Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Gift of Charms by: Julia Suzuki (Book Review)

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after using these links.  To see more on this, please see my disclosure.
The Gift of Charms by: Julia Suzuki
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book, The Gift of Charms by the author, Julia Suzuki in exchange for an honest review.
The Gift of Charms is a fantasy book for children, but I have to tell you, I very much enjoyed reading this as an adult!  It is about a young dragon named Yoshiko, who from birth is different than the other dragons.  He is born into a world where the dragons have gone into hiding from humans, and after the extinction of beasts called dragsaurs.  You follow Yoshiko as he is a young dragon into the hard years of transforming into an young adult.  He deals with bullying, friendships, learning and becoming comfortable in his own skin.
Yoshiko is a relatable character and many children can identify what he is going through as he enters school years and obstacles he runs into.  He is a kind hearted and brave character, and he begins to learn from other notable dragons the history of why the dragons have gone into hiding.  He also learns to fine tune his abilities, and helps to bring greatness back to all the dragon clans.
The writing is spectacular as the imagery used paints a picture in your mind of exactly how this would play out in a movie.  The scenery is well described as are the characters, even to what they eat and things that they enjoy doing.  This would make for a fun project for a classroom or homeschool activity.
I would highly recommend this book.  My boys enjoyed me reading it to them and like I said, it was fantastic to read as an adult!  It combines real human emotions with mystical creatures, and truly lets your imagination go wild!  It is designed for children in upper elementary to middle school, but I think young children would love this story being told to them as well. 
Thanks for reading my review and thank you to the author, Julia Suzuki for allowing me to review this amazing book!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Noah's Ark and Rainbows (Homeschool Week 29)

Hey there, and thanks for stopping by!  We had a fun week this week as we learned the colors in the rainbow, learned about leprechauns for St. Patrick's Day, had a field trip and built a Captain America box car!

Reading Log:
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after using these links.  To see more on this, please see my disclosure here.

To see what curriculum and resources we are using, please click here.

Bible and Reading:
Monday - The boys and I watched the new Veggie Tales movie, "Noah's Ark today.

Wednesday - We read "Miss Bindergarten and the Best Friends," ""White Rabbit's Color Book," and "I am a Rainbow."

Thursday - B did Lesson 74 in "100 Easy Lessons" today.

Art, Music and Physical Education:
Monday - We made a Captain America box car today!  We used construction paper and glue sticks.  B made a sketch of what he wanted the car to look like.

Tuesday - The boys and I went to play at the park with their aunt and cousin today.

Wednesday - The boys made letter L and l with their bodies today, from the Clifford magazine.

Thursday - The boys played on the Slip n' Slide today, and had fun running and jumping in the water.

Friday - We went to a Nature Ranch today near the house for a field trip and walked around.

Motor and Social Skills, and Critical Thinking:
Monday - The boys used scissors and glue sticks to cut out shapes for their Captain America box car.

Tuesday - The boys had a playdate with their cousin today and played "Mother, May I?" and "Red Light, Green Light" with her at the park.

Wednesday - We played "Warmer and Colder" as the boys went on a shamrock hunt around the house.  We also had a talk about other things that are opposites.  They also did a picture find in the Clifford March 2011 magazine for finding the words, "Good luck."

Thursday - They had a friend join them in their Slip n' Slide adventure outside.

Friday - The Nature Ranch we went to was pretty awesome.  They had educational games, displays and activities for children inside, and then nature trails outside.  The boys and their cousin got to play with other kids, and they enjoyed a light up game where it made an animal sound when you pressed the button next to the animal's picture.

Monday - The boys spelled out "Captain America" with stickers.

Wednesday - B wrote out the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Monday - We used shapes like circles, stars, and rectangles to make their Captain America box car.

Tuesday - We made Rainbow sprinkle cupcakes today!

Wednesday - While the boys were on the shamrock hunt, I asked how many more they had to find.

Thursday - G worked on Lesson 71 Math:Rectangles, Diamonds, Stars on ABCmouse.

Science and Social Studies:
Tuesday - We had to drop off food to church for an event and on the way there is a citrus plant you can see from the road.  As we drove by, the plant was operating so we got to see the oranges going up the conveyor belt, get washed and sent to the large bins where they store them.  The boys and I thought this was amazing!

