Tuesday, July 31, 2018

WriteBonnieRose Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 from WriteBonnieRose 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.

WriteBonnieRose is a website created by Bonnie Rose, a regular contributor to Schoolhouse Teachers and The Old Schoolhouse® magazine for the past 6 years. WriteBonnieRose creates curriculum, and printables for homeschoolers. She has activity packs, coloring books, copywork, games, notebooking, and unit studies. You can find curriculum on subjects including: Geography, American History, World History, World War History, Holidays, Literature, Math, Missions, Reading & Writing, Science, Spelling, and Sports. She has curriculum for ages preschool through high school.

The Learning About Science Collection has three different levels with the last level having a print and cursive version. Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 is the first of the levels and is a science curriculum for younger elementary students. With 172 pages total, it covers: life science, earth science, and physical science. These are in seven books that are in digital PDF format. These seven books explore these topics: how plants grow, common fruits and vegetables, animal habitats, senses and body systems, life cycles, the earth’s layers, earthquakes, volcanoes, states of matter, and more. This does not talk about the origins or age of the earth and all measurements are given in both English and Metric. Level 1 is perfect for grades 1-3.

Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 Books:
  1. Familiar Plants and How They Grow: Key parts of a plant, what makes a plant, life cycle of flowering plants (14 pages)
  2. Fruits and Vegetables Around the World: 28 fruits and 28 vegetables (37 pages)
  3. Animal Habitats of the World: 78 animals, 18 habitats (51 pages)
  4. Our Senses and Systems and How They Work: 5 senses, major body systems (19 pages)
  5. Learning About Life Cycles: Life cycles of some popular animals (27 pages)
  6. Earth: Layers, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes: crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core; movement of plates, movement of magma (12 pages)
  7. Exploring States of Matter: 3 states of matter, how some matter can change states (12 pages)

Zari working on the Familiar Plants and How They Grow section.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
Once ordered, Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 was sent to our email. From there it was downloadable and printable in PDF format. Each book is a separate file, so there are seven individual downloads plus a file for discussion helps.

This homeschool science curriculum is great for younger children. In each lesson there are some paragraphs of information to read, some pictures to color, and some key spelling words to trace. I read the paragraphs to her and she would color the pictures and trace the words. The paragraphs are in a tone younger kids can understand. I love that it also incorporates practicing handwriting with the science and coloring. Then there is a review section in which the student is asked questions to see if they could remember the information. After this section there are pages that hold a review answer key for parents/teachers to check students work.

I used this with my youngest daughter Zari who is going into 2nd grade. We did the first unit, Familiar Plants and How They Grow. We worked through this averaging three days a week during the review period. She learned about the key parts of plants like the seeds, flower, pistil, stamen, stem, and roots. She also learned about the plant life cycle. We would then explore online and outdoors on plants further. Both Teela and her even grew their own seedlings from flower seeds.

Flower seedlings we grew from seed.

She enjoyed learning more about plants in this lesson. She can't wait to learn more about the other subjects. We highly recommend the WriteBonnieRose Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 to other homeschooling kids grades 1-3. These are great as unit studies or a whole science curriculum. These would also be great as a starting point to then dig deeper into the subjects by looking up more information or hands on activities.

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Learning about Science Collection Level 1

You can save 50% on the bundled Learning About Science, Levels 1, 2, and 3 with coupon code REVIEWCREW50 through August 15, which means you can get each set of ebooks for $6 per set at https://writebonnierose.com/products-science/.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for WriteBonnieRose...
Learning About Science collections {WriteBonnieRose Reviews}

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Benji & The Giant Kite 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.

Benji & The Giant Kite is a hardcover children's book that is by bestselling author Alan C. Fox with illustrations by Eefje Kuijl. This adorable book is the story of a child named Benji's experience of kite flying and earning money for a giant bright orange kite with hard work. Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash is based on a real-life event that happened when Alan Fox was eight. It teaches kids about patience, love, ambition, dedication, and perseverance and how working hard to earn money to achieve a goal can be so rewarding in the end.

Our Thoughts and Spoilers:
Benji & The Giant Kite is a wonderful story of a little boy and his determination. I love how Benji gets right to work and doesn't complain or fuss about how tough it is. He never gives up on his dream. He is determined to get the large orange kite that he saw in the store window even though it is expensive. Because of his "sweat equity" he earns the kite and is able to fly it.

We loved this cute book and its lovely illustrations. The book starts from the beginning where Benji is watching others fly kites on a beach to where he lets the giant kite free to fulfill its destiny and soar high among the clouds. The pictures are fun to look at too. One picture shows the toy shop keeper showing Benji a box kite with nostalgic toys all around. Another shows his dog trailing behind Benji as Benji carries the giant kite down a sandy trail to get closer to the sea. My kids and I will treasure this book.

