Beloved Books- Review

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One of our favorite pastimes is listening to old time radio shows. I love the wholesomeness of the stories, the anticipation, and the visualizing of the characters that are coming to life in the stories. There's not much out there like that anymore. It seems television prevails. If you watch much of it, you know as well as I do that there's not much in the way of "family" shows. For this reason, I was very excited to review the Sugar Creek Gang audio books on CD from Beloved Books.
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From the website:
"In 1939, Paul Hutchens began writing a series of wholesome Christian adventure books for boys and girls.  Several years ago Paul Ramseyer was inspired to dramatize the book series for radio.  Now your family can own and enjoy the complete 36-book audio series... over 100 hours on 72 CDs!


These Sugar Creek Gang "Audio Adventures" are dramatically read straight from the original books.  Christian families LOVE this series because the gospel message is presented in such a simple, easy-to-understand style.  The whole series is, in fact, a discipleship journey... even parents who listen along witness the Holy Spirit working changes in their own hearts!
Families also enjoy the delightfully interspersed segments of nature study, poetry, hymns, and even science lessons... all skillfully woven into the fabric of the stories."


The Sugar Creek Gang Volume 1 series is available for purchase for $54.95 and includes FREE media rate shipping.


This volume of CDs contains the following stories:

The Swamp Robber
The Killer Bear
The Winter Rescue
The Lost Campers
Chicago Adventure
The Secret Hideout


A sample CD of of the story can also be purchased for $4.95 and includes free shipping as well! There are 6 volumes in total. 

My son usually listens to radio shows before he goes to bed, but once he got his hands on the Sugar Creek Gang, he liked it so much that he listened to the stories throughout the day and was finished with volume 1 in 3 days. He loved it! 

Unlike some audio books, I found the narrator very easy to listen to and the stories that came to life definitely fit the bill of being family friendly. As I write this, a fire is burning in our wood stove and the cold wind is whipping around outside, and it comes to mind that the audio books from Beloved Books would be the perfect accompaniment on a cold winter's evening. I highly recommend this series and I am looking forward myself to ordering more of their products. I am very grateful for this review opportunity!

If you have any questions, email belovedbks@aol.com, call 810-735-0977, or send mail to:
Beloved Books
PO Box 878
Fenton, MI 48430



Samson's Classrom- Review

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As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I recently had the opportunity to review Samson's Classroom. Honestly, I didn't get the chance to review this product as much as I would have liked to due to being very ill the past several weeks. I am still battling bronchitis and a very bad sinus infection along with a couple of other things so I'm afraid this review might be a bit lacking, but I will do my best to tell you about the product and how we used it. 

You can view the DEMO of the program to get a good idea of how the program works. 

Complete PRICING information can be found on their website but the Home Plan for 1 student is $30 per year and the Family Plan for 4 users is $50.

I liked how the program included Lesson Plans and Worksheets like "Capital Clues" to help students learn upper and lowercase letters and "Trace Them All", to name a couple. All worksheets come up as a PDF file and are printable. 


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Categories include "Sight Words", "Spelling", and "Reading". Each Sight Words lesson is a game that was developed to help students master the 224 most commonly used words in the English language. Spelling includes over 5,000 words and counting and Reading helps students to analyze reading material and to draw their own conclusions.

The program has a dashboard and a scoreboard, both of which are great features to have in order to keep track of the student's progress and problem areas.

Here are a few screenshots of the program:

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This program was actually a bit over my son's head. To be fair, he is still in preschool and just was not ready for much of the material. He soon became bored with the games that he did play, but again, I think it was because he wasn't ready for it. We have utilized other online programs that we liked much better for this stage of my son's education, but I think had he been a bit older this would have been a great program and a great fit for our family. The games lack the bells and whistles of some other programs, but the content is solid and I feel that when my son is ready, this program will be highly beneficial to him!