Wednesday - The boys learned about leprechauns today in the Clifford magazine and how they are said to make shoes for fairies, and have a pot of gold at the end at the rainbow if you are quick enough to catch them.

Thursday - B worked on Lesson 76 World Around Us: People at Work, Part 2 and G worked on Lesson 72 World Around Us: People at Work on ABCmouse.

Friday - We got to see armadillos, butterflies, and dragon flies at the Nature Ranch.  We also saw an old pioneer farm home with cow barns, a well, old stovetop, raised settings in the house for the chickens, and a fire pit.  The boys learned that just because water looks clean, doesn't mean that it is and we learned about different types of fish that can live in polluted water, and which ones that need clean water.  The place also had a treehouse in the inside of the building and a fox hole that actually is underground and the children can crawl through it!

That's our week!  Thanks for joining us!  Hope that you can use some of these ideas and activities with your children or students!

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    Sunday, March 22, 2015

    Confessions of a Prodigal Son Movie Review

    Confessions of a Prodigal Son
    I was given a complimentary copy of the movie, Confessions of a Prodigal Son from Business2Blogger.com in exchange for an honest review.  This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase from using the links. 
    Nathan Clarkson wrote and produced this Christian film and actually was the main character in the movie named Sean.  Sean is the son of a pastor who is played by Kevin Sorbo, from the movie God's Not Dead.  Sean asks for his college funds and then disappears from his parents for two years, and enters the all too scary world of drinking and prescription pills.  He also ends up using his money to buy a car, rent an apartment and live off the money from his parents.  He has a horrible friend who is an enabler and every parent's worst nightmare.  This friend is the one friend that our parents disliked us having growing up or the one that you dislike your children being friends with.
    Sean is fighting hard to escape the life he envisions his parents and everyone else wants him to have and in this, he loses himself.  It isn't until he meets a girl that he starts to evaluate where his life is.  He is also prompted by his professor to have the class write the story of their life, where they are the main character and how their decisions can effect their story. 
    Sean also gets himself into a situation where he literally loses everything and has to get a job.  It is quite similar to the parable in the book of Luke 15: 11-32 in the Bible, where the son asks for his share of the inheritance and then "squanders his wealth in wild living," (Luke 15:13) and is forced to get a job.
    Without giving too much of the movie away, Sean finds himself and God, thanks to the love and compassion of not only of his father but others around him. 
    Trailer of Confessions of a Prodigal Son
    Click here or on the picture above to view the official movie trailer from Lighting Dark.
    I thought this movie was excellent, and they did a wonderful job of bringing this parable to real life in today's standards.  I don't think my husband and I would let our three or five year old watch it because of scenes with beer bottles, prescription pills, and some light fight scenes.  It would be a fantastic family movie though for middle schoolers and up to watch with their parents, or even in a youth group.  I didn't catch any profanity, and there is a wholesomeness to the film that makes it age appropriate for the tweens and teenagers to watch.
    I am in the midst of Beth Moore's Children of the Day Women's Bible Study, where she says in the video series, "The number one prayer she gets from her followers is about their adult children and how they are not involved in church."   Confessions of a Prodigal Son would hit home to several people, including parents who have children of college age like Sean in the movie, or to teens who are about to go into this stage of independent living for the first time in their lives.  It also would hit home to grandparents, or adult children who just got out of this stage of life and are entering into marriage and starting families.
    It is important for our youth and children to have their faith firmly rooted.  We need to equip them with the knowledge of the scriptures, but also need them to have that personal relationship with God and know Him.  This movie does an outstanding job of showing what can be out there if  we just go about the motions, and don't commit ourselves to our faith.  It also shows the unconditional love and compassion of a father to his lost son, quite similar to how lost we can be yet have a Father who loves us so much more than we can ever comprehend. 
    Some of my favorite lines from the movie are:
    "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."
    "Live a story worth telling."
    Confessions of a Prodigal Son
    Thanks for reading my review.  Confessions of a Prodigal Son is available to buy this Tuesday,  March 24, 2015. 
    #confessionsofaprodigalson #moviereviews

    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    Jesus and His Disciples (Homeschool Learning Week 28)

    **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  To see more on this, please see my disclosure here.**

    Reading Log:

    To see what curriculum and resources we are using this year, please click here.

