Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Purex® Crystals ScentSplash Review & Giveaway



Are you looking for a way to eliminate laundry odors?

Purex® has once again come out with an amazing new product to help keep your laundry smelling clean and fresh and I recently got to try it out. I'm in LOVE! The product I received is the NEW Purex® Crystals ScentSplash. This in-wash fragrance booster infuses your clothes with the power of liquid freshness. Simply add a little or a lot directly into your washer to get the scent strength you desire.

#irresistiblefreshnessthatlasts

By using Purex® Crystals ScentSplash you will be able to infuse your clothes with fragrance for a blast of long-lasting freshness that no one can resist. 



It comes in three wonderful scents:
  • Fresh Spring Waters 
  • Fresh Lavender Blossom
  • Fresh Mountain Breeze

For this review I received the Lavender Blossom and it's been a huge hit. My husband is a mechanic so his work clothes can be kinda hard to get smelling fresh. Purex® Crystals ScentSplash was exactly what I didn't know I needed. It completely worked! He even commented that his clothing had a very fresh scent. WIN!  I was very impressed with the Lavender Blossom scent and I believe my family was as well. I was also excited to try the other scents, so I went out and purchased them as well. They all three delivered amazing results. It's so hard to pick a favorite because they all are so great.



Want to try them out for yourself?

Enter below for a chance to win a 
FREE Purex® Crystals ScentSplash Coupon.


Contest starts 3/31 and ends 4/10




I will be giving away one coupon to two winners:




*Legal Disclosure: No purchase necessary to win. Open to US residents only. Void where prohibited. Two winners will be selected by Rafflecopter and will be notified within 48 hours of the contest’s close. Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway and the act of liking a Facebook page is not required to win.


GOOD LUCK! 


Follow Purex:



*The Purex® brand provided me with a sample of Purex® Crystals ScentSplash in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed in this post are my own.





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Monday, March 30, 2015

gMovies Review and Giveaway





When it comes to what my children are allowed to watch, well quite frankly, I'm pretty picky. That's why I was so excited to recently be able to review gMovies. It's wonderful knowing that my children can sit down to watch a movie or show without having to worry about what they might see or hear. Family movie night has never been so fun!


What is gMovies?

gMovies is the premiere on-demand service for faith centered entertainment with hundreds of movies and shows including animation, comedies, documentaries, dramas and more!

gMovies offers instant access to almost 300 faith friendly feature films of every genre, in addition to animated stories, television series and biblical documentaries. Always available on your computer or mobile device, gMovies also includes the bible-based animated series “Pahappahooey Island;” teen drama “Much Ado About Middle School” starring Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether and Amanda Waters; and the “Left Behind” drama series starring Kirk Cameron and based on the New York Times bestselling books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.


IT TRULY IS INSPIRING ENTERTAINMENT WHEREVER AND WHENEVER YOU WANT

At home or away, gMovies subscribers can stream the greatest collection of Christian films on gMovies on their computer or mobile devices.


What I love about gMovies




I love the fact that we can watch family friendly movies anytime we want. It's also very nice to be able to access gMovies from our tablets. I know that I don't have to worry about the content of shows that my daughters will be watching and I can rest easy knowing they are not going to be coming across anything bad. When their schoolwork is finished and they want to curl up and watch gMovies I'm completely fine with it!



Join over 2 million people who are already enjoying gMovies on a monthly basis!

·  Instant access to over 300 hundreds Christian movies and TV shows with new titles added monthly
·  The whole family can enjoy a variety of entertainment including Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Documentaries, Thrillers and more
·  Stream from iPad, Android, or your PC
·  Only $4.99/month 
·  No contract; cancel anytime
·  Powered by UP, American’s favorite TV network for uplifting entertainment 


The best part is that EVERY reader gets 2 weeks FREE to see if gMovies works for them.

Sign up for your own FREE 2 week trial today

READER CODE for 2 Week FREE Trial

2. enter code: FREETRIAL20

FYI: The video player on the gMovies website is Adobe Flash Player based. You will just want to ensure that the web browser you are using to access is able to run the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. Also, to maintain the highest quality stream, please ensure your internet download speed is at least 3.0 Mbps.

