Heirloom Audio: For The Temple (Review)

Often when a new review opportunity is posted I take a look at the product and then talk to whichever children would be working with it during the review period. This gives me a chance to get some input from them before making a decision about whether or not to request that review. However, when a chance to review the newest Heirloom Audio came through I knew there was no need to ask for their opinion, they love audio books, and the GA Henty audio dramas from Heirloom are among their favorites.

For the Temple Pinterest

We had grand plans of listening to this particular drama, For The Temple,  on the ride to and from an aquarium field trip that we had scheduled last week. Unfortunately, instead of the aquarium we ended up at home sick with a stomach virus. However, we made the most of a difficult situation and gathered together in the living room and listened while we rested and recovered.  They were even able to work on a little drawing, weaving, and slime creation while they listened.

20190206_162520
Playing with slime while she listens to For The Temple!

For the Temple is based on the novel by G.A Henty by the same title. This is the story of John, a vinter, who lives near the Shores of the Sea of Galilee. More importantly, it is the tale of the battle over the Temple in Jerusalem and its fall in 70 AD. In classic Henty style the story tells the true history of this momentous event through a fictitious story. While many of the characters are made up, you also hear the names of the very real people, such as Josephus, that played key roles. This story is mostly a tale of battle, determination, political unrest, and adventure. However, for those romantics in the group we do get John’s quiet love story woven throughout the tale.

In addition to the audio drama Heirloom has created an over 50 page study guide that can be used with this story. The study guide has comprehension questions to go along with each chapter as well as addition discussion and thought provoking questions for the chapters. As we listened, I was able to use the study guide to help guide some discussion and make sure they were understanding the story.  I think it is a well thought out guide that adds to the study of the story. I will note that it does not include an answer key so whoever is checking or assisting with the study guide will need to have also listened to the story. This worked well for us since we did it as a family, but would be important if you were assigning it as an independent project.

In a very convenient coincidence, this audio drama was based off of a G.A. Henty novel that my son read just a couple months ago as part of his literature course. This added to our discussions by allowing us to discuss the differences in the audio drama and the book.

I do want to note that I think due to the nature of this story there are some scenes that may be difficult for younger listeners. They are handled well and are not overly graphic but there are scenes that involve, mass murders, bodies being thrown off the walls, crucifixion and other persecution of Christians. I do not think you could leave them out and keep the story historically accurate but I do think parents of young children need to be aware before making a decision for your family.  Heirloom recommends this story for ages 6 to adult but while I think younger children could listen along I would recommend this more for children 8-10 years old up to adult.

Heirloom Audio dramas are a great supplement to your history program or a fun just to listen to together as a family.  Check out their website for more information on For the Temple. You can also check out my reviews of two other Heirloom Audio titles: St. Bartholomew’s Eve and Wulf the Saxon. For more reviews of For the Temple, click below and see what the other Review Crew families thought.

For The Temple {Heirloom Audio Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer 

Advertisements

His Mercy Endureth Forever: A Picture Book Review

A few months ago I had the privilege of reviewing T is for Tree and so I was excited when RFPA contacted me to ask if I might also be willing to review a copy of His Mercy Endureth Forever: Psalm 136 which is a beautiful picture book based on the Psalm and illustrated by Kathleen DeJong.

winter artand a lesson onflexibility!-2

I had not told the children that the book was coming so they would be surprised when the package arrived.  They love opening mail and finding out it was a new book was very exciting. My four year old couldn’t wait to see the pictures and have me read the book, so we read it aloud that very night.

The first thing I noticed was that the outside of this hardcover book was simple but beautiful. It is a depiction of the night sky. The title is written in a mix of print and cursive. It is beautifully done, but may be a bit difficult to read for a new reader with the change in font and style.

On the inside, the words are quoted from the King James version of Psalms 136. This is a beautiful section of scripture that is great to speak into the hearts and minds of our children. The illustrations are lovely. There is writing on every other page with a full color illustration on the opposite page.  The pages with the words also have small monochromatic illustrations.