    Bible and Reading:
    Monday - Today, B did Lesson 72 out of "100 Easy Lessons" and his new words were my, hill, and when.  He also did Lesson 74 Reading: Words at the Zoo Part 2 in ABCmouse.

    Tuesday - We read "Jesus and His Friends," Pirate in Training," and "David and Goliath" today.

    Wednesday - The boys and I read "Jesus Loves Me" and "God Made You Special."  They also learned about the Armor of God at church tonight.

    Thursday - B did Lesson 73 in "100 Easy Lessons" and learned when and barn.

    Art, Music and Physical Education:
    Monday - G did Lesson 70 Colors All Around in ABCmouse and is 93% done his lesson path for the year!

    Tuesday - The boys drew pictures for each of the disciples and we learned "The 12 Disciples Song."

    Wednesday - We all sang "Jesus Loves Me" together and then the boys played outside at the park and ran.  They also made swords out of paint sticks and aluminum foil, and colored door hangers at church.

    Friday - We had a Field Trip day to the beach today!  The weather has been so nice and so we had a great time swimming in the ocean and walking on the sand.

    Motor and Social Skills:
    Monday - We did a 500 piece puzzle as a family and B answered his reading comprehension questions.

    Tuesday - The boys had a fun Lego Build day today.

    Wednesday - They had a play date today with one of their friends in the neighborhood and they also met new friends at the park.  They also got to dress as super heroes at church with their friends!

    Thursday - B had to answer reading comprehension questions and they had a play date with their friend again.  I also told them today how Daddy and I chose their names.

    Friday - We visited with Gamma at the beach today and the boys made some friends at the beach and had a blast building sand castles, and collecting sea shells.

    Monday - B wrote wh and m.

    Wednesday - We wrote with shaving cream today to get G excited about writing.  He wrote letter n and we worked on the sound n makes.  B also wrote out Romans 8:39 from our story this afternoon.

    Thursday - B wrote n and b.

    Monday - B did Lesson 75 Shapes Review on ABCmouse and is 85% done his lesson path for the year!

    Science and Social Studies:
    Monday - G learned about butterflies and angel fish in his ABCmouse Lesson 69 Reading: Our Classroom Aquarium.

    Thursday - The boys watched the "Scholastic Video: So You Want to Be President?"

    Friday - We walked on the path in bewtween the dunes and learned about the different types of sea gulls from the sign before we entered the beach.  The boys also got to see a decent sized crab that swam ashore and we walked out on sand bar.  The boys thought it was great to be standing in the middle of the water!

    "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."  Matthew 4:19

    That's our week!  I hope you are enjoying some nice weather and thanks for stopping by to visit!

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss & World Read Aloud Day (Homeschool Week 27)

    Hey all!  My boys weren't feeling well last week so it was wonderful to have so many reading holidays packed into one week because that's what we did!  We read, all week!  Read Across America Day was on Monday so we celebrated with the rest of the country and read "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by. Dr. Seuss and celebrated his birthday.  It was also World Read Aloud Day on Wednesday so we more reading!  Here is our week :)

    **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  To see more on this, please see my disclosure here.**

    Reading Log:

    To see what curriculum and resources we are using this year, please click here.

    Bible and Reading:
    Monday - We read "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham," "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" and "Oh, the Places You'll Go."

    Wednesday - G worked on Lesson 66 Reading: More Alphabet Fun on ABCmouse and we all read "Alligators All Around" and "The Gruffalo."

    Thursday - Today, we read " Chicken Soup with Rice," "Where the Wild Things Are," and "I Love you, Stinky Face."

    Friday - The boys and I read "Junior Comes Clean," "The Case of the Couch Potato Caper, and the three Berenstain books: "Down on the Farm," "Clean House," and "Out West."

    Art, Music and Physical Education:
    Monday - We had a paint day today and the boys did finger and hand prints, and used paint brushes.  We attempted to make Thing 1 and Thing 2 from this idea from The Mailbox, but were not very successful but it  was fun!

    Wednesday - I found this great idea on I Can Teach My Child to make an Alphabet monster so that's what we made today!  My youngest knows his alphabet but I want him to start to recognize what each letter looks like and what the phonics are, so I thought this would be a great tool for him!