Enter to Win a FREE 6 month subscription to gMovies!




*Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway and the act of liking a Facebook page is not required to win.




*   "Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”   *




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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Geocaching For Kids ~ A wonderful Homeschool Activity


Have you ever heard of Geocaching? The first time I ever heard of it I was a bit confused by it. After  some research and my first adventure out, I was hooked! It's so fun and it's also a wonderful homeschool activity.  



The word geocache (Gee-oh-cash) comes from two words. The first is the prefix geo, meaning "Earth". The second is cache which is a safe place for hiding or storing something.

So a geocache is something that is hidden somewhere on Earth!


What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a real world treasure hunt using GPS coordinates and clues obtained from a website or smartphone app. Caches are hidden and logged by other Geocachers and include a log to sign and sometimes “swag”.

Geocachers can use the official Geocaching App to locate caches hidden close to their location. Caches are rated based on level of difficulty from beginner to expert. 

Information about the size of the cache is also given. Caches can be sized from micro to large. Larger caches are especially fun to find because they are likely to contain some fun swag. You can take a swag item if you leave a swag item in it's place.

Geocaching swag can be anything from homemade trinkets to official Geocaching swag items. Most are small and inexpensive. My daughters love finding the swag and bringing items to exchange.

Where are the geocaches?

Geocaches are hidden all over. If you go to the Geocaching.com web site, you'll be able to find geocaches in your area. There are thousands of them all over the world! Usually, they are hidden on public land or on private land with the permission of the land owner. The geocaches are hidden well enough that people who aren't looking for them usually don't happen to find them. Some geocaches are easier to get to than others.

How do I find the geocache?

Once you find a listing for a geocache you want to hunt, click on the details link. Near the top of the details page you will see coordinates. You'll need to program these into a GPS receiver if you are not using a smartphone. Then you need to head in the direction of the cache. Sometimes there are clues on the details page to help you get in the right vicinity. Once you get as close to the geocache as you can by car, you'll need to hike the rest of the way. Use the coordinates to get as close to the geocache as you can. Be patient. You'll probably have to pace around for awhile as the smartphone or GPS receiver continues to find its location. Keep your eyes peeled and remember the hints. When you find the cache you will need to sign the log and place it back exactly how you found it. 



Why is Geocaching a wonderful homeschool activity?

Geocaching and homeschooling naturally go together. Especially when you want a family friendly activity that will get everyone out in nature with something to do. Geocaching encourages children to explore their surroundings while using critical thinking skills to find the cache.

Your children can learn:


  • Math and Mapping skills 
This is a fun hands-on activity to learn latitude and longitude. They can learn how to use GPS, as well as a compass, to find the locations of the caches.
  • Safety
They can learn how to be safe in the woods and in areas that may be a little difficult to navigate. 
  • Art
They can make homemade items to put into the geocaches. They can also draw and write about their geocaching adventures.
  • Environment 
Geocaching is also a great way to learn about the environment and also help clean it up. Cache in, trash out is a common activity.
  • History
Many caches provide details on local history. We have enjoyed being able to read and learn a ton about our local area and other communities.
  • Physical education
Geocaching is a great way to get out in nature and get exercise. Map out your path and take a long walk or hike to find your geocaches.
  • Nature Studies
They can observe their surroundings as they travel from cache to cache. What animals do they see? What about insects? Can they identify the different aspects of the local habitat? What about tree or plant identification? They can even keep a journal to take notes of their surroundings and what they find. My friend Marcy over at BenandMe has a wonderful FREE Nature Study Journal you can use.




  • Problem Solving

Many caches require geocachers to solve basic problems to identify the coordinates or even figure out how to access the cache once they find it. This requires a bit of creativity and some problem solving skills.

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These are only a few ideas of how geocaching can benefit your child's education. You can get more ideas HERE.


FREE Geocaching Journal Printables 


Click Here to Download and Print our 

Do you like our FREE printables? Click Here to view more. 

(This is a nice addition to add to the journal)



Geocaching Websites for Kids







The Bottom Line

Geocaching is a great homeschool activity and can be fun for the whole family. Use geocache hunts to introduce your kids to new parks, new activities and/or the natural history of your area. It also can make a fun addition to your next vacation. Look up cache locations along highways and near hotels to make travel time more interesting.