20190130_171542

Since there are a few words in that chapter that might be difficult for young children they have included a one page glossary in the back of the book. This page helps define words like endureth, mercy, and smote. They recommend the book for ages 6-9 which I think is a good range for independent reading but I think it is also a great book for reading aloud to younger children. The repetition in the Psalm makes it very appealing to preschoolers.

All in all, I thought this was a great way to share scripture with my children. The beautiful pictures helped to engage them with the words and I expect that this is a book we will return to time after time. I really appreciated that the scripture was exact and not paraphrased. If you are looking for a beautiful way to enjoy scriptures with your children, I encourage you to check out His Mercy Endureth Forever.

Disclaimer
I received a FREE copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

Deals and Freebies!

 

The NEW color edition of All About Reading is ready to order! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

LAST DAY FOR THIS SPECIAL PRICING ON SCHOOLHOUSE TEACHERS!!

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

 

FREE Writing About Books: Book Reports and Beyond from Write Shop!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

 

What is New With All About Reading?

Testing out All About Reading's new color edition level 4

If you have been following along on our homeschool journey, you may already know that one of the programs that we love and are most loyal to is All About Spelling. My oldest taught himself to read (with a little help from the leap frog videos) at the age of three but struggled with spelling. We had tried traditional spelling books, word walls, copy work, and other assorted programs and styles until I was at a loss. Finally, I found All About Spelling and it really clicked.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

At that time I did not switch over to All About Reading because both my oldest and my second child were already reading well and I was not looking for another phonics program. However, my third child will be five in a few months and start ‘Kindergarten’ next year which in our home means we will at least introduce him to a phonics program and see how things go. Depending on how he does with it, we may keep going or we may hold off a little longer until he is developmentally ready. In looking at various programs I have been highly considering All About Reading. I know that I will be using All About Spelling with him when the time comes and I love the idea of the two programs that are set up with similar styles and working together for an all around literacy program.

All About Reading's new color edition review

Knowing that I was considering it for next year, I was very excited to learn about their new color edition. The color makes it very visually appealing to young learners and can help with engagement. In addition to the full color activity books and heirloom quality readers they have also fully updated the teachers manuals with full color and an additional 56-72 pages of material per level.

I wanted to dig a little deeper and I was given the opportunity to try a sample lesson. I used a lesson from the level four program and gave it a try with my daughter. I knew going into it that it should be a review for her but I wanted to see how the style worked and what she thought of the new activities. She really enjoyed it and thought that the game she was able to play was a lot of fun. She told me that she thought the reading program was, “cool”. For this particular game she had a set of word cards that had a gopher on one side and the word with another gopher on the opposite side.  She had to pick up each card, read the word on the card correctly and then she could place the card through the slot on her paper that made it appear the gopher was going into his hole in the garden. It was quite simple but as she stated she really enjoyed it and it made the practice more fun.

The lesson we worked on taught the ph phonogram. First with the flashcard and repeating after the instruction that ph says /f/, two letter /f/. Then after a bit of review and practice you moved onto reading words using that phonogram and the other letter tiles. First together and then independently. Once you felt they had grasped the concept you could move onto the activity and further review as needed.

All About Reading is a great systematic way to teach phonics. Much like the spelling program it goes through each step making sure to teach both the rules and the exceptions. They do a good job incorporating various learning modalities throughout the program. I have found that even though I have memorized how to read or spell a word, there are rules that they teach that I never learned. This new updated program keeps all of those positives and adds in some extra helps for you as the teacher and the addition of the beautiful full color pages. I highly recommend that you take a look and see if this might be the right reading solution for your family. You can even try the sample lesson!

All About Reading

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

 

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

Are you looking for a free Bible study that your whole family can enjoy? The Proverbial Homemaker is offering up a study of James that is FREE for a limited time.

Did you join us last week for the FREE five day activity challenge?

