November 29, 2010

My Animal Family-Nanuq (TOS Review)

Nanuq is a book/DVD combo part of "My Animal Family" series published by Smart Kids.
The book follows the story of a baby polar bear and his family. The story is narrated by "Nanuq" the cub that tells us about his adventures growing up in the Arctic region with his mom and young brother.
From encountering seals and walruses, to learning to play and find food, this book is a delightful adventure for preschoolers. Perfect for a read aloud format. The illustrations are very beautiful and realistic. And the animals in the story are living and acting in their real habitat.
"My Animal Family" series currently has 5 different stories of young animals in their habitats and there are many more stories planned to be released in the coming months.
The DVD includes award wining live footage of real polar bears and narrated by a child's voice.
The book also comes with a membership card that gives access to online website with educational games.
The price for the book/DVD combo is $12.99 for hardback.
To learn more about "My Animal Family" series and to order Nanuq visit their website at "My Animal Family". There you can browse their online store, create a trial period account for the online games and preview a DVD included with the storybooks.
To read what others at the TOS Homeschool Crew thought about Nanuq, check out the Homeschool Crew Blog.
Disclaimer: I received this product for the purpose of writing an honest review. No other compensation was received.

November 27, 2010

ABCs of Handling Money God's Way

This week we will begin an introduction to finances with our kids using a study published by Crown Financial Ministries titled The ABCs of Handling Money God's Way.

Can't wait to start this as our morning devotions with the boys. It includes topics such as "who owns everything", saving, spending, giving, tithing, honesty, sharing, diligence and more. I'm hoping to blog about it here as time permits. :)

You can visit Crown's website to learn more about this curriculum.

Long Week Update

Hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving celebration!

We have been battling a lot sickness in our home but managed to still have a blessed dinner on Thursday.

This past week was also my wedding anniversay! Brad and I married 11 years ago! So thankful for our lives together. He really is an amazing husband and it's been so amazing to see how the Lord has worked in both of our lives, changing us and giving us more love and love for Him and each other.

The next few weeks are very busy for us in preparation for our...wait for it....vacation to Puerto Rico! Yeah! Last time we were there to see my family, our boys were 4 and 2 years old. Now they are 5 and 7 and of course we have little Sarah who have not met her grandpa and great grandma yet.

Back to blogging here....

November 19, 2010

KB Teachers (TOS Review)

What is KB Teachers?

KB Teachers is an online tool for educators and parents that includes an extensive collection of worksheets and printable pages. Many of the sheets are available free of charge. But to have full access to the site you must have a paid membership.

What does KB Teachers offers?

There are worksheets and printables for a variety of subjects for different levels.

For preschoolers, there are many thematic coloring pages, simple math worksheets and the "Alphabet Factory" section with customizable alphabet tracing and handwriting sheets.
For elementary age students there are sheets for grammar, mathematics and science and social studies topics.
The site includes some additional resources I thought were different from what other similar places in the web offer:
  • Customizable sign language and morse code sheets
  • Seasonal printables with new ones being added periodically
  • Math worksheets generator (different math sheets are automatically generated! That's a huge time saver for teachers)
  • Free cliparts to use on your own printouts
  • Webquest section (where student follow direct internet links about a topic and then answer question on a worksheet to assess their learning)

Who would benefit the most from KB Teachers?

  • Traditional school teachers
  • Homeschool parents with children who love worksheets or need additional review on a particular subjects.
  • Homeschool parents that use the workbox system.
  • Parents who would like to have additional review done at home during school break but don't want to purchase a lot of workbooks.
  • Coop teachers and directors who are looking for free printouts for their classes.
  • Parents with older children who can use the internet by themselves and are fluent reading and writing.

What did you think about KB Teachers?

Many topics covered on this site, I teach at home without having the need of worksheets so in that sense I didn't find it to be as resourceful for our family. But I can definitely see myself using the math sheet generator as a review tool. As I mentioned above I see how this site can beneficial to many educators.

The quality of the worksheets is great. Well written, good clipart, well spaced so that's definitely a plus too.

Also having one place with printouts for so many different subjects is a huge help for teachers and parents. We all know what it is to search online for hours trying to find the right sheet or coloring page.

What is the cost to join and how do I learn more about KB Teachers?

The cost to join is $29 for one year and $49 for two years.