Have you tried Geocaching? We would love to hear your stories. How have you incorporated Geocaching into your homeschool lessons?



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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap Review and Giveaway



I have fantastic news friends! Dial® has just released a new collection of boutique hand soaps! This is wonderful news. Hand washing is something everyone does multiple times a day and you know how washing them over and over can really take a toll on your skin. Well, No more worries! The Dial® formula features gentle micro scrubbers that deeply cleanse and moisturize while exfoliating your skin. 




I  received the Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap and it's wonderful!


Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap is the newest member of the Dial® Boutique Collection Hand Soap line, bringing luxury to your hand washing experience. With an indulgent scent inspired by freshly cut Sugar Cane, this premium formula with gentle micro scrubbers cleanses deeply while moisturizing and smoothing skin. I have been using it about a week now and my hands have never felt so good. I love that it massages my hands while washing and makes them feel so smooth and soft. The scent is also very soothing and it lathers up great.




I absolutely love the Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap and I'm confident that you will too. Want to try it out for yourself?

Enter below for a chance to win a 
FREE Dial®  Boutique Collection Hand Soap Coupon.

Contest starts 3/24 and ends 3/31



I will be giving away one coupon to two winners:

1 coupon - Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap. 
1 coupon - Dial® Omega Moisture Hand Soap.


*Legal Disclosure: No purchase necessary to win. Open to US residents only. Void where prohibited. Two winners will be selected by Rafflecopter and will be notified within 48 hours of the contest’s close. Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway and the act of liking a Facebook page is not required to win.


GOOD LUCK! 

Follow Dial:


*The Dial® brand provided me with a sample of Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed in this post are my own.





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Monday, March 23, 2015

A Field Trip to Kansas



Hello friends, Have you ever thought about going on a trip and then just jumped in the car and left? We recently did just that. We were sitting around after supper one evening talking about a town in Kansas my husband had spent some of his childhood in. My daughters were very interested in this town and wanted to go. So, we packed our bags and were out the door in less than two hours.  It was exciting! 

We spent quite a few hours visiting the town my husband lived in. The town was Sublette, Kansas.  We visited two homes where he had lived and the school and church he had attended. We also took a break and let the girls play at the playground he had played at when he was their age. It was a blast listening to his stories and the girls thought it was very neat. 



After touring the town we ventured around to other areas that he had remembered visiting as a child. Below you will see a couple of the fun places we explored. 



Meade, Kansas

The Dalton Gang was a group of outlaws in the American Old West during the 1890s. If you are ever in the area it's a nice place to visit and the museum is filled with lots of history and interesting things to see and learn about. 



Meade State Park, Lake, Wildlife Area and Fish Hatchery

Meade, Kansas

The Meade State Park was a very beautiful area. For nature lovers who like to identify various different trees, grasses, flowers and birds, a nature trail offers birding, biking, and hiking opportunities. There is also a small lake that allows fishing year-round. We really wanted to visit the Meade State Fish Hatchery but they were closed. I thought it would be a wonderful learning opportunity for the girls to see what hatcheries are all about. 


Big Basin & St. Jacob's Well

25 miles east of Meade, Kansas



St. Jacobs Well is a sinkhole that always holds water, even during dry years. It has never went dry. Historically, St. Jacob's Well and Big Basin were used as landmarks and watering sites on trail drives that were bringing cattle from Texas. A Living Water Monument commemorates the area's importance to early settlers. The most visible animals of the area are bison.  It was a beautiful area and we really enjoyed exploring it. 



Below is a short video about the area. 



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We had a blast on our trip and we all learned a bunch of really cool history and interesting facts.

Have you been to any of these areas? 
We would love for you to tell us about it in the comment section below. 




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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

GPA LEARN ~ GPALOVEMATH ~ Review


This year has been a so wonderful. My daughters and I have been blessed with so many wonderful products and just recently my three daughters and I had the awesome opportunity to review yet another great product. We reviewed GPALOVEMATH from GPA LEARN

What is GPA LEARN?