To keep the fun going, and keep making memories with your kids, Jamie has a program called The Activity Room that I know you’ll love, so I have to share about it just a bit, plus it is only open for enrollment a few times a year and enrollment JUST opened TODAY.

What this means for you, right now — is that The Activity Room is open for enrollment only through this Thursday, January 24th. After that time, she’ll close down to focus on her members and won’t open the doors again until May.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women (review)

20181201_084653

 

If you have a teenage daughter, this review of Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women by Zondervan is for you! This beautiful hardcover devotional book is as powerful on the inside as it is beautiful on the outside and I am excited to share this resource with you.

When I started reviewing this book, I was looking at it from the perspective of the mother of a ten year old daughter. As I read the devotional I came to two conclusions. My first conclusion was that this was a well done devotional that would be great for a mother and teenage daughter to work through together. The second, was that my daughter was not quite ready for some of the content and so I am putting it up for a year or two before we work through it together.

The devotional is laid out with 365 devotions to take you through the entire year.  Each day consists of a small scripture verse, a devotional thought, and a bit of journaling space at the bottom of the page for your notes and thoughts.  While I wish that the scripture verses had been longer to give more context, that is easily remedied by reading the scripture in your Bible.

20181201_085006

One thing I really like is that many of the devotions go in a series by following through an entire story of scripture. For example, one series is from day 213 to day 227. On those days the reading is in 1 Samuel chapter 25 focusing on Abigail who was Nabal’s wife. I love how it focused on various women in the Bible to help a teenage girl see how God used women and continues to use women to do amazing things for the kingdom of God. I think it handled subject of women in ministry well by explaining that each person can use their gifts even if not behind a pulpit.

You may be wondering why if I enjoyed it so much I put it aside for another year or two before going through it with my daughter. I should mention that my daughter is still a bit younger than the recommended age but I was hoping she was ready. However, since it does address the topic of sex and adultery in several of the devotions I did not feel my daughter was ready for this book yet.  The topics were handled well and appropriately but I would not recommend them for a girl who did not yet know about sex unless you were going to read it with them and were ready to have that conversation and offer explanations.

Overall, I do recommend Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women for teenage girls. It is simple enough for them to do on their own but I think it would be a great mother-daughter devotional time. You can sit down for a few minutes each day with a warm drink and read through it together; drawing closer to each other as you draw near to God. I encourage you to check out the other Review Crew reviews below to see how they used the devotional and what those with older girls felt about the devotional.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

My Review Year in Review

I was filling out a survey a couple of weeks ago and it asked how many products I had reviewed for the Schoolhouse Review Crew in 2018. I was shocked when I counted up and realized I had reviewed over different 50 products. Some of those I loved and we are still using. Others were not a great fit for our family but I am thankful that I had the opportunity to share each of them with you, my readers.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

When I thought back on the products that I loved the most I truly had a hard time deciding. There were so many great products to chose from. The books from Great Waters Press were certainly in my top ten for ones that were helpful to me as a mom. We all had lots of fun with the history activities from Homeschool in the Woods. Audio dramas and books are a source of both education and fun for our family so both Heirloom Audio and the Brinkman Adventures gave us hours of family entertainment.

When it comes to full curriculum that we found to be most beneficial I can say that Apologia was a big hit. We love how thorough and in-depth the science is while still being engaging and having lots of hands on opportunities.

I thought it would be interesting to ask my children which of the review products   that they liked best.  When pressed to choose one my oldest son, age 12, said that his favorite was Kids E-mail but he also really enjoyed Forensic Faith, Brinkman Adventures, Guitar 360, and Heirloom Audio.

My daughter chose Princess Cut as her very favorite review product. We watched it once as a family but she has watched it several times since then.  Kids E-mail came in a close second for her as she enjoys using her e-mail to keep in contact with a variety of friends and family members. She also enjoyed learning to write in cursive using Cursive Logic. Like my son she enjoyed Forensic Faith and Brinkman Adventures. If I let her I think she might give us a list that included much of what we reviewed, but I told her she was supposed to be choosing her favorites.