    Thursday - We did a Clifford magazine from March 2011 and did a review of colors in spring and learned how to sign rainbow in sign language.  We also walked around a festival in a nearby town.

    Motor and Social Skills, and Critical Thinking:
    Monday - We made Cat in the Hat snacks from A Mom's Take today and the boys had to do the patterns using strawberries, bananas and a grape on a toothpick.

    Thursday - We did Name It and Find It in the Clifford magazine where the boys had to find the items pictured.  Also went and saw The Newsboys, live in the festival we were at.  They played with some of their friends and also built Legos that Ford was giving away!

    Wednesday - B did Lesson 73 Math: Counting 11 and 12, and G did Lesson 68 Math: 1 to 10 on ABCmouse today.

    Thursday - We read "One Was Johnny" where you have to count from 1 to 10 and then 10 to 1.

    Friday - The boys watched the Leapfrog video and learned not only about shapes, but also sizes such as small, medium and large.

    Science and Social Studies:
    Wednesday - G did Lesson 67 World Around Us: Weather on ABCmouse and the boys helped Daddy outside replant some of our tree saplings.

    Thursday - The boys love animals so we got to walk around the festival and see the animals who won awards.  We saw at least 100 different kinds of chickens and rabbits.

    That's our week!  Thanks for joining us!

    #ReadAcrossAmerica #WorldReadAloudDay #DrSeussDay #homeschool
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    Monday, March 9, 2015

    American Girl Sale at zulily - Save up to 30%!

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    **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  To see more on this, please see my disclosure here.**

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    Saturday, March 7, 2015

    Big Thoughts for Little People App Review

    Big Thoughts for Little People in iTunes
    I was provided a complimentary test version of this app by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. 
    Big Thoughts for Little People by: Kenneth N. Taylor
    This app is based on the book Big Thoughts for Little People by: Kenneth N. Taylor.  The book is about "using the alphabet as a learning tool, the easy-to-use format of this beloved picture book connects Bible themes and verses that teach kids ages 3-7 Christian values. Each spread represents a letter of the alphabet and a Christian value or moral lesson beginning with the same letter. Kids are encouraged to find the lesson being modeled (or not) in the illustrations. They are also asked questions to help them apply the lesson to their lives."
    Big Thoughts for Little People on iTunes
    This is the opening screen, where you get to pick which letter to work on.
    Big Thoughts for Little People app in iTunes
    Each letter consists of six different areas that include picking the item of a toy with the corresponding letter, a prayer with a Bible verse, a trace and color section, a section to find items with the corresponding letter, a puzzle, and a matching game.

    Big Thoughts for Little People in iTunes
    In this section, you have to match the items that begin with letter A for example, into the letter A bin.  All items that don't begin with A, go into the other bin.  This part is great because if the child does not know what the item is, by selecting the item, there is an audio that says what the item is.

    Big Thoughts for Little People in iTunes
    After finishing the section, these cute children appear and cheer for your child!  It is wonderful encouragement and praise for them, and make them want to continue learning.

    Big Thoughts for Little People in iTunes
    This section offers a prayer first, and then on the next screen offers a Biblical verse.

    Big Thoughts for Little People in iTunes
    The trace and color section was a favorite for my sons.  They enjoyed making the letter and then learning how to spell words.

    Big Thoughts for Little People
    The picture above is where you can find items with the letter you are working on.  This section also offers an audio when clicking on item to tell you what the item is.

    Big Thoughts for Little People in iTunes
    Matching games are so much fun and children don't even realize they are learning, or working on their memory skills. 

