Saturday, September 22, 2018

Cave Tools BBQ Grill Light / Bicycle Light Review

I received the Cave Tools BBQ Grill Light free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Cave Tools is a great online store to find BBQ: tools & accessories, charcoal grills, recipe books, apparel, and gift ideas. They have a great selection of things from tool sets & grill baskets to grill racks & a portable charcoal grill. Find your barbecue and grilling needs at Cave Tools!

Cave Tools BBQ Grill Light features and it in service on my grill.

BBQ Grill Light Features:
  • Illuminates the Entire Grill - provides 100 + Lumens which is the same used in tactical applications for security guards, police and fireman.
  • Fits Any Handle - Upgraded handle clamp fits on rectangular and circular bars for 100% compatibility. Can also be used for bike lighting or any other flashlight needs.
  • Fully Adjustable - Unique 360 degree lamp rotation works in any position.
  • Extremely Durable - Water & Heat Resistant design is built to last. Built to withstand hot temperatures on the grill and nighttime grilling in the rain.
  • Comes With 25 Professional Barbecue Recipes - Step by step instructions and detailed grilling tutorial videos. Free Download Meat Smoking Journal iOS & Android App.
  • The Perfect Gift Idea - Comes in an attractive gift box that can also be used for Easy Storage.
  • Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee - If at any point you are unhappy with your barbecue grill light you can return it for a full money back refund. They take customer service that seriously.

Our Thoughts:
The Cave Tools BBQ Grill Light is a wonderful light source when you are grilling at dusk, dawn, or nighttime when light isn't at its best. This light attaches easily to any grill bar. It is so much better than fumbling in the dark with a flash light in one hand and spatula in the other...trying to open the grill and see if your meat or grilled veggies, etc. are done. This light definitely helps shine a light on your subject hands free. Just tap on the logo to turn it on or off. I; however, didn't find that it had three brightness settings like the website says.

I left the Cave Tools BBQ Grill Light out in the rain and the clamp now has rust, light still works though.

I do like that it is water and heat resistant too, so even with the heat of the grill and rain of the Pacific Northwest it says it will last. I tested this and left it out in the rain. It still worked after being thoroughly drenched, but I did notice that the screw to attach it to the grill hood handle was rusty now. If it doesn't last there is no need to worry because there is a sweet lifetime guarantee!

The Cave Tools BBQ Grill Light works well as a bicycle light as well.

We also love this light for another reason. It also works with our bicycles! The Pacific Northwest is a great place to bike, but having the correct gear is key. I love this light because it can clamp on a bike and help illuminate the road and make drivers more aware of you when it is dark out. This makes biking safer and less dangerous.

All in all, we think the Cave Tools BBQ Grill Light is great and we highly recommend it.

Official Website:
Twitter: @CaveTools
Google+: +Cave Tools

At Amazon or Cave Tools.

Cave Tools Coupon Code: BBQ Grill Light 15% Off: BBQLIGHT15

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. Affiliate links can be found in this post. Thank you for your support of this blog!   

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Roman Roads Media Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (complete program) from Roman Roads Media 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.

Roman Roads Media is a publisher of classical curriculum with a Christian worldview. Named "Roman Roads" for the first century roads of the Roman Empire that were the physical means by which the early church spread the gospel far and wide. Similarly Roman Roads Media now brings instruction through today's technology and media. Some of the curriculum they offer is Picta Dicta, a Latin learning curriculum, and Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric, the course I am reviewing here. You can see more on their website.

Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric is a complete curriculum for high school students and above to learn classical rhetoric. Rhetoric, if you are not familiar with the word,  is "a technique of using language effectively and persuasively in spoken or written form. It is an art of discourse, which studies and employs various methods to convince, influence, or please an audience". Basically it means speaking eloquently or having a way with words. This course covers a years worth of instruction, discussing topics such as: using words well, the greatest speeches of all time, and practicing the skills of effective public speaking. It teaches a Christian worldview  of this and references Bible passages in the course.

