getting proper shuteye.
  4. Get your exercise. Exercising helps combat health conditions and diseases along with maintaining well being, improving mood, controlling weight and boosting energy. Exercising with someone else; like your family, will keep everyone in shape and help motivate you to do so too.
  5. Have good hygiene and brush your teeth/tongue/gums regularly. Keeping good care of yourself and making sure to keep good care of others in your family; especially those who are not able to do so themselves, is so important in staying healthy.
  6. Take the correct medicine when sick. Whether prescription or over the counter you need to know what your or your family member's symptoms are, select the medicine that matches those symptoms or have your doctor do so, and follow the directions to take or give the proper dosage and use as directed.
  7. Cough into your sleeve (the bend of your elbow) or a tissue not your hands. Don't stifle a cough and don't sniff the mucous back into your lungs. Sneezing, blowing your nose, and coughing are a must when trying to expel germs from the body. Teach others in your family to do this as well.
  8. Let some fresh air in and don't over heat your house. Overheating and not ventilating properly will only make the air in your home stagnant, stale and dry. Lack of humidity causes our nose and tonsils to dry out so they cannot trap germs efficiently. When this happens it becomes difficult to sneeze and cough. Turning down the thermostat and turning on a room humidifier keeps virus-laden mucus flowing out of your body. As gross as it is you need to get it out of your system.
  9. Teach children and others how to keep well. The most important times to clean hands include after sneezing, coughing or using the restroom, upon leaving "high-risk" places (recess, nap-time, play stations) and before meals or snacks. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly. If you are a good example your children will follow. Stress the importance of not touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Show your children how to cover their mouth and nose for every cough and sneeze. Better to be on the sleeve than in the hand. This simple maneuver has spectacular results in decreasing the spread of viruses and bacteria floating about the room, waiting to be inhaled.
  10. Try to stay away from others who are sick and if you get sick try to stay home. Try not to spread germs to others.

About Pfizer Pediatric Platform Products Available at Target:
Ease those aches and pains, while reducing a child’s fever fast with Children’s Advil®, a great solution for kids as young as 2 and up to 11. Children’s Advil® comes in several great-tasting flavors, including: Sugar-free Dye-free Berry, Bubble Gum, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Fruit and Dye-Free White Grape flavors. There’s also Infants’ Advil® White Grape, which provides unsurpassed fever relief with a syringe for easy dosing for children 6-23 months.

Formulated just for kids, Children's Robitussin® DM Day/Night Pack (Children’s Robitussin® Cough & Chest Congestion and Children’s Robitussin® Nighttime Cough) non-drowsy daytime formula helps break up chest congestion, while the long-acting nighttime formula relieves coughs and runny noses to help kids get the rest they need.

All in a great tasting grape flavor, Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough tackles a child’s most bothersome stuffy and runny noses, all while working to relieve cough.

*It is important to remember to always read and keep the cartons for complete warnings and dosing information on Pfizer Pediatric Platform products and to use as directed.

Our Thoughts:
We received the liquid Children’s Advil® in grape flavor. I am glad we did, because my kids don't like the other flavors as well. It says on the package that one dose lasts up to 8 hours which is great when my little ones (2 - 11 years old) get a fever or have minor aches and pain because it means fewer doses are needed per day. This ibuprofen medicine does its job well, breaking fevers and relieving aches and pains quickly which gives me peace of mind. I gave the recommended dose to my 6 year old daughter when she had an ear ache, the pain was gone within moments, and she was able to sleep through the night. I love to know that it is on hand in my medicine cabinet in case it is needed. It is great to be prepared. I also love that it has a child proof cap for safety and comes with a measuring cup for convenience.

The Children's Robitussin® DM Day/Night Pack has two liquid medicines in one pack: Children’s Robitussin® Cough & Chest Congestion and Children’s Robitussin® Nighttime Cough. The Children’s Robitussin® Cough & Chest Congestion is grape flavored, which is my kids' favorite, and is non-drowsy. It has a cough suppressant and a expectorant in it and temporarily relieves chest congestion/mucus and cough. The Children’s Robitussin® Nighttime Cough is fruit punch flavored and is long-acting for up to 8 hours of relief so my child can sleep through the night. It contains a antihistamine and cough suppressant and it temporarily relieves cough and runny nose. This medicine is alcohol free. Both medicines are for ages 6 and over. These medicines work wonderfully for when my kids are coughing. I love that both medicines come in a combo pack for extra convenience and value. I love to save money and not have to purchase two separate products that are even more pricey. This takes the guesswork out of what to buy. I love that they both come with a child proof cap for safety and a measuring cup for convenience.