My four year old was not involved in as many reviews as a preschooler but we did review several products that were appropriate for him. He decided that he most enjoyed Zirrly beads. He also loved and still asks to use Planet 316 Story Bible App and Starfall.com. We liked Pencil Grip markers so much that I have ordered him the paint sticks for Christmas (but shhh don’t’ spoil the surprise and tell him).

I’ve listed our very favorite choices here but feel like I’ve left many really great programs out because we were blessed to try so many great products this year. You can check out all of my reviews and see what products your family might enjoy. The Review Crew also has a great post coming soon to share the products that we voted as our favorites in various categories. I’d love for you to tell me in the comments which program you would like to try or share a program you think we should review.  I have one more review coming next week and then I will be taking a break for about a month before we get started with a new list in 2019!

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

FINAL WEEK for the Schoolhouse Teachers sale!

2018-fall-harvest-special-meme-lastcall

YWAM has a special 50% off collection on some really great biographies now through December 15th!

Amazon has some great Cyber Monday Week all week long! Including some great deals on Kindles.

Amazon Prime 30 day FREE trial. If you do not yet have Amazon Prime this is a great time to try it for free for 30 days! Get your Christmas shopping done with free shipping, enjoy Christmas music and more.

Guitar 360 Method (Review) and DISCOUNT CODE!

20181015_192855

 

Over the past month or so my twelve year old has been learning to play the guitar using the online Semester 1 Bundle from  Guitar 360 Method.  When my son was about four he wanted to learn to play the guitar and our wonderfully talented youth and music minister agreed to teach him. He enjoyed the lessons but refused to practice and so I discontinued them and the guitar has sat mostly unused ever since. My son had recently began mentioning lessons again but I was hesitant to commit to taking him to more lessons given our busy schedules and his lack of follow we saw last time. I felt like the scheduling concerns were addressed by using this online program because we could work the lessons into our busy and changing lives as needed.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Guitar 360 Method

Music lessons are one of those subjects that I chose not to require in our home school. I know that different families have different areas of focus and for us music lessons are not a priority. We do incorporate music appreciation, hymn study, and this year a fun genre study into our everyday curriculum. Since we do not require lessons, but my son had been talking about wanting to try guitar again, I let him decide if this review was something that interested him. He was so excited to try it and I’m glad that I gave him the opportunity!

While this was not his first time in classes, it had been seven years since he took them so we started him in the Absolute Beginner Course. He worked through that at his own pace.  He enjoyed it and found that he learned new skills and brushed up on some other skills. At first we had a bit of problem with the videos not wanting to stream correctly (the sound would play but the video would freeze).  We determined that the problem was that we were using an older computer and the videos were playing at a very high resolution. I’m glad we were able to easily solve that small problem by wsing a newer computer or adjusting the resolution fixed this issue and allowed for a much smoother practice session.

guitarmethod360

The first day that he had access to the lessons he worked through multiple lessons in the beginner course because he was so excited. Throughout the rest of the review period he practiced four or five days a week, which considering our busy schedules during this time was an excellent accomplishment. He really enjoyed the chance to practice and learn each day. He worked through all of the beginner course and began the Semester 1 course. During that time he learned basic chords, strumming patterns, and even his first song.

Each video ranged from about three to ten minutes in length making them very easy to fit into our days. However, I recommend making sure that your student also builds in some addition time to practice those skills in order to see the most progress. This program is not a subscription that you lose at the end of the thirteen week program so there is no pressure to rush through and finish ‘on-time’.

Some of the lessons he picked up on quickly the first time through and he could keep moving forward. There were a few things that he needed to go back and work on but that was very easy with this program. He could simply watch that video lesson again and even pause and practice some more before continuing. However, I think that I let him work through those lessons a little too fast in the beginning with not enough practice and he struggled to put it all together. Learning an instrument is not like binge watching your favorite streaming program, you have to develop the muscle memory. Once I made him go back and master each lesson before moving on he showed a good deal of progress.