The Full Fitting Words Bundle Includes:
  • Textbook
  • Student Workbook
  • Answer Key
  • Exam Pack
  • Video Course

Fitting Words Textbook Sample Pages

The Fitting Words Textbook is a hardback non-consumable textbook that has single-column pages and wide margins. The beginning of the textbook there is a Foreword, Preface, and Introduction. There are more than 100 black and white original illustrations throughout the book. These are of classical style and are a wonderful addition to the text. There are 30 total lessons that encompass the five cannons of rhetoric. The text also covers the six parts of a discourse, the three modes of persuasion, etc. Included within are great speeches from ancient, biblical, and modern times to help clarify the ideas in the book. It has 12 of the main speeches reproduced in full in Appendix A at back of the book. In Appendix B it pin points every speech in the Bible with the scripture referenced so you can look it up, who the speaker is, the intended audience, and a title or quote from each. In the back there is also a Glossary of words, their definitions, and where they can be located in the text. There is also pages of works cited. It is a complete curriculum for classical rhetoric that is packed with resources.

The Fitting Words Student Workbook is a spiral bound consumable workbook that covers exercises and activities for all the 30 lessons detailed in the curriculum. Several of these lessons that have two exercises. It starts out with an introduction of sorts that goes into the "Components of This Course" and says the "Optional Course Schedules" should be there as well, but all I saw was a "How to Use This Workbook"page in its place. The lesson exercises follow these pages with questions the student answers in their own words about things discussed in the textbook and video course. This is to be completed by one student. After the lesson exercises there are pages that cite the works in the exercises and sheets to help the student evaluate themselves when they practice the required speeches.

The Fitting Words Answer Key is a paperback book that includes answers to all the exercises and exams covered in the Fitting Words curriculum. Its layout complements the layout of both exercises and exams to make grading easier. Brackets let us know point recommendations for exams. The one and two year course schedules are also incorporated (which is good because it wasn't in the workbook like it said in the contents that it should have been).

The Fitting Words Exam Pack comes as a shrink wrapped loose leaf packet. These are also 3 hole punched to be able to place in 3-ring binder. This includes all nine exams that cover the crucial ideas for the course. Test review sheets and speech judging sheets are also contained therein. This is 70 pages total.

Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric Video Course.

The Fitting Words Video Course is a thorough instruction from the author that takes the learning one step further and adds a more visual component to it. Each lesson has two videos, one on the lesson and the other on application. These include: numerous examples, illustrations, videos demonstrating good oratory from history, extra activities, and more. There is also a preparation video for each of the 9 tests. You can pick from just streaming, DVD + streaming, or Blu-Ray + streaming.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I thought I could use this with my 18 year old, Delbin, to enhance his speaking skills and rhetoric, but after he looked it over and did one of the lessons he said it wasn't really for him. I was a bit crestfallen as I had hoped that he would be more enthusiastic about this course and want to do it because I did believe wholeheartedly that it would benefit him. Nonetheless, since the curriculum is geared towards high school and up I took up the charge in doing the lessons myself for this review, since I actually wanted to do the course anyway.

The tote bag that the course arrived in.

I was previously unaware of Roman Roads Media and pleasantly surprised when everything came in the mail. It was all very high quality and neatly contained in a tote bag that you could store everything in. I liked that everything could stay organized inside where you could find it easily. It was a nice touch that made everything even better.

The recommended steps for doing the course were different online than on the video course...

Recommended Steps While Going Through Fitting Words from the Video Course:
  1. Watch the Lesson portion of the Video Course.
  2. Read the lesson in the Textbook.
  3. Watch the Application portion of the Video Course (workbook open).
  4. Work on the exercises in the Student Workbook.
  5. Where appropriate, put the application/workbook to practice!
I was a little confused about this, but decided to do what the instructor says to do in the video lessons. I suppose it doesn't really matter too much which order you do it in as long as it works for you. The one-year schedule has you meet 4-5 times a week, doing 1-2 lessons per day and has two semesters of work. The two-year schedule has you do a lesson per week roughly with it taking two years to complete. The one-year pace was a bit fast for me so I slowed it down to not overwhelm myself.