Contact information: 518-356-0039
                                      general@knowledgewand.com
                                      242 Union Street, Ste. 2A
                                      Schenectady, NY 12305


Find them on FACEBOOK!





Baby C LOVES #LeeMinHo!

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My 2 & 1/2 year old declaring her love for Min Ho! Normally, it's Kim Hyun Joong she's talking about! 

#Korea....My Latest Obsession

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Thanks to my daughter, the one over at Whimsy Hive, I am now hooked on Korean Dramas, food, and even KPop! Not quite sure how that happened since I don't like reading subtitles, I don't normally like spicy food, and I could never imagine listening to songs with words I couldn't understand but I guess she has rubbed off on me. She has actually been very interested in Korean culture for a couple of years now and has been teaching herself to speak Korean for several months. 

In all honesty, I should have watched some of the shows with her and checked the music out long before now just to make sure there was nothing inappropriate about any of it but since I trusted her I kind of put it off. I was pleasantly surprised when I did finally decide to see what it was all about. The Korean dramas are MUCH more modest than American shows, there is hardly any foul language at all (actually none in most of them that I've watched), and the music artists actually have a set of standards they must follow when it comes to their music videos and behavior. 



My daughter is only in her Freshman year of high school, but we have made the decision to go to Seoul, Korea for her Senior trip in a few years. We are both very excited about this and although it may seem a bit early, we are already beginning preparations. For starters, we are saving for the trip and I have also decided that I will attempt to learn to speak & read Korean!



My 2 & 1/2 year old has known who Lee Min Ho and Kim Hyun Joong is for about a year now.  She can be in the middle of a major melt down but if you say "Hyun Joong" to her, she will stop crying and start laughing saying his name over and over again. 



Right now, I am watching The Great Doctor (Faith) on Viki. It's awesome!  It actually airs on SBS on Monday and Tuesday nights and then I have to wait for it to be translated to English so I can watch it on Viki. I'm all caught up, to episode 20 so I am impatiently waiting until next week for the next 2 episodes. There will only be 2 more episodes after that and although I will be sad for the show to be over, I'm excited to find out just how it will end. 

I've also watched City HunterYou're Beautiful (Lee Hong Ki is SO funny as "Jeremy"), and Boys Over Flowers and am getting ready to watch Playful Kiss (because my daughter says I should). If you don't mind reading subtitles, you should definitely browse the shows on Viki.com or Dramafever.com. The subs don't bother me at all now and I am even starting to learn some Korean words by watching them.

Baby C frequently walks around the house belting out Korean songs. Super Junior's Sorry Sorry is a huge favorite of hers!
I'm still discovering the music, but here are some of my favorites:







As for the food, my daughter made Korean Spaghetti a couple of weeks ago and it is now one of my favorite dishes! I'm rather surprised that I like it so much considering it has mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic, spinach and soy sauce which are all things I really don't care for. It was seriously delish though!


We are planning on trying to make Kimchi next. I'll let you know how it turns out (or doesn't)! Until then.....annyeonghi gaseyo.

This Is Your Kingdom Come Now CD Review

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This Is Your Kingdom Come is the newest release from Vineyard Music. Featuring songs written by Casey Corum along with friends and family,  Casey is the chief creative officer for Vineyard Worship and the worship pastor for the Sugar Land Vineyard Church outside of Houston, TX.  This is Casey's first release of original material since his title track "Dwell" was featured on a 2003 Vineyard Music compilation.

While the entire album wasn't exactly my style, there were a couple of songs that I really enjoy listening to. Heaven Come Down is one of them. I also really like Where The Mercy Falls and can see that song being used in a movie sound track! It's that good! Check out the websites below for more information on Vineyard Music & Casey Corum!





Listen to previews of tracks on the Casey Corum website! 











