Monday, June 22, 2015

SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers ~ Review

My daughters love getting in screen time and any chance I have to allow them to have screen time and learning at the same time is wonderful. My daughters are very visual learners, so being able to learn using videos and media has been great for them. Recently we had the opportunity to review SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers from SmartKidz Media. We loved it!

SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers provides award-winning online educational videos, flash-animated eBooks, interactive study guides, music and other media. Children learn by using visual instruction and it is wonderful for learning in a homeschool environment. It is designed to be used by children over the age of 13 independently, but it's also great for younger children with the supervision of parents.

SmartKidz Media can be used on any device such as the PC, TV, Mac, iPad, iPhone, tablets and even mobile phones. We absolutely love that SmartKidz Media can be streamed any where, at any time and that it can be used for the whole family. 

My daughters enjoyed searching the library and finding subjects that interested them. I allowed them to pick subjects that they wanted to learn about rather than pick for them. 

SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers has so much content to choose from. The subjects are broke down into two categories - Family Media and Reading and Learning Center. A few of the subjects included in these categories are:
  • Animals & Wildlife Collections
  • Documentaries & Culture Collections
  • Travel & Adventure: World Wide Discovery Collections
  • History Titles
  • Health & Fitness
  • Science
  • Lifestyles & Cuisine
  • Living Skills
  • Special Needs Learning
  • Cooking Instruction
  • Classical Music Collections
  • Cultural Music Collections
  • Relaxation Music Collections
  • Mighty E-Book Collection
  • Sign Language Collection
  • Fun Zone
My daughters found the media to not only be very educational, but entertaining as well. My daughters set aside a notebook specifically to be used for watching the videos. They enjoyed taking notes and reviewing them at later times. They even enjoyed testing me on my knowledge of the subjects. 

One of the things that I love the most about SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers is that the library is safe. I know that many other media sources are nice but are not safe for children to be searching around on. That has bothered me in the past and has limited what my children can do while using the computers. With SmartKidz Media I don't have to worry about that and that has been nice.

Final Thought

SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers is truly an investment in my daughters academic success and we are so grateful that we had the chance to review it. I foresee us using it a lot more in the future. We definitely recommend it! 

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Monday, June 15, 2015

CTCMath Review

Hello friends, recently my daughters had the opportunity to review the 12 Month Family Plan from CTC Math. It was such a blessing. We reviewed CTC Math last year and absolutely fell in love with it. It is our favorite math program ever!

What is CTC Math?

CTC Math is an online math tutor program that features 1,400+ video tutorials that each last approximately 4-9 minutes. This program is for K-12. CTC Math teaches the concepts of the math lesson step-by-step.

The lessons are grouped by course grade levels and then a stream of topics and then sub-topics. This way makes it extremely easy to navigate the lessons. The instructor, Pat Murray, has a true gift for teaching and my daughters loved how he broke down all the steps and how easy it was to understand him and the concepts. He has an awesome Australian accent that my girls and I adored as well. The tutorials feature really cool interactive animations that really capture and hold my daughters attention.

The program features the lessons section, a wonderful parent section, a speed skills section, settings section, search section and lastly an awards/certificates section.

The speed skills section is a great way for my daughters to improve on their math skills. They found this section to be fun. Anytime my daughters enjoy doing math is a win. 

I said it in my last review and I still feel the same. My daughters favorite part of the whole program was being able to work at their pace and being able to print out the certificates. One of the main reasons I chose to homeschool was for my daughters to work at their own pace, whether that be a slow pace or a fast pace. I'm so thankful that they have never felt rushed with this program. I love the way it eases into each topic and that they always feel comfortable to move on when ready or they have the chance to stay at the topic. It's great that the lesson tutorials are in video form and can be watched again if my daughters are having problems.

For this review, I asked my daughters to complete two lessons a day, at least three days a week. Many times they would complete more so they could print out an award certificate. The certificates definitely motivated them to learn more.