    Big Thoughts for Little People in iTunes
    The puzzle section is a great tool for motor skill development and learning where the pieces go.
    You can click here or on any of the pictures to download the app that will include letters A, B and C for free.  To download all the letters of the alphabet, it is only $2.99.
    This app combines different learning styles, which is nice because not one child learns the same way.  It can be used for visual learners because of the beautiful graphics.  There is audio for auditory learners who can listen to what the item is or the phonics of the letter.  Kinesthetic learners will learn by doing the activities. 
    I would highly recommend this app for any child in preschool through first grade.  It is a wonderful and fun tool for children to not only learn their alphabet, but also how to write, learn vocabulary, phonics, Bible Verses, prayers, and work on motor skills.  My sons very much enjoyed this app.  My youngest is almost four, so it started his thinking for what the alphabet and letters looks like.  My oldest who is almost six, liked that he could learn new words to spell.
    Thank you for taking the time to read my review, and thanks again to Tyndale House Publishers for allowing me the chance to review this amazing app.
    #TyndaleHouse #appreview




    Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    Week 26: Kangaroos, Australia and Russia (Homeschool Kindergarten and Preschool Learning)

    Don't forget to check out the freebies and good deals located at the bottom!

    Reading Log:
    Videos: (These titles are also available on Netflix)

    Week 26: Kangaroos, Australia and Russia

    To see what curriculum and resources we are using this year, please click here.

    Bible and Reading:
    Monday - Today, we read "Froggy Plays T-ball," "The Determined Frog," and watched the Leap Frog video.

    Tuesday - B did Lesson 70 in "100 Easy Lessons" and his new words and sound were when, under, away, yelled, filled, white, bill, bag, inside and five.

    Wednesday - We read "Miss Nelson Has a Field Day" and the boys learned about Noah in RA and GA at church.

    Thursday - The boys and I read "The Berenstain Bears and the Nutcracker" today.

    Friday - B did Lesson 71 in "100 Easy Lessons" and his new words and sounds are long y, brush, teeth, smile, saved and there.  We also read some stories in the Ranger Rick Jr. magazine.

    Art, Music and Physical Education:
    Monday - We sang and danced to "The Wheels on the Bus," "Five Little Monkeys," and "Days of the Week" on ABCmouse.

    Tuesday - B drew a picture of his favorite Avengers characters.

    Wednesday - The boys played outside with their friends and then played football at church with their friends.

    Thursday - Today, the boys colored a map and flag of Russia, that went along with "The Determined Frog" story.  B drew a picture of Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

    Friday - There were many fun ideas in the Ranger Rick Jr. magazine, such as hopping like a frog or kangaroo, and showing what other animals sound like and how they move.

    Motor and Social Skills, and Critical Thinking:
    Monday - The boys had some Play doh fun today and answered some reading comprehension questions.

    Tuesday - B wanted to play some games of Tic-Tac-Toe and he is getting pretty good!  He also had some reading comprehension questions to answer.

    Wednesday - We had a Lego clean up day today and sorted them out by color.  Then they went outside with some of their friends to play.

    Thursday - We had a playdate today with three of their friends and they all took turns playing video games.

    Friday - B answered reading comprehension and did a word search in the Ranger Rick Jr. magazine.  The magazine also offered an animal shape match and asked what did the animals featured have in common.  They also did some Lego building today.

    Monday - B wrote numbers 1-20.

    Tuesday - B wrote wh, j and letters A-Z.

    Thursday - B wrote numbers 1-8.

    Friday - B wrote y and p.

    Monday - The boys watched the Leap Frog video, "Numbers Ahoy."

    Tuesday - Today, we worked on p. 46-47 of their math book on Same Stripes and Same Snacks, where they had to match zebras to the same patterns, and also match the corresponding item with the correct number.  They also did a section called Closing Time on p. 64 where they had to count from 1-12 and match the number sticker with the correct animals.

    Thursday - The worked in their math book some more on Fewer Riders and Less in Line on p. 44-45, which covered fewer than and less than.  Then we played Crocodile Dentist and covered greater than and equal to with our counting bears. 

    Crocodile Dentist

    Friday - The boys had to count how many kangaroos they could find in the Ranger Rick Jr. magazine.

    Science and Social Studies:
    Thursday - The boys found Russia on the map and that it is in Asia, and that the capital is Moscow.

    Friday - We learned many fun facts about kangaroos, Australia, beavers and many other animals in the Ranger Rick Jr. magazine.

    This marks the end of our 2nd semester!  I can't believe how fast this school year has gone by.  We have one more semester until our summer break.  Hope you and your families are all well, and thanks for stopping by!

    This post contains affiliate links.  Any purchase made with these links earns me a small percentage that helps me with our homeschool adventures.  To see more on this, please see my disclosure here.
    #homeschool #education ##CurrClick #Educents
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