GPA LEARN is a company that strives to create a world where children are placed at the center of their own personalized educational ecosystem. Their entire team works daily to build the world’s best educational technology tool to optimize each child’s individual learning environment.


What is GPALOVEMATH?


GPALOVEMATH is a cool and fun web-based math program for children in grades K-5. It features animated characters that serve as “Learning Coaches.” These coaches offer supplemental help with over 150 lessons and over 10,000 practice problems per grade level.  Each of my daughters have an individual grade level “Learning Coach” that is different from her sister. They thought that having a coach was very helpful and fun. I choose the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade levels for them for this review. 



How we used GPALOVEMATH

My daughters each have their own log in and I have a separate parent log in.  After logging in, my daughters are brought to a dashboard home screen. From this area they can choose three other wonderful features. These three features really make GPALOVEMATH great.


These three features are: Learn - Engage - Motivate 

Learn - In the learn feature there are three paths to choose from. The green path, purple path, and blue path. Each path offers a different array of lessons.  Lessons are unlocked as they complete the previous lessons.  There is an option to unlock lessons from the parent account. When starting a lesson they were able to see the skill they would be learning, points they could earn, and the button to start.  

 



After choosing to start the lesson they were brought to another screen that offers video instruction, practice, and lastly a quiz. 



The quizzes each had 15 questions and after completing one they were rewarded points. I loved the way this was set-up. The instruction was always done in a entertaining yet very educational way. It engaged my daughters and made them interested in what they were being taught. I was also glad to see that they could then practice the skills they just learned. Having the practice really helped them with the quizzes. My daughters did try to skip the practice and just attempt the quizzes a couple of times. They learned pretty fast just how important having the practice was. 

Another great thing about the learn feature is that if your children have trouble reading they could click on the sentence or paragraph and their learning coach would read it to them. This helped me a ton. I didn't feel like I had to stand there the whole time making sure they read each question right. 




Engage - The engage feature was one that we didn't really play around with a ton, but is still a very neat feature. The engage area is a private social network that connects students, parents, and teachers to facilitate dialogue around each child's learning experience.    



Motivate - The motivate feature is a reward system that surprises and celebrates the child’s effort and successes. This was absolutely one of our favorite features. My daughters had so much fun earning rewards and I thought it was wonderful as well.  I loved that I was able to log in with my account and choose the rewards that I felt my daughters would appreciate the most. This was a huge plus and there is a big choice of rewards to pick from. I usually choose rewards from the chore category. I knew they would appreciate earning these rewards and having help with their chores. 

My daughters usually earned a reward for every 4 lessons they completed. They were even able to save up their points and redeem them for actual gift cards or different rewards. So cool! One of my daughters was able to redeem their points for a $10 ToysRus gift card and another was able to receive a $10 Target gift card. I was blown away by this and thought it was extremely fun and exciting for them. 

After they received a reward it was stored in their virtual backpack. I printed out the rewards and usually stuck them on the refrigerator until they were ready to use them. They had so much fun using them. My youngest was very excited when she realized that I would be feeding our pets for the day for her. I actually ended up doing a lot of their chores, but I seriously didn't mind. I mean my daughters were doing math and enjoying it! Were they motivated to practice and learn their math? Absolutely! 







Another thing that I really enjoyed about GPALOVEMATH was the fact that I received an e-mail each time a lesson was attempted and completed. I always love when I am able to see how my children are doing. Receiving an e-mail is a wonderful way to achieve that. I was able to see how long the lesson lasted, whether they completed the instruction and the practice, and what they scored on the quiz. Aside from receiving each lesson summary, I also received a weekly digest e-mail for each daughter. This showed me their weekly progress and allowed me to see where they might need some additional help. 


The only thing that we did have a minor issue with was that occasionally the screen would freeze. We used GPALOVEMATH in the Chrome browser on a laptop and a desktop computer. The only time it happened was when using it on the laptop. So it's hard to tell whether it was indeed the program or just my laptop. Anyhow, I found out that by right clicking I could hit a button that says reload the frame. This allowed the page to reload without my children having to start from the beginning. 

What does GPALOVEMATH cost?


GPALOVEMATH is currently $149 for the year or $12.99/mo per child. 
There is a free trial you can try before you purchase. 