I personally loved the parents section best. I love the fact that I can log in to check the progress of each daughter. My favorite thing about this program is even if I forget to check in, I get an e-mail with a PDF file of the girl's progress for the week. I really love that! Each lesson also includes a printable lesson summary that has came in handy for us many times. I know longer wonder why the printer is printing out something without me knowing anymore. It's just my daughter printing out her lesson summary. At the end of each lesson you have the option to print the lesson results as well. Last year I created folders for each of my daughters to keep all of their math printouts in. They have continued to use them for the review this year as well. 

Final Thoughts

I really feel that this program can be used as a full curriculum or as a supplement. Like I said before,  it is our favorite math program and we are planning on using it for a very long time. I can't say enough how much we all enjoy it. I highly recommend it! 

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Soufeel Charm Bracelet ~ Review

Recently I was contacted about reviewing a Soufeel charm bracelet. Of course, I said yes and immediately went to to check out the wonderful bracelets and charms. The charms from Soufeel are 925 sterling silver and can fit the Pandora and Chamilia bracelets. The best part though is that you can get these awesome charms and bracelets for a much lower price than it's competitors.

I fell in love with the charms in their new arrivals. I ended up picking out a lovely owl, a nice S, and a lock and key. You can view the new arrivals in the link following. I also loved and ordered their Red Travel Suitcase Charm. We travel a lot, with a red suitcase, so this was a perfect addition to my bracelet.

After i placed my order, I anxiously waited for it to arrive. Much to my surprise the charm bracelet arrived super fast. Right away, I was impressed with the lovely packaging. The bracelet comes with a sturdy white box with a light teal bow on top. The bracelet sits on the padded foam that we often see at high-end jewelers. Not only that, they also provide a gift bag if you are gifting it to someone. I highly recommend Soufeel for a great personalized gift selection. They have a ton of unique memorable charms for the special person in your life.

The bracelet was awesome. It fit wonderful and looked super classy. The clasp on the bracelet has 'Soufeel' engraved in it. I also found the bracelet surprisingly easy to put on, unlike many other bracelets I have tried or own. Even though I love the bracelet so much, I'm already thinking about visiting again to find some more charms. 

Are interested in purchasing? 
They are currently offering some special offers.

When you spend $59, $79 or $99, you will get a pair of free earrings, a free charm and enjoy free sterling silver bracelet! Seriously friends! This is an awesome offer! They also offer free shipping worldwide with orders over $50 and 365-day return and exchange guarantee.

You can use coupon code 


Once you place the order with the code will enjoy 5% off for any order. 

~We want to hear your thoughts~

What charms would you pick?

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) ~ Review

Hi friends, My oldest daughter and I just had the chance to review the Deluxe Combo Teacher/Student Writing Package Level A [FIX-1 & 2] which includes A Word Write Now and Portable Walls. What an awesome opportunity! Seriously friends, we feel truly blessed by this curriculum.  Writing is an area for my daughter that could use some work.

This deluxe package has everything you need to start your 3-5 grade student on the road to writing with ease and confidence and great products for teachers and parents as well.

It Includes:

This is a DVD seminar that I found to be very beneficial to myself. It includes twelve DVDs. It helps you teach writing to children and even helped me work on my own writing. It begins with the basics and works its way into advanced creative and essay writing. I have not finished yet and still have a way to go with it, but I can already see huge benefits. I also received a very helpful seminar workbook that goes along with the DVDS. 

This is a four DVD writing course for elementary children that is recorded live with Mr. Andrew Pudewa. Andrew Pudewa is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Over the course of  about 30 weeks, students will learn how to effectively use a wide range of structural models and stylistic techniques in their compositions, as they write on a fiction and non-fiction topics. It also includes a student notebook. This notebook comes with handouts, complete teacher's notes, source texts, assignments, and checklists. I really enjoyed that it comes with a three-ring binder that has dividers. Having the binder helped my daughter stay organized. 