My kids having fun flying kites.

As a family we love to fly kites too. We also love to go to Once Upon A Breeze in Cannon Beach Oregon. It is the oldest kite shop on the Oregon Coast. It reminded me of the kite/toy shop in this book. Lincoln City Oregon also has a Summer and Fall Kite Festival each year. We have also been to the World Kite Museum and Store in Long Beach Washington which has over 1500 kites from 26 countries around the world. They also have the Washington State International Kite Festival that goes on annually every 3rd full week of August.

Teela and Zari enjoying the Benji & The Giant Kite book.

I suggest this sweet and endearing story to everyone. It is perfect for those who want to teach their children about how working hard and being committed pays off in the end. We love the adorable illustrations and wonderful story. Highly recommended!

Purchase the Benji & The Giant Kite book for $17.95 on Amazon.

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this book 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 can be found in this post. Thank you for your support of this blog!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Progeny Press The Green Book - eGuide Review

My family had the privilege of trying the The Green Book - eGuide from Progeny Press 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.

Progeny Press is a Christian based company that produces products that help with comprehension, critical analysis, and vocabulary study in literature and reading. They have a number of very nice literature based study guides and interactive e-guides that go with a number of classical, historical, and award winning books. They are always adding new titles to their list. All of their guides - whether book-bound, on CD, or downloaded - have exactly the same content.

The Green Book eGuide is a great study guide for using in conjunction with the book by Jill Paton Walsh. The book is geared towards grades four to six and the guide grades three to five. The one we received is the interactive e-guide which means that it is able to have the answers entered and typed directly into the PDF and saved. You can additionally print the pages and have your student work on them off of the computer. The e-guides save you money because you do not have to pay shipping and handling. You can also grade the student's work directly on the PDF and make comments in the same file. All the guides, once purchased, can be reproduced for the teacher's/homeschooling parent's use in their own classroom or home. Once downloaded to your computer they are permanently available on your computer, and are yours and yours only. This guide is 57 pages total when printed.

The eGuide covers a lot of ground. It has vocabulary that goes with the book with activities that help retention and growth. It talks about literary techniques like: In-context, similes, idioms, metaphors, mood, synonyms, imagery, foreshadowing, repetition, alliteration, juxtaposition, conflict, theme, circular narrative, etc. There are moral lessons and character values taken from the book. Activities and writing assignments are also included. There is a lot of other things too that it goes into. Take a look at the layout and contents below...

Here is The Green Book's Study Guide Layout:

  • Study Guide Author
  • Note to Instructor (How to use the study guide)
  • Synopsis (What book is about)
  • About the Novel's Author
  • Prereading Activities (Things to do or study before reading the book): Read other pioneering books, travel plans, memory photos, make a journal.
  • Chapters (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6 & 7):
    • Vocabulary (Definition and write the word in a sentence)
    • Questions (Short Answer)
    • Think About the Story (Comprehension Questions)
    • Dig Deeper (Questions with Bible Verses to look up and Biblical perspective to go with the book)
    • Optional Projects and Activities (Discussions and/or Reports and/or Presentations): planning forum, computer research, gravity, science and wind, rain cycle, jellyfish, oil lamps, marine aquariums, science video recommendations, fairy-tales, boredom ideas, tree candy, hopscotch, cooking grain, pancakes, crystal gardens, maple syrup, gardening, spin thread, fire opals, creative writing journal, creative writing sequel, poetry performance, persuasive paper, flatbread and muffins.
  • Overview
    • Theme Questions
    • Mystery Message
    • Venn Diagram
    • Crossword
  • After-You-Read Projects
  • Additional Resources (Other books by the author)
  • Answer Key (located in a separate PDF)

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
My daughter, Teela, who is 10 years old is an advanced reader. She loves reading and devours books. Her favorites are chapter books that have some substance to them. I told her about The Green Book and she was excited to start reading. We easily found the book online to check out, so this was perfect for her book study in our homeschool. She loved this book and read it chapter by chapter working through the study guide.

She got to use the guide as she read the book and since the review period for this was slightly longer than most (roughly 7 weeks) we got through a good portion of the study. She did the worksheets online to work on her computer and typing skills as well.

Sample pages from the Progeny Press The Green Book - eGuide.

This was the third time we had experienced Progeny Press and their literature study guides. The e-guide we received was jam packed full of reading comprehension and information to study. I love that it is also faith-based and has biblical applications that relate to the book fairly well. Since Teela just finished 4th grade this year, I had her type her answers as best she could and I believe she did great for her age. These guides are very well thought out and put together and I feel that my daughter learned and comprehended a great deal more because of it.