Each week of the course includes a  goal for the week and then various teaching and practicing videos. The teaching videos show a new skill or concept that they learn along with and then the practice videos are several minutes of work on the skills that have been covered.  The course is a good mix of music practice and music theory. This helps with the goal of giving the musician freedom and confidence in playing and not just memorizing songs.

guitar3602

We still have a long way to go to be finished with this course, which is a 13 week course not counting the Guitar Course for Beginners portion. However, at the end of the course my son should be able to play a variety of songs and chords and have the skills and confidence he needs to play well with a band or independently. He will understand the music theory enough to allow him to be flexible and adapt his skills to the situation and not just memorize chords. The instructor says that with mastery of the course a player would be well equipped to be a valuable player in a worship band or other similar setting. My son would really love to play well enough to be able to help out with our band at church.

I was not sure that our family had the time or resources to give to music lessons during this time in our lives, but this program proved me wrong. The flexibility of the online prerecorded format and the short easy to follow lessons allowed my son to fit his lessons in around our other obligations. The program was fun, easy to follow, and allowed him to move at his own pace. This has been a very positive experience for us and we are excited to see how well he is playing when he finished the Semester 1 Bundle. If you have a son/daughter who wants to learn the guitar, or even if you as an adult want to learn I highly recommend this program. I would recommend it for ages 10 and above. Check out all of the other Crew Reviews below to see how people used it in a variety of situations with a variety of ages. I can also offer you a 20% discount on this course using the code HOMESCHOOL20. The course was already significantly less expensive than paying for most private instructors and the 20% discount makes it an even more amazing value. This would be a great addition to your curriculum or a gift for that music lover in your life.

Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Kidzaw.com Master Kitz: The Starry Night (Review)

20181031_190552

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

I am the first to admit that art was never my gifting. I enjoy looking at art and doing crafts but I was never what you would call an artist. This can sometimes make teaching art to my children difficult, so I am always on the lookout for programs that will help my children with art and not require me to have a strong background in art.  I was excited to have the chance to review Master Kitz The Starry Night by Kidzaw.com with my two older children.

When we first received the kit I was very concerned that I had ‘bitten off more than I could chew’. I looked at the picture that was expected at the end and thought that this project was going to take hours and probably more help and support than I was prepared to give them. I could not have been more mistaken. The project was surprisingly easy and took us less than an hour from start to finish. While I supervised and helped get things set up they were able to complete the project very independently.

Once I had the kit opened and was getting everything set up the first thing that stood out to me were the instructions. There were easy to understand and included step by step pictures that made them very easy to follow. The only difficulty we noticed was that we while there are enough materials for two projects it was a little difficult to do both at the same time because of sharing the reusable products. We were able to make it work by having my daughter wait and get several steps behind my son. Otherwise, it was a very smooth process.

Aside from something to put under the painting to keep the table clean and a little tape to keep the art from sliding, everything was included in the kit. This makes a busy mama very happy. If I have to gather too many supplies, the project tends to get put off and sometimes not done at all. Having everything in the kit meant that with-in just a few minutes of opening the kit we were able to get started on the project.

The children were able to use the instructions and templates to create a very cool piece of art that strongly resembles the original painting by Vincent van Gogh.  I do think it is important to note that it uses templates and textured rollers and that you do not need to have a lot of natural artistic inclination to make this a successful project. This is not a step by step tutorial on how to paint this project free hand but a carefully designed kit that allows them to use the templates to recreate a master piece.

Also included in the kit was information on the life and works of Vincent van Gogh to facilitate a study of the artist in addition to the art project.  We chose to complete the art project first and then use the information to facilitate a dinner time conversation about van Gogh which led to a bit more internet research as the children asked questions about his life. I felt like this was a very fun way to add a bit of art and artist study to our home school.