It is compatible with PC, Mac, iPad and Galaxy Tab 4.

The supported browsers are: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari 6 & 7.



Final Thought

I hadn't ever heard of GPALOVEMATH before this review, but I can now say that we are big fans. It was such a fun review and my daughters thoroughly enjoyed learning math alongside their learning coaches and being rewarded for their hard work. I foresee us continuing to use GPALOVEMATH. It was a blessing.


Want to connect with GPA LEARN?



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Click below to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew
GPA Learn Review



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Friday, March 13, 2015

The Critical Thinking Co. ~ Pattern Explorer ~ Review


Have you ever received a curriculum that your child loved so much they actually asked to do the work? Well, this was the reaction I received from my oldest daughter, who is 11 years old, when we recently reviewed Pattern Explorer from The Critical Thinking Co.  

What is Pattern Explorer?


Pattern Explorer is 96 page paperback workbook geared towards grades 5-7. It provides a rich and diverse collection of pattern problems for students to explore, investigate, discover, and create. There are forty activity sets in the book and they are divided into five themes that appear in rotating order:
  • Pattern Predictor
  • Equality Explorer
  • Sequence Sleuth
  • Number Ninja
  • Function Finder
The activities build on one another and gradually get more sophisticated as the collection progresses. Each activity is accompanied by hints and very detailed solutions that can be found in the back of the workbook. Students are encouraged to explore the patterns with a sense of adventure and perseverance. 

The author of Pattern Explorer is a gentleman named, Darin Beigie. Mr Beigie teaches mathematics at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, Ca. He develops curriculum and classroom materials to foster greater critical thinking and creativity among his students. He is also the author of several other books by The Critical Thinking Co.


How we used Pattern Explorer and what we liked


My daughter worked in Pattern Explorer approximately three to four times each week. She completed one lesson each time she sat down with the book. Each pattern activity presented a different challenge. She was able to discover some solutions very easily, while others proved to be much more challenging. I could tell that she really enjoyed the challenge though. She showed a lot of patience and determination while trying to figure some of the solutions out and great excitement when they were completed. It was a ton of fun to see her excitement and hear her explain to me how she was able to come up with the solution. I am confident that this book gave her a brand new perspective on what she originally thought patterns were and she has learned that being able to recognize a pattern is important.

A great addition to the book is the fact that hints and solutions can easily be found in the back of the book. I highly recommended that she refer to the hints when struggling with a solution. The hints did prove to be a tremendous help to her. I loved that they provided just the right amount information to get her thinking in the right direction and allow her to work out the solution on her own. 

The solutions also proved to be very helpful. I recommended that she didn't flip to the back to just solve the problem, but rather allow me to make that judgement call if I felt like she needed to. The one thing about her seeing the solution that I didn't mind was the fact that she could then see how the pattern worked and analyze it that way as well. I felt that even when this method was used she still learned a great amount. I also enjoyed having the solutions for myself. They allowed me to check her work in a fast and efficient way. Although, I do have to admit, even I had fun trying to find the solutions to some of the patterns. One particular one was even a challenge for me, but in a fun way. 

We both enjoyed the fact that there was ample space provided for her work to be shown with each activity. However, she did also use a separate notebook that came in handy for when she had to design charts, make lists, and draw diagrams.

We didn't use Pattern Explorer as a stand alone math curriculum, but rather as a enrichment activity. She still has lessons to finish before completing this book, but I anticipate that this is definitely one that she will finish. 



Final Thought 

Overall we both thoroughly enjoyed Pattern Explorer. I loved that it allowed my daughter to not only use her math skills but a lot of critical thinking skills as well.  She is learning to develop reasoning skills that are essential for mathematics and science. As always, The Critical Thinking Co. has delivered another wonderful product and I am reminded why I love this company so much. It truly is a great product and I highly recommend it! When I asked my daughter what final thing she would like to say for the review she told me to tell you all that she thinks it is awesome! 




What Does Pattern Explorer cost?

You can currently purchase Pattern Explorer for only $14.99




Want to connect with The Critical Thinking Co.?









Click below to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew 
Critical Thinking Company Review



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