I think that is a great and a fair fee for the amount of material available to you.

The company also offers a 10 day unlimited free trial, where you have access to everything. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

Visit KB Teachers to see and print free worksheets and to join.

To read what other crew members thought of KB Teachers visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer: I received free full access to this site for the purpose of writing an honest review. No other compensation was given.

November 15, 2010

Corps of Re-Discovery (TOS Crew Review)

As part of my year with the TOS Homeschool Crew,
I received a Tomahawk Craft Kit from Corps of Re-Discovery.
This company prepares and sells ready to use project kits for children to enhance their learning about Frontiersman, Pioneer American and American Indians. Their goal is to provide a way for children to "re-discover" their country's heritage using these hands-on packs.
I love these kits because many times when studying history I have instructions on how to make a certain item of clothing or tool from that period but I don't like having to go around looking for the supplies. This company makes it easier for parents to make memorable educational projects.
You can learn more about this company at their website Corps of Re-Discovery.
Our Tomahawk kit was such a big hit with our boys that I had to go online and order a second kit so each of them could have one!
Their service was very fast. My order was shipped on the same day. We will definitely purchase more kits from them in the future.
The kit comes with step by step instructions and illustrations on how to make the tomahawk. It also includes some information about their history and how it was used. Besides the coloring medium you choose for decorating your tomahawks, all other materials are included. The instructions recommend to use oil based paint or markers for coloring. We chose coloring markers.

Here are the boys at work on their designs. It was fun to see how they thought of a different way to decorate them. The rod is made of wood and the "blade" and cord are leather. When it was time to attach the blade both of my boys needed help. I would say an 8 year old and up could work this kit completely on their own.

And here is the final project!!!
One thing I would say, with little kids, you might want to stress "how" they are to use this tomahawk. I explain to the boys this is not meant to be a toy but a "school craft" instead. They know that we do pretend play with them but we have to treat them gently. We don't bang them against the floor or our brother's head! :) If treated that way it should last for a long time.
Also, you can't see it in the picture but it comes so your child can hang it on a wall in their room.
This kit sells for $5.50 and it includes all you need to make one tomahawk.
You can also purchased 10 for $40.00
It comes on two color choices: black or tan.
To purchase this and other great kits go here.
Also don't forget to check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to see what projects other families made!

Disclaimer: I received this kit free of charge for the purpose of trying and writing an honest review. No other compensation was given.

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November 14, 2010

Fall Fashion

The weather here in Houston is finally cooling off...yeah!!!
Time for some cute fall weather clothes.
Here's my cutie modeling her new boots...wish I had a close up...they are super cute and cost me $0.00!
Gotta love friends who are always giving us clothes for our kids....what a blessing!
Daddy was behind the camera so he got all great smiles from his princess.

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November 08, 2010

Camping trip pt. 2

The kids and I got to attend a park chat on alligators and got to see and touch baby alligators....very cool! The boys also enjoyed biking and riding scooters and on the trails and camp grounds. The adults played volleyball, Settlers of Catan, talked and ate a lot. :)

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Camping Trip Fall 2010

This past weekend we went on a camping trip with our small group at church (ABF) at Hunstville State Park. This park is part of the Sam Houston National Forest. We all had a great time with our friends and made some memories like sharing communion on Sunday morning together. We can't wait to do it again!!!

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Dewberry Farm pt 3

And more Dewberry Farm's for the grandparents and uncles and aunties....lots of new pictures....and more to come...

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Dewberry Farm pt. 2

More Dewberry Farm pics....

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Dewberry Farm

Today we enjoyed a sunny and cool day at Dewberry Farm on Brookshire, TX with our local homeschool support group. This was our first time at this farm and other than the fact my friends forgot to tell me to put sunblock on my face, we had a blast. :)

Here are some pics of the kids having fun...

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November 07, 2010

Expedition Australia (DNG Review)

Time for another review for the Download N Go's Review Team. And make sure you read through because DNG and The Old Schoolhouse are having a great giveaway and sale going on right now!

Expedition Australia is one of the unit studies part of Download N Go, a new educational resource created by Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse.

On a simple and easy to use e-book format, the unit includes a five day schedule full of hands-on learning for grades K to 4th grade. Download N Go units are always enjoyable for both parent and student.