If you are looking to add a bit of art or artist study to your curriculum and want something that will be easy to implement, fun, and education this may be a great product for you. In addition to this kit they offer several other kits featuring other artists. Check out Master Kitz The Starry Night and their other great kits.

Master Kitz The Starry Night {Kidzaw.com Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines (Review)

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines

Some days my life feels like a whirlwind of diapers and deadlines: from my wonderful eight month old baby to a four year old preschooler who is so very sweet and super inquisitive, a ten and twelve year old to homeschool, hurricane relief volunteer work, and this blog which I love but that takes up many hours each week. When I was offered the chance to review the Balancing Diapers and Deadlines course I debated on whether or not I even had time to do the course, but I knew the content sounded like it would be very beneficial in this current life stage.

diapers and deadlines picture

The course was created by Lisa Tanner Writing and is done in a self- paced online format. The course consists of six regular units, plus an introduction and conclusion.  Each unit has four to eight lessons, each set up as a post that you read followed by an action step. Some of the action steps can be done immediately and some require a bit more time. One of the action steps included e-mailing the author to check in with your progress. She was very helpful and responsive to my e-mail when I completed that step.

As I mentioned before, I was very concerned about time when I started this course. I was hoping the material would help me save or better use some of my time, but I also was not sure when I was going to even find the time to complete the course. Thankfully, the course was set up in small easy to complete steps that made it simple to fit around other obligations. Reading the lessons generally took less than ten minutes of my time. The action steps varied between just a few minutes and projects that took longer and needed to be completed over several days. The self-paced feature of this program was a huge plus because when I reached lessons that were not areas that I struggled with or maybe did not apply to me I could skip over them or move quickly through them. When I reached areas that I need to focus on, I could take my time and complete the action step before moving on to the next lesson.

She covered a variety of topics that would help you use your time more productively without shortchanging your children. This included meal planning, sleep, using small chunks of time, chores, productivity boosters, and including your family in your business. While a few of her ideas were more specifically related to writing or blogging from home, most of the course would be beneficial for any work at home job. She titled the course Balancing Diapers and Deadlines but she included tips for all ages of children and even some specific ideas for children with special needs.

diapers and deadlines photo

I think my favorite section was the last unit when she shares ideas on boosting productivity. The lessons on using ‘think time’ and ‘making spare minutes count’ were really beneficial to me. I’m still working on implementing some of those ideas but I can see how they will help me be more efficient and cut down on wasted time. She had some great downloads in this section as well as a couple of the other sections that you can use to help you as your work through the course and moving forward. In addition to the course and downloads, she often linked to other blog posts and resources that could help you with each step.

While there were some units, like meal planning, that I did not need because I was already doing those things there were others that were very beneficial. If you feel like you need to do better about maximizing time and balancing the diapers and deadlines, I recommend checking out this course. Investing a few hours into this course may save you many more hours down the road. To see what my other Review Crew members thought about the course check out the link below.

 

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

St. Bartholomew’s Eve: Heirloom Audio (Review)


St. Barthalamew
Ready to listen and ride!

Last week we had a two and a half hour ride each way to a competition that only lasted about an hour including the awards ceremony. That is a lot of riding with children, but Heirloom Audio came to the rescue with this newest review product! St. Bartholomew’s Eve is not the first G A Henty story that we have listened to from Heirloom Audio and hopefully it won’t be the last. It kept the children quiet and content during a large portion of our ride because they didn’t want to miss any of the story.

In addition to doing a great job keeping things peaceful on a long ride, I was able to cross history off of our to-do list for the day as these stories include a great deal of important historical information. St. Bartholomew’s Eve tells the story of the French Huguenots as they fought for the right to worship as they saw fit. The main story begins with young Phillip going to France to aid his mother’s family in the fight against the king and the Catholic Church for the right to worship as they pleased(in this case practice Protestantism).  We follow him through training and battles until what is now known commonly as St. Bartholomew’s Massacre.