We also received the liquid Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough in grape flavor. This has an antihistamine, cough suppressant and nasal decongestant in one and temporarily relieves stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, itchy-watery eyes, and cough. This medicine is for ages 6 years and over and is alcohol free.  Children’s Dimetapp® products have always been a trusted brand in our family. We know that they will do what they are advertised to. The grape flavor of the cough and cold medicine is one of very few flavors that my kids will take readily when needed. I also love that it has a child proof cap for safety and comes with a measuring cup for convenience.

Be Social:
BUY IT
For your convenience you can sometimes buy the product online and pick up in store in as soon as 2 hours. Target will hold it for 4 days after it’s ready.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a Pfizer Pediatric Platform Product Bundle

I run giveaways with Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: The Pfizer Pediatric Platform products, $50 Target Gift Card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. My thoughts and reviews 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. The medical information provided on this blog is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). I am not a medical professional, just a mom with a opinion. Even if a statement made about the medication is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms. I am only suggesting that you should try it for yourself and see if helps your children. People are all different and outcomes could vary drastically.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. K-3 Book One Review



My family had the privilege of trying the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. K-3 Book One for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. creates art curriculum for children. This full-color curriculum helps children to grow their skills of observation and critical thinking. It teaches all components of fine art, including creativity, art history, art appreciation, and art techniques. This unique homeschool art program permits the student to be expressive and make up their own decision about what and how they will draw, paint, or sculpt.

The Early Elementary K-3 Book One is one of the many art curriculum books you can purchase from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. This Introduction to the Visual Arts book is by Brenda Ellis. It has a comb-binding that allows the book to stay flat when open.

It is 95 pages long with 36 five to ten minute lessons. The lessons are accompanied by 185 illustrations and full-color works from master artists. They cover four different groups: drawing, painting (watercolor), paper art, and clay. Each group has a selection of things that are listed on a materials page that you will need in addition to the book for your student to do the projects. Each project is given a group number and list of items so that there are no surprises and you can be prepared before each lesson. Projects take thirty to sixty minutes, depending upon child's method and how much they can focus without getting distracted. Additional items are listed as well for each group that you should have at hand.

Art Supplies Needed to Buy For Use With This Book:

GROUP #1 DRAWING (lessons: 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, and 29)
  • two ebony pencils
  • vinyl eraser
  • soft pastels (set of 12, not professional grade)
  • oil pastels (Cray-Pas, Junior Artist, set of 25)
  • sketch or drawing paper pad
GROUP #2 PAINTING (lessons: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24, and 35)
  • Caran d'ache Neocolor II Water-soluble Watercolor Crayons (set of 10)
  • #8 round watercolor brush that comes to a point
  • Canson XL watercolor paper pad (30 sheets)
GROUP #3 PAPER ART (lessons: 15, 16, 28, 32, 34, and 36)
  • heavy-weight, fade-proof construction paper (assorted colors including black)
  • tissue paper (assorted colors)
  • scissors (Fiskars for children are recommended)
GROUP #4 CLAY (lessons: 23, 27, 28, 30, and 31)
  • 5lbs. gray self-hardening clay (option to substitute red self-hardening clay for lesson 28 and white self-hardening clay or a flour dough recipe for lesson 23)

This book is parted out into three sections. These sections are: What Artists Do, What Artists See, and Where We Find Art. In the What Artists Do section are chapters 1-14 (fourteen lessons) in which the student explores activities artists do when making art. This section also teaches the student the proper way to use watercolor crayons, pastels, and pencil in drawing and painting landscapes, people, and still life. In the What Artists See section are chapters 15-21 (seven lessons) in which the student explores elements that artists use in two and three dimensional work such as shape, form, line, and color. This section teaches the child to handle scissors, glue, fold paper forms, draw materials, and use a brush while doing collage, paper works, drawing, and color mixing. In the Where We Find Art section are chapters 22-36 (fifteen lessons) in which the student explores places we find art, like: caves, pyramids, cathedrals, etc., covering ancient art of prehistoric times to book illumination of the Middle Ages. This section teaches the child to use chalk pastels, oil pastels, clay, and paper works while making murals, pottery, clay models, paper art, bookbinding, and mosaics.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