Kyle Sherman - Hear Me CD Review

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Honestly, I had never heard of Kyle Sherman until I reviewed his latest album, "Hear Me". While I love Southern Gospel music, I'm rather picky about other types of gospel music. I don't like it to sound too much like rock, but at the same time, I like it to have that special something that grabs me and says "Hey! You! Listen here!"I was pleasantly surprised by Kyle's voice which has a southern soul and sometimes blues feeling to it. The entire album really is an eclectic mix and no two songs sounded the same. I think my absolute favorites on this release is "Come To Me" and "The Greatest Tear". Kyle's guitar playing really adds that special something to each song and I felt myself being drawn to listen to him. If you are looking for something new to listen to, I highly recommend visiting  http://www.kyleshermanmusic.com to hear the previews of the tracks from this newest release! 

Album Tracks include: 

Hear Me
Come to Me
Fountains
He Prayed For me
All Things New (Hallelujah)
Heaven
Build It On The Rock
One True Friend
New Life
You Are The Only One
The Greatest Tear
Healing Coming Down
Come To Me - Original Version


The entire album can also be purchased online!

Find Kyle Sherman on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and YOUTUBE.


    Box of I.D.E.A.S. Salt - Review

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    "Box of I.D.E.As. is a company dedicated to creating delightful interactive learning modules centered around random subject areas. Explorers will be irresistibly drawn into critical thinking & knowledge building activites through an amazing variety of fun topics."

    Suited for kids aged 9-16, topics include: 

    • Eleven (The Eleven Box of IDEAs is an amazing trip through a plethora of subjects. Inspired by the number eleven.)
    • Salt
    • Laundry
    • WWII
    • Quilting
    • Laundry
    • More coming soon!
    As a Schoolhouse Review Crew member, I received the SALT Box of I.D.E.As. Physical Box which retails for $79.00.
    Includes: 

    "Description

    Our Salt Box of IDEAs is a comprehensive look at salt and how it has helped to shape history, nourish our bodies and even build and destroy empires. This Box delves into history, geography, science, language, political systems and much more. Salt—something that your children see and probably use every single day—can be a wonderful stepping stone to opening their minds to so very much.
    Modules include:
    The History Of Salt - A gateway to learning world history through the ages. Take a ‘salty journey’ through time! This module gives an overview of how salt has had an influence in the world in so many ways - from building empires to starting wars.  The portfolio piece gives your child a chance to use their imagination and recreate history how THEY want to do it while the chronology of the activity portion helps them to learn the sequence of world events while having fun playing a game.
    The Science Of Salt - Bring science into your home through experiments with salt. Make science FUN!  All the supplies are included in this module to allow your kids to set up their own 'labratory' and investigate the answers to some burning salt questions!  A lab write up encompasses the portfolio piece to go along with the actual experiment activity.
    The Salt March -An entre into the history of India and Mahatma Ghandi, one of history’s most important figures.  The history of India is long and storied and this module will open doors for you to direct your kids to a more in depth investigation of this most interesting place - from civil disobedience to a culture so different from their own.  The portfolio piece is a matching exercise while the factual chronology of the activity that deals directly with the Salt March itself will give them greater understanding into this singular act of civil disobedience that helped free a country from foreign rule.
    The Salt of the Earth - Your children will love learning about their own country and those around the world as well when they become part of the investigation to find out where exactly salt is produced.  A huge variety of countries are involved in salt production and through the portfolio piece, which teaches graphing skills, to the activity mapping exercise, your kids will enjoy their hunt for the highest, and lowest, salt producing countries of the world.
    Need For Salt - Humans and other animals need salt to live - without it we would cease to function.  The key is to get enough without getting too much.  In an effort to teach responsible nutrition and give your kids the ability to quickly and easily read food lables, this module delves into how much is too much and what we actually require.  By finding and listing high and low sodium foods and then making up a daily meal plan while keeping within certain limits, kids can acquire a skill that will serve them well for a lifetime of healthy eating.
    Preserving With Salt - When mankind realized that food could be preserved with salt, the whole world changed.  People were suddenly not tied down to one place, exploration was suddenly possible and making it through the winter a more likely event.  This module concentrates on food safety and the facts of preservation - the why and the how as well as key terms.  Math skills come into effect in the portfolio piece while the fast paced board game will make learning the facts of preservation lots of fun!
    Too Much Salt - While most people are aware of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, many don't realize just how common salt lakes are.  They are a source of salt and a source of life for many creatures.  Your children will learn all about salt lakes and their functions as well as how they are formed in this informative module.  They will use critical math skills and logic to solve problems regarding volume, area and salinity.
    The Wall That Salt Built - Take your kids on a Chinese adventure!  While most know of the Great Wall, few are aware of salt's role in its formation.  The portfolio is designed to make your children use their minds to understand why salt was so important while the activity portion of the module concentrates on the construction of the wall itself over hundreds and hundreds of years.
    Where Salt Lives - Salt can be found in several different places from which is it extracted for our use.  This module will take you and your kids to all the places that salt lives before it travels to your local grocery store!  The portfolio exercise will have your children critically reading a newspaper article regarding salt mining and then answering detailed questions about what they have read.  The activity deals with all of the places salt can be found and your child must reason as to where each fact is referring.
    The Language of Salt - Salt proliferates our language and that of languages the world over.  Whether a single word, an idiom or a place name, salt is everywhere attesting to its importance throughout history.  This module gives an overview of how salt helped to form many common sayings, names and words.  The portfolio challenges your child to decipher the meaning behind some common salt phrases while the activity has them matching words, phrases and place names with their definitions and origins."