For this review we received book 1 and 2 teacher’s manuals with downloadable student e-books. The e-books are 126 pages and filled with wonderful easy to understand lessons. The teacher's book have been very beneficial in helping me understand the lessons. 

We absolutely love Fix It! Grammar! In these books children hunt for and correct errors in daily passages that cumulatively tell a story. My daughter loved the stories and always felt a since of accomplishment after each lesson. She loves that the lessons are not long or overwhelming. My daughter learned so much using Fix It! Grammar! and I highly, highly recommend them to everyone.
We actually reviewed Fix It! Grammar last year and fell in love with the books then. 

You can read that review by clicking on the link below:

A Word Write Now is a thematic thesaurus that contains a treasure trove of  words that will spice up your child's writing. I even find myself referring to the book. It's pretty great. It is organized into four sections. They are:
  1. Section A: Character Traits
             This section includes twenty-three character traits which include lists of words categorized by nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, phrases, and additional words. Children can also find famous quotations related to the trait.
  1. Section B: Word to Describe
                In this section a list of descriptive words for appearance, color, size, time, temperature, texture, and size can be found. My daughter loved referring to these lists often. She learned many new words this way.
  1. Section C: Words for Movement and the Senses
               This section includes a list of synonyms for actions of the feet, hands, thinking and all of the senses.
  1. Section D: Appendix
             In this section my daughter found a list of words for transitions, prepositions, and literary genres. My daughter is in the process of trying to memorize all of the prepositions.

The portable wall is a handy fold-out that contains writing models, tips, and word lists. Having this really eliminates the need for tons of posters that take up wall space. my daughter really enjoyed having it and it is something that will come in handy many times in the future. It is very sturdy so there is no worry about it getting torn through all the use it will be getting. I love that my daughter has all of the information she needs right in front of her. 

Final Thought

This isn't a program that can be rushed through. We plan on taking our time and continuing it through the year. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to review it and can't wait to see how much more my daughter and I learn. My favorite part about the whole program is how nicely each lesson is laid out. There is no need for me to go into panic mode to try to get a lesson together. This not only make learning fun. but also makes teaching easier. I'm very thankful for that.

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Monday, June 08, 2015

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal ~Review

Have you ever taken a family field trip and wanted to document it but felt overwhelmed about the thought of scrapbooking it?

I think every homeschool family can say that they truly enjoy field trips. I know that our family does very much and we recently just took a few trips that we wanted to document. So we were pretty happy when we found out we were reviewing the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia Educational Ministries.  

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal is an exciting and fun journal that is used to document the fun field trips your family takes. The journal includes more than 100 field trip ideas to study plants, animals, Earth, space, aviation, the human body, history, government, culture, and more. The journal also includes teacher and student checklists that help you prepare for field trips. With the journal you are able to map the places you visit, write stories about things you don't want to forget and stories of your day, record seasonal nature changes, and add photos or draw pictures of your trip. 

It is a spiral-bound book with thick plastic covers. The pages inside are full-color, and have plenty of space for documenting. I like the fact that is was made sturdy enough to not feel like it is going to fall apart with bringing it on field trips.

We take a ton of field trips so the first thing we did was record some of our most recent trips. There is a page included where you can record places in your own state. We loved this! I love the fact that one day my girls will be able to look back on all the great places we visited. My daughter enjoyed adding a picture of Oklahoma and recording the places in Oklahoma we had visited with her sisters. We were amazed at how many places we have visited and couldn't be any more excited about now having a journal to record them all in. 

There is also a page where you can document trips you have taken in the United States. We recently arrived home from a fabulous trip in Colorado, so my daughters were excited about recording the specific places we visited in the book, along with all the other wonderful places we have visited in the United States. We can't wait to visit more places and record those as well.