Since Teela (my 8 year old daughter), Zari (my 5 year old daughter), and I only had six weeks before this review was due to explore the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Early Elementary K-3 Book One, we only had time to do a part of the first section. I didn't have the money to get all the art supplies I needed all at once, so I bought the ones I was told I would need for the first set of lessons. This happened to be just three supplies: the Caran d'ache Neocolor II Water-soluble Watercolor Crayons (set of 10), a #8 round watercolor brush, and a Canson XL watercolor paper pad (30 sheets). I got them at a discount by clicking the Blick U button at the bottom of the art supply packs page on the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. website.

Some of the art Zari did with the watercolor crayons.

The lesson projects build on themselves and so we went in the order they were presented and did one lesson a week. We found though that by lesson 3 (and also for lesson 6) we needed supplies that we had not purchased ahead of time. So, instead of the ebony pencil, vinyl eraser, and sketch/drawing pad we were forced to use regular pencils, a pink rubber eraser, and copy paper. It was all I had at home at the time and we do not have an art supply store near us. These alternate supplies worked just fine, in my opinion. Each section does, however; stand on its own and can be done in any order. To get the most out of the material you should finish a whole section.

Some of the art Teela did with the watercolor crayons.

My girls loved the short lessons about What Artists Do and projects that followed. They loved using the watercolor crayons the most because it was a new experience for them and they love to paint. The layout was really easy to follow. First I would read them the lesson. Then I would read to them about a famous artist composition or other observations in the book while they looked at it and answered questions about it . Next I would read about the project they would be completing and show them the pictures of examples in the book and then they would do the project once I handed out the materials.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. K-3 Book One is a wonderful introduction book for kindergartners through third graders to the visual arts. It is a thorough art curriculum for this age. I enjoyed teaching these lessons and my girls enjoyed learning and being artistic making different watercolor art and drawing. We are excited to do more and experience other mediums like clay and paper working.

BUY IT
The Early Elementary K-3 Book one is $47.95 and can be purchased through the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. website. ARTistic Pursuits Inc. has other art instruction books in Sculpture Techniques, Elementary Art, Middle School Art, and High School Art as well that you can purchase.

Art materials are required for the Early Elementary K-3 Book One. You can find most of these at your local craft store. There is also an Art Supply Pack for each book sold on the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. website. The price for the Art Supply Pack which includes all the art supplies you need for the K-3 Book One is $89 + $13.50 for priority flat rate (medium box) shipping & handling. The art supply pack includes all of the art supplies needed plus an I'm an artist! cotton tote bag to put it all into. You can also buy these art supplies individually when you need them at a discount by clicking the Blick U button at the bottom of the art supply packs page on the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. website.

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ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Zeezok Publishing LLC Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades Collection Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Zeezok Publishing LLC Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades Collection for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Zeezok Publishing LLC is a Christian provider of enriching educational materials for homeschoolers. They strive to supply the best and most affordable homeschooling textbooks and supplementary materials that will compliment your educational needs. Zeezok Publishing LLC is continuing to expand its curriculum, books, and supplementary materials to help the homeschooling family have the opportunity to give the finest possible education to their children.

Zeezok Publishing LLC Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades Collection

Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades is more than just teaching music theory or music appreciation to your student. This collection is from the Great Musicians Series. The collection includes a student activity book, music discs, lapbook CD and seven composer biographies. This is geared for grades kindergarten through sixth and a variety of learners including: auditory, kinesthetic, visual, etc. It also meets all national standards for music appreciation.