I highly recommend the Progeny Press E-guides. They are easy to download and simple to print from PDF and easy to do online. The Green Book one got my daughter thinking a lot more about the story and characters than she would have just reading the book on its own. Progeny Press has a great selection of other guides that go with some other great books as well. Check them out below.

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You can get The Green Book - eGuide in e-guide format for $17.99 from Progeny Press and also download a sample of the guide to see what it looks like.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Progeny Press...
New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) Book Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens 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.

Do you have a kid that likes technology and learning code in the family? Did you know that these skills are highly sought after in the job field? Did you know that software engineering, a.k.a. computer coding, is the fastest growing industry in the world right now? Enter Code for Teens!

Code for Teens is a book series that helps teens, or anyone with at least a 6th grade reading level, learn computer programming and computer coding. The first book, Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1), is the only one out at the moment with more volumes on the way. This physical, softcover book is written by homeschooling dad, Jeremy Mortiz as a beginners guide to learning JavaScript. It has 219 full-color glossy pages of one-on-one instruction to learn in a systematic fashion. The illustrations by Jeremy's wife, Christine, are fun and engaging. This book teaches Java without the need for teachers or parents...it empowers the child to teach themselves. These lessons are taught so that the student can move at their own pace and problem solve on their own. The concepts build on each other, so before the student moves ahead they should make sure they understand the topics well. Every chapter includes a quiz, key concepts, drills, an aggregate review, and a DIY project. There is a foreword, an introduction, a word for parents, 10 chapters, a conclusion, answers, and a glossary of terms in this book. The student must have a computer (desktop, laptop, or Chromebook only) and use Google Chrome to be able to work through the book. The introduction and entire first chapter is online as a free sample PDF on the Code for Teens website if you want to check it out for yourself.

Chapters Include the Following:
  1. Hello World! Write your first lines of code and make mistakes 
  2. Time to Operate Code with numbers and math operators 
  3. Comment on the String Section Concatenate strings and make snide comments 
  4. Have Some Functions Declare and invoke functions 
  5. Shall I Compare? Using booleans, if blocks, conditionals, and comparison operators 
  6. Logically Operational Work with null, undefined, and logical operators 
  7. Projects Galore Practice methods in lots of short projects 
  8. Hip Hip Array! Introduce arrays and do stuff with 'em 
  9. Loop a Round Put your code on repeat with loops 
  10. Make a Hangman Game Combine concepts from every chapter to build a cool game

Code for Hello World and Follow the Leader

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I felt the Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) book would be great for my son Delbin who is 17. He loves playing computer games and he has told me before that he would love to learn how to program them. This book is a great starting point for this and other software engineering fields.

When I was a teenager I learned HTML and a bit of JavaScript all by myself to build websites on Angelfire and GeoCities. I was also a member of a place called POD (place of Dolphins), an online role playing interface and chat server in which we used code to make our dolphin, whale, or porpoise characters interact with one another and the bot. It was a lot of fun manipulating computer code to make it do what I wanted. It was a great learning experience and I felt so empowered learning it all on my own. I, however; didn't have an awesome book to teach me these concepts, so having this for my son is sure handy.

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) book and coding on the computer.

We had to download the Google Chrome browser because we didn't have it installed yet. Delbin started at the beginning of the book, working through the chapters. I could see that he was enjoying himself making lines of code. The book is written in an informal tone with a no-pressure approach and has clever illustrations with some humor throughout so that it is more entertaining for the reader. When new terms are introduced they are also defined so that the student gets a handle on the concepts better. These words are in bold. The code is set apart from other text in the book with grey highlighting so you can decipher it better. He liked that the lessons had quizzes, key concepts, drills, and review so he could have a firm understanding before moving onto the next chapter. He also thought it was very cool that he could self-check his answers with the book. Even though it is summer break I didn't have to poke and prod him to do the work because he thought it was fun.

We cannot wait for the second volume of this series which will be about HTML and CSS and how JavaScript can work with these codes. This book has been a great first step to learning computer programming languages. We highly recommend it for any classroom, homeschool library, or as a gift for a tween or teen that is interested or wanting to try something new.

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You can purchase the Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) book online at Code for Teens for only $25 plus free shipping.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Code For Teens...
Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming {Code for Teens Reviews}

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Paul, Apostle of Christ Movie Review #PaulMovie

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

Paul, Apostle of Christ is a movie about Paul (Faulkner) who was originally Saul of Tarsus a ruthless persecutor of Christians then is converted as Paul, Christ's most influential apostle. In this film he is spending his last days in a dark prison cell awaiting execution by Emperor Nero. Luke (Caviezel), his friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into Rome to visit him. Paul is under the watchful eye of Mauritius (Martinez), the prison's prefect, who seeks to understand how this broken old man can pose such a threat. But before Paul's death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of "The Way" and the birth of what will come to be known as the church. Their faith challenged an empire. But their words changed the world.