We have never traveled out of the United States but if we ever do there is a page to also record places you have explored around the world. We dream of one day traveling the world and it's going to be so nice to have this journal with us. 

We loved that not only could we record the places we visited, but we could also write about the specific trips. I loved that it brought my girls together in planning and recording the details. I can't help but think how great it is going to be to pull this book out when they are older. It's going to be so much fun to look back on the fun memories.

My girls really enjoyed the scrapbook feel of the book. It was nice that they could be as creative as they wanted to be. They really enjoyed being able to add photos and draw pictures of their trip. 

Final Thought

I have always felt overwhelmed when I thought about scrapbooking all of our field trips. Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal has really taking that overwhelmed feeling away. Using this journal that is all laid out for us has been so nice. It's so easy to use and a ton of fun for my daughters. field trips are all about learning and this journal has allowed them to learn even more about their trips. We also love that there is plenty of pages to record trips. We will be using this journal for a long time and when it's filled we will definitely be buying another one. 

You can currently purchase 
for only $22.00

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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Memoria Press ~ Famous Men of Rome ~ REVIEW

When choosing a history curriculum, Memoria Press is usually my first thought to look. So I was pretty happy recently when I found out that my oldest daughter could review the Famous Men of Rome Set from them. 

What is the Famous Men of Rome Set

Famous Men of Rome is ideal for children in grades 4-8. It's a perfect fit for children who are fascinated by Rome. The book contains 30 stories that cover all of ancient Rome’s history, from its start to its demise. The books contains maps of Rome, Italy, and the Roman Empire, and a glossary of people and places.

The set also includes a wonderful student guide as well as a helpful teacher's guide. It is a year-long workbook course that comprehensively covers Famous Men of Rome.
30 workbook lessons includes:
  • Famous Quotes
  • Drills of Key People and Places 
  • 10 Vocabulary Words
  • 5-10 Comprehension Questions
Activities section includes:
  • Mapwork 
  • Discussion Questions 
  • Research Projects
Famous Men of Rome also comes with an appendix of supplements, including a “Who Said That?” worksheet, a timeline beginning with the founding of Rome, drill questions, and drawing pages

How we used Famous Men of Rome

We tried to use this curriculum at least three times a week. Sometimes we were only able to a couple times a week.  We found that this wasn't a curriculum that can be rushed through and understood in it's full context. So we appreciated being able to take time to really focus on each chapter. 

My daughter is 11 and did have a little trouble reading and pronouncing some names, but I was always around to help. She has never really been exposed to Roman mythology so it was all very new and foreign to her. She also had a little trouble understanding some of the information that was given and had no problems letting me know that she didn't agree with or understand some of it. An example being, how they believe one lady fell in love and had children with a supposed God, Mars. This was in the first chapter and it confused her. I felt like it was a good chance to talk to her about Roman history and the Roman history beliefs and how they differ from ours. I assured her that the more she studied the more she would start to understand how they believed.

After reading the chapters, my daughter spent time looking up and learning the vocabulary words located in her student guide as well as reading the facts to know and filling out the comprehension questions. 

I really appreciated the student and teacher guides. I loved how the teacher guide contains pages on how to use the guide and tests and answers to the tests are located in the back. The student guide was very nice and really helped my daughter understand what she was learning. She has never really liked workbooks, but this one was such a tremendous help. I feel like she really needed it. 

She enjoyed the activities such as drawing a family tree, and starting a Roman history timeline. I always appreciate it when a curriculum offers hands-on activities and this one definitely does.  

She also expressed how she liked that the book included pictures and some were even in color. The pictures were also very helpful, as some explained things she was learning about. 

Once again, I'm thankful that the Famous Men of Rome Set is something that we can work through at my daughters pace. I foresee us continuing to use it and can't wait to see what stories we will read and learn about next. 

What Does The Famous Men of Rome Set Cost?

You can currently purchase the Famous Men of Rome Set for only $39.95

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