All you need for a fun filled learning experience is included:

  • beautiful text with lots of interesting facts and questions
  • poetry
  • direct internet links to pictures, videos, worksheets, crafts, recipes, family fun ideas and facts-information all age related.
  • written activities in two formats: notebook pages and lapbook booklets

Your student (and you!) will learn about this beautiful country's heritage, their people's history, aborigines groups, marsupials, famous landmarks and diverse climates. You will also learn new Australian words every day and really neat geography facts and even study the stars!

You will get to watch a day in the outback and go under the sea into the Great Barrier Reef.

The unit has an introduction to the continents of the world. Noah (our 5 year old) loved this section. He enjoyed learning to identify the continents in different maps and marking them on his own world map.

He enjoyed learning interesting facts about Australia's flag and symbols.

This was one of the MANY fun activities for the younger kids available. Matching the "joeys" to the mama kangaroos.

Caleb worked on making his very own map of Australia that included some of the landmarks and regions we learned about.

Speaking of maps....DNG is having a fun giveaway going on this weekend . Visit the DNG blog and enter to win two political maps of Australia by National Geographic. The giveaway closes at 9PM eastern!
Here's the link to enter the contest.

And if you have not tried a Download N Go unit yet, this is your chance!
Expedition Australia is ON SALE for only $5.95!!! That is a great deal. But you need to hurry...the sale ends Monday night!
Visit the Old Schoolhouse Store to purchase.

You can also preview Expedition Australia and read more about it at the DNG site. Other "expeditions" available at their site include China, Ireland and Mexico.

And finally don't forget to check out the DNG blog tour to read what other families thought of Expedition Australia.

Fall Fest 2010

A week late but had to post some pictures of last Sunday's Fall Fest at our church. Sarah went dressed as Minnie Mouse, well....what can I say? she looked adorable and loved her outfit. The boys wore Star Wars character costumes.They are already big Star Wars fans like their daddy. We had a beautiful warm day and the kids enjoyed playing lots of carnival games to earn their treats.

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November 04, 2010

Thankful Thursdays- His Promises

Give thanks to Him; bless His name!
For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever
and His faithfulness throughout all generations.
Psalm 100:4

Have you ever stopped to think that of all the main "religions" in the world, Christianity is the only one who truly has reasons to give thanks?

In his book "The Cross of Christ", John Stott quotes W.M. Clow saying....
The great faiths of the Buddhist and the Mohammedan give no place either to the need for the grace of reconciliation. The clearest proof of this the simplest. It lies in the hymns of Christian worship. A Buddhist temple never resounds with a cry of praise. Mohammedan worshipers never sing. Their prayers are, at the highest, prayer of submission and of request. They seldom reach the gladder note of thanksgiving.
They are never jubilant with the songs of the forgiven.
What a joy it is for the believer that WE can always have a reason to praise and give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ no matter what season of life we find ourselves in!
Psalm 100 says to give thanks and bless the Lord because He is ever loving, faithful and good. As I start our yearly countdown to Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks for God's promises.
Here are just SOME of the many precious and very great promises that are granted to us through Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4)
These are just some of my favorites; these have carried me through difficult days and have moved my heart to gratitude. Hope it blessed you too. :)
  • He knows me and I am His- Isaiah 43:1
  • He is always with me- Joshua 1:9
  • He will never leave me- Deuteronomy 31:6
  • He is always good- Romans 8:28
  • He is my strength- Philippians 4:13
  • His power has no limits- Ephesians 3:20
  • He is in control- Proverbs 3:5-6
  • His love never ends and His mercies are always new- Lamentations 3:22
  • He protects me- Isaiah 54:17
  • He gives me victory over sin- 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • He is always watching- Psalm 121:3-4
  • He helps me persevere- 2 Timothy 1:12
  • His discipline will make me more like Him- Hebrews 12:11
  • His blood has covered ALL my sin- Hebrews 9:14
  • His grace is ALL I need- 2 Corinthians 12:9
Thank you Lord for your precious and very great promises granted to us through your son Jesus Christ. Thank you that His power in us gives us ALL we need for life and character.

November 01, 2010

Terrific Tiger Winner is......

This morning my early riser and tiger lover son helped me pick the winner for the Terrific Tiger Unit giveaway. Thank you to those who enter to win.

And now for the winner.....hand in the bag....

and the winner is........

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