PRODUCED BY: T.J. Berden and David Zelon
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Eric Groth, Rick Jackson, Harrison Powell and Jim Caviezel
STARRING: Jim Caviezel, James Faulkner, Olivier Martinez, Joanne Whalley and John Lynch

My Thoughts:
This film is visually spectacular. It transports you into the movie and makes you feel like you have stepped straight into biblical times when Christ's apostles were living. The acting is so convincing. I felt the intensity of the emotions being conveyed and got sucked into the world of Paul. This was a little dark and depressing, but a very realistic representation of life under Roman rule and the persecutions of the followers of Christ. There was no unnecessary or excessive blood or gore, but there are scenes of graphic brutality and Christian persecution. It is properly rated at PG 13. This film is so moving and shows how hard life was like for believers of Christ. I highly recommend it.

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Prize: Paul, Apostle of Christ Blu-ray DVD copy
Host: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and FrontGate Media.
Who Can Enter: Open to US Residents 18 years or older.
Selection Process: 5 winners will be selected on 8/25/2018 and notified by email.
Where to Enter: Go to this link https://www.blessedfreebies.com/paulapostleofchrist.html 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.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Math Essentials Math Refresher for Adults Review

My family had the privilege of trying Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials 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.

Math Essentials was created by Richard W. Fisher, a math instructor for the Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California, for over 31 years. This company creates award winning math materials to help teach and learn mathematics. These are easy to use and easy to understand. Rick creates books, DVD’s, and a world-class online instructional program.

The Math Refresher for Adults...The Perfect Solution is a physical, softcover book by Richard W. Fisher. It is part of the Mastering Essential Math Skills series. This book goes through and gives a refresher course for anyone that needs one. It covers: Basic General Math, Geometry, Problem Solving, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra. Each lesson is short, concise, and easy to understand. Each lesson has review exercises, two sample problems, and a small section to take notes. There is a corresponding video tutorial for each lesson in the book taught by Rick Fisher. This book is perfect for those that: have forgotten the math that they were taught, struggle with math, have been away from math too long, want to teach their homeschooled kids math, want to be able to help their kids with math homework, have a math placement/competency test coming up, or are English Language Learners learning math.

General Math Main Chapters include:
  • Whole Numbers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percents
  • Geometry
  • Integers
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Word Problems

Pre-Algebra and Algebra Chapters include:
  • sets
  • integers
  • positive and negative numbers
  • exponents
  • square roots
  • order of operations
  • properties of numbers
  • scientific notation
  • ratios and proportions
  • percents
  • number theory
  • number lines
  • coordinate systems
  • slope
  • graphing linear equations
  • equations
  • algebra word problems
  • probability
  • statistics

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

I used Math Essentials Math Refresher for Adults for myself as a refresher in math; primarily in Pre-Algebra and Algebra and as a math refresher for my kids. I also used this book with a neighbor child that I am tutoring this summer to get his math skills up to where his level should be. This book is very efficient in teaching the math skills we all need to know to succeed. Math is super important to learn and apply in our lives. Math is so easy to forget if we don't keep using what we learned. Unfortunately the overuse of calculators and other technology to do the math work for us is helping make people lazy and forgetful. This book is wonderful for not only adults that have forgotten math or were not taught it well, but children/teens that need this refresher as well.

Changing improper fractions to mixed number or whole number.

For now I focused on fractions with the kid that I am tutoring math to because that was where he was having the most trouble. This book has been a great help for both me and him. He is now grasping the concepts so much better. I liked how it recommends that you write the problem out in a notebook or on a separate sheet of paper along with your work so you don't have to write in the book.

The book also says it comes with video instruction, however; finding which videos went with this book was a bit difficult since they do not have this book listed under the video section yet. After some looking into, we did find that the videos for the other books still correspond with the information in this book. The videos are to the point and easy to understand without any bells and whistles. The book goes in a great sequential order that is wonderful for relearning basics, pre-algebra, and algebra.

Math Essentials Videos

I highly recommend this book for anyone needs a refresher on math. It is a great tool to help remember the math you learned years ago...or teach struggling math learners. It is also very affordable for anyone to purchase.

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You can purchase the Math Essentials Math Refresher for Adults book for $28.95.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Math Essentials Math Refresher for Adults...
Math Refresher for Adults {Math Essentials}

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