What is included in detail:
  • Student Activity Book: This soft cover book by Elisabeth Tanner and Judy Wilcox starts off with a Table of Contents, Introduction, Scope & Sequence, and Music Disc Track List. Then it has each of the seven composers listed, each with 4 weeks of hands-on activities that include: geography lessons, history lessons, recipes, instrument studies, music vocabulary, hand writing, musical facts of the Classical period, timelines, character trait studies, and so much more. The activity book ends in Endnotes, a bibliography for each section. This is a great companion to the biographies and they suggest getting one of these for each student being taught. MSRP $49.99
  • 5 Music Discs: The music on these CDs are in sequence of artist and are listed in the Student Activity Book under Music Disc Track List.
  • Lapbook CD: This CD first goes into lapbook construction and common book folds to teach you the basic assembly of a lapbook. Then it shows you pictures of each completed lapbook and has all the lapbook pages for each composer of this collection. Last it has a resource list for each lapbook. MSRP $29.99
  • 7 Composer Biographies: Seven different biography books of each composer studied, dating from 1685 to 1828. Included is: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini and Schubert. These individual biographies describe the childhood and adult life of each of these composers. These are true and accurate with every important event mentioned. These also have written music and lovely pictures throughout.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

Teela, my daughter in 2nd grade, and I focused on Paganini for the 4 week study and this review. First we looked through the Student Activity Book and found that besides a nice table of contents, each composer had its own colored tab along the side to find the pages easily. The tab colors also go with the reader colors. When we flipped to Paganini on page 255 we found the Weekly Lesson Outline layout for each of the four weeks. These Weekly Lesson Outlines are given for each composer too and is very well structured and spelled out for you so you know exactly what to do and when. At the end of the 4 weeks they also include an answer key to help the teacher with grading.


Paganini Weekly Lesson Outline and an illustration in the reader.

Some of these activities are covered all 4 weeks and others are not. Some of these are marked LB & you can find these on the Lapbook CD. If they are starred in the book these activities are required in order to meet national music appreciation standards. Here is how the basic outline goes:
  • Chapter Reading (book icon)
  • Answer Comprehension Question(s) (checklist icon)
  • Character Qualities (heart icon)
  • Tidbits of Interest (book stack icon)
  • Assemble Lapbook Folder (Week One Only) (folder icon)
  • Listen to Music Disc, Tracks (headphones icon)
  • Hands-On activities (hand icon)
  • Geography Map activities (globe icon)
  • Quoteworthy (conversation bubble icon)
  • Music activities (musical notes icon)
  • Writing activities (paper and pencil icon)
  • Science activities (test tube icon)

We were so happy to get the whole collection because without one of the components it would be very difficult to recieve the full benefit of the program. All of the parts of this curriculum complement each other really well. We loved how easy it was to follow along each week in the Student Activity Book. It was really fascinating to learn about Paganini's life in the Paganini: Master of Strings biography reader and the music discs have music to listen to for each composer. Teela loved making the lapbook with the help of the Lapbook CD and eating the Spaghetti Soup (a recipe in the Student Activity Book) the most (although we might have done something wrong because the noodles sopped up all the broth and liquid and it wasn't much of a soup...but it was still very delicious). As you can see there are a lot of differerent activities.

Paganini Lapbook

Spaghetti Soup (didn't turn out soupy for us, but was delish)

As a violinist myself, I love Paganini's music. I actually have a wind up violin music player that I bought at the BYU Bookstore years ago which plays Paganini's 18th Variation (Rhapsody on a Theme). I would love to go back in time just to see him perform while he was such a young age.

Paganini Violin Music Player

We did notice that the Shubert biography book was different in format than all the rest. The only things that we noticed that were different were the cover illustrations, it is hardback instead of paperback, and it lists music track numbers in the front that are out of date. We have been told that Shubert is the last book to be updated and will be once they sell out of the current print run.

Teela is excited to learn about the other composers in this collection as well. We are going to start Mozart: The Wonder Boy soon. This is a great summer music program too!

We highly recommend the Zeezok Publishing LLC Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades Collection! If you are looking into a great classical music appreciation curriculum or homeschool music program look no further. Also, look for the Zeezok Publishing LLC Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades Collection expected to come out in Spring of 2017. Book 2 will include: Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Foster, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and MacDowell. I will be looking forward to this as well because I have middle schoolers that would love learning about these composers.

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Retail Price is $207. 62. Sale Price is $169.99. Save 18% when purchasing the complete Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades collection!

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Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades {Zeezok Publishing LLC Review}

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