Delbin watching the first lesson in the Fitting Words Video Course.

We received the physical DVDs for the Video Course. There were a total of 4 discs. Disc One had lessons 1-11, Disc Two had lessons 12-17, Disc Three had lessons 18-23, and Disc Four had lessons 24-30. Over 18 hours of instruction total. Each video lesson is not too long and showed mostly the author in his study or library speaking from a podium. He is speaking from notes that he often looks down at...which is a little ironic since he is a speaker that is supposed to be teaching good speaking skills...but hey, nobody is perfect. All in all though I did enjoy these video lessons, especially when popular culture references were brought for example a scene from Star Trek or Star Wars with a great quote. Hey, what can I say...I am a fan girl of great Sci-Fi and really appreciated the references.

Delbin reading the first lesson in the Fitting Words Textbook.

The physical Textbook has almost 400 pages with 30 lessons spanned out through 7 units. The lessons are short, but well written and packed with information. After each lesson there are optional Thinking Deeper questions, Developing Memory builders, and Reading Further to offer additional resources to glean from. There are also Key Concepts and Famous Orators highlighted in the sidebars for each lesson. I love that it has appendixes of famous speeches in their full text and every speech from the bible that are referenced so you can look them up on your own and read them yourself. This is a wonderful tool to have at your fingertips!

A sample of my work in the workbook for Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric Exercise 4.

The physical workbook follows the textbook and video course well. It has plenty of room to write your answers on the lines to the questions asked, which is wonderful! Of note: on the website the picture of the workbook is a paper back softcover and it says there are perforated pages, but there are not any perforated pages in the version that I received. It looks like they might have made the workbook better by making it spiral bound. I really love this because the workbook now lays flat and is easier to handle when taking notes or answering the questions in it. I also liked the wide margins so that in case I wanted to write notes there I could do so. Besides the exercises to do, there are 5 speeches to give throughout the course. I didn't get to any of those yet myself, but when I do there are speech judging sheets at the back that will help others grade my work.

The physical answer key is great at providing answers to every exercise and exam. These answers are wonderful to see examples of what should be written in the workbook. These don't have answers like "answers will vary", instead they fully answer the questions with great examples in complete sentences. I am also glad to find the course schedule here since it was absent in the workbook.

I am so glad that this course also came with a physical pre-printed exam pack. This is so much better than having to print these pages out myself and hole punch them. My printer is on the fritz anyway and is very low on I really appreciate this addition to the bundle especially since it is 70 pages!

The Commonplace Book.

I have also been told by the author to keep a Commonplace Book. This is an out of pocket expense, but totally worth having. It is a blank book to write down quotes, excerpts, phrases, sayings, thoughts, wisdom, or witticism from what you read, hear, or see. This is to develop copiousness, or idea of being full of thought, words, or information.

Bookmark we also received as a bonus.

The Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric from Roman Roads Media is a wonderful and very complete curriculum for learning rhetoric. I recommend it very highly to any who want a Christian worldview about this subject and to teach this to their students at home or learn it yourself. It is a fabulous course for classical education!

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You can purchase the entire Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric bundle for $204.00 or you can get them separately through Roman Roads Media.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Roman Roads Media...
Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Reading Eggs 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade Workbook Review

My family had the privilege of trying the 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade from the brand new workbooks from Reading Eggs for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

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

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

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

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

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

Reading Eggs Workbooks

Reading Eggs has brand new workbooks that coincide with the teaching in the online games. These have fun full color pictures on the pages as well as lessons to learn. There are both reading and math workbooks. The reading workbooks start with kindergarten and go all the way to 5th grade. The math workbooks start with kindergarten and go to the second grade level so far. The reading workbook lessons coincide with the online Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress programs. The math workbook lessons coincide with the online Mathseeds program.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We received an extension to our subscription to the online Reading Eggs suite for one student for three months. My daughter Zari is eight years old on October 19th and is just starting second grade this year. I thought she would like to do the Reading Eggs suite again since we hadn't had the subscription in a while. I picked the 2nd grade workbook that corresponded with her grade level she was going into. We also received a pdf copy and then later the physical copy of the 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade workbook.