When asked I often said that I was a fan of the works of GA Henty, but after a couple people mentioned that they could sometimes be a bit dense to read I realized that I might should clarify my opinion. All of the GA Henty that I know comes from the audio adaptations produced by Heirloom Audio. These are not mere audio books where a narrator reads the story aloud (though our family loves audio books), these are wonderful audio dramas with talented voice actors playing each role and sound effects that bring you into the story. The clanging of swords and stamping of hooves make you feel like the battles are going on all around you and not hundreds of years ago.

In addition to the history lesson, this production develops the deeper theme of understanding that many people have fought and even died for the right to worship in a way that each individual feels is best. The production begins with two boys being caught skipping church services. Instead of just chastising them the gentleman tells them the story of Phillip and the Huguenots and how they fought for the right to worship. While the Huguenots were certainly not the only people to fight and die for their right to worship, it is a great example of the sacrifices that have been made through the years. I felt like this was a great way to reinforce with my children the importance of appreciating our right to worship and protecting our right to worship.

Our family wholeheartedly recommends Heirloom Audio. We believe that these stories are not only fun but educational. They teach history in an easy and engaging manner while also teaching larger life lessons. I will caution that if you have younger children that are sensitive the battle scenes and persecution may be a bit much. I believe they are handled tastefully and appropriately but they are difficult facts for young children to process so use your judgement on when your child is ready for the stories. While my four year old has enjoyed many of these productions I think this one would have been too intense for him.  I encourage you to check out my review of Wulf the Saxon which is another one of Heirloom Audio‘s productions as well as clicking below to read what some of the other Review Crew members thought about this audio drama.

St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

CashCrunch Careers (review)

careerinformation

While I sometimes look at my twelve year old and see just a little boy, I know that time is moving fast and the years until he is out on his own will fly by. We don’t pressure him to make any decisions about his future career at this point but it is something we have discussed with him. There are so many options for both careers and educational opportunities and we want him to take the time to know and understand what his options are and then seek the Lord’s will for his life. When we were given the opportunity to review  CashCrunch Careers by CashCrunch Games I asked my son if it was something he was interested in and he requested to give it a try.

CashCrunch Careers creates a career report for you based on your answers to the assessment. The assessment is a series of questions in which you choose which word best describes you between the two options you are given. If the person taking the test is not sure about the meaning of the word you can hover over the word with your mouse and get an explanation. This was a feature that my son used several times to help him in choosing the best answer.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once you have completed the survey the program creates a career report that helps analyze which careers might be a good fit. This report includes motivators and de-motivators, career attributes, and career match.

The career information is where I think this program becomes most beneficial. Honestly, I felt like the test picked up some great insight into my son’s personality but it also does not take into account skills and interests. However, the career information and data base was full of some really great information and the career options that it listed were not bad choices for my son. He had never really thought about a career as a manager but most of his options were some type of managerial role. Once he read the report he felt like some of those roles might be of interest to him. A few days after he had taken the test and looked over the report an older gentleman who was on a volunteer work crew at our church took my son aside to tell him how hard he was working and that he had done a great job that day. In the conversation he told him that if had not yet chosen a career he should really look into a management position because he thought he would do well.

 

Cash Crunch Careers 

We enjoyed looking at the various careers and the being able to find colleges that matched those careers as well as projected information about the future of those careers. I think that as my son gets older this will be a great data base of information that he can use as he explores various career paths. There were also some videos about the careers but they were older videos that would be more useful if they were updated based on today’s technology.

Overall, while this program did not provide the in depth career assessment that I was hoping for (taking into account talents and interests and not just personality traits), I do think that it provided us with valuable information. I believe that we will continue to use the career data base as we move forward and my son gets more serious about deciding on an educational and vocational path.  I encourage you to check out CashCrunch Careers over at the CashCrunch Games and while you are there check out their other educational games that help teach economics.  Also, check our the other Review Crew reviews to see how the program worked with a variety of different ages and personalities.

CashCrunch Careers {CashCrunch Games Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.