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

Family Dashboard: Bonus material pull down menu.

Also, in the Family Dashboard (the home page after signing in) there is bonus material under the menu of the same name. You can find Program Guides under this pull down menu. These are free and downloadable once logged in. These colorful, detailed week-by-week overviews help parents to see learning outcomes for children in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade. Each guide contains a 36-week teaching and learning sequence for Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. These map out online lessons, books, quizzes, and assessments. They also have free activity sheets that correspond to each lesson in both English and Spanish, a Parent User Guide for the suit, and The Eggsperts (a fun new series that your child can watch to hatch clues and solve problems by playing with letters and sounds).

Zari working in the 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade workbook.

The 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade workbook looked fun, colorful, and very educational. It has a glossy cover with full-color pages. It has 200 pages plus answers in the back to check the work. It covers comprehension, spelling, grammar, and review of these topics. The first couple pages are for the parent/teacher to read. In the beginning there is a welcome describing the 36-week program. It lays out the 5 days and what will be taught roughly for 15 minutes per day, plus the reviews...

  • Day 1: Comprehension lesson - Students read a text, annotate it, and answer questions about it.
  • Day 2: Comprehension lesson - This is similar to day one, but more in depth with annotation and short answer questions this time.
  • Day 3: Spelling lesson - Each lesson introduces spelling rules or patterns. Using a 20 word core list learners complete activities.
  • Day 4: Spelling lesson - Builds on proof-reading skills with words from Day 3 and provides 10 challenge words to extend the learners skills.
  • Day 5: Grammar lesson - Each lesson defines and explains a grammatical term in simple language with examples. This helps learners understand how the English language system works.
  • Reviews - Comprehensive reviews happen every 9 weeks to reinforce learning.

It also has the Contents and a Year Planner detailing what the year lessons should look like. After the beginning portion of the book is the actual workbook portion and then the answers at the end.

After receiving and looking through the first few pages of the workbook; however, I didn't think that Zari was ready for the information they were teaching right away. The 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade workbook coincides with the Reading Eggspress lessons and Zari hadn't gotten there yet in the online program. So first we had to play catch up a little to get her where she needed to be to work out of the book. In retrospect I should have had her take the reading placement test/assessment again that they had so that I knew where she was at this time, but we had a pretty good gap in our subscription from the last time, so I just didn't know. It only will let your student take the placement test if you subscribe to the online lessons first. I would recommend that if you want to do the workbooks you have your child do the assessment first to see which part of the online series and book they actually are in before purchasing the workbooks. I wouldn't try to move ahead until the student is ready so they won't be frustrated.

Reading Eggspress Main Menu

We finally got caught up and now Zari is in Reading Eggspress. The workbook corresponds with the online activity, program, and lessons very nicely. It was wonderful having the physical workbook to review because I could see the quality of the book and pages myself and didn't have to print them out on my low quality printer. The first book pages that she did corresponded with a story called Go, Go Gecko within the Reading Eggspress iself. You can also find it in the "Library" in the Reading Eggspress main menu...just do a search for the book and you will be able to have your child read the full text of the eBook without going through the games if you want. The Covers of each eBook stories are found on day 2 of every week.

Reading Eggspress Library: Go, Go, Gecko eBook and quiz.

We loved this reading for kids duo. The Reading Eggs online suit is an excellent interactive game that teaches kids learning to read better and math skills. I definitely saw improvement in my daughter Zari's literacy skills. My daughter loves Reading Eggs interactive game for kids online. The workbooks are also an excellent resource in reinforcing the skills already learned in the online programs. I recommend both to anyone who homeschools or wants a reading supplement for their children or students aged 2-13 and a math supplement for their children aged 3-9. However, the online game and workbooks also work very well independently from one another.

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    Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Reading Eggs Workbooks...
    Online Reading Eggs Suite {Reading Eggs Reviews}

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