     Studying the "Where Salt Lives" module.



    Also available is the Salt PDF for $49.00, which includes:

    "Description
    The PDF version of the Salt Box of Ideas. Delivered in via instant download in an easy to manage Zip file.
    Our Salt Box of IDEAs is a comprehensive look at salt and how it has helped to shape history, nourish our bodies and even build and destroy empires. This Box delves into history, geography, science, language, political systems and much more. Salt, something that your children see and probably use every single day, can be a wonderful stepping stone to opening their minds to so very much.

    Highlights include:

    The History Of Salt, a gateway to learning world history through the ages. Take a "salty journey" through time!

    The Science Of Salt, bring science into your home through experiments with salt. Make science FUN!

    The Salt March, an entre into the history of India and Mahatma Ghandi, one of history's most important figures.

    The Geography of Salt, your children will love learning about their own country and those around the world as well."

    How we used this product:

    My daughter is in K12, which is a virtual online school. She frequently finishes her online lessons in just a couple of hours which leaves us having to add extra activities. She loves science, so she is whom I chose to review this curriculum with. We have used one module per week, for the past several weeks. The 3 we have reviewed so far are "Where Salt Lives", "The Language of Salt", and "Need for Salt". We are next planning on studying "The Salt March" module. She would simply grab a bag, and either sit at the kitchen table with it, or take it into her room with her, to do computer research. 
    What we thought about Box of I.D.E.As.:
    I love the idea of individual lesson bags. The "Need for Salt" lesson actually included a white-board dry-wipe marker, a list of the sodium content of foods, and a "Let's Eat Menu Planner" for use with the erasable marker. It was interesting seeing just how much sodium was in each meal and how much we consumed on a daily basis. Sometimes we consume more sodium that I thought and it seems to be hidden in foods everywhere. We don't eat many processed or pre-packaged foods, but those were some of the worst culprits!

    Each bag contains a sticker on the outside with the contents and materials needed as well as salt quotes. Once students are finished with all 10 modules, there is a 3 page exam to test their knowledge. The flashcards included are great to have and were very handy in helping my daughter to study and learn. The links included as a starting point for further research were immensely helpful! I was very pleased with the quality of all the materials I received and think the investment would be well worth every penny! 

    I've never used bag activities before, so my only issue is deciding how to store them. I don't really have room to keep them in the box they came from so I guess my next order of business is to check out Pinterest to try to find some sort of organizational system for these kind of lessons. What about you? Do you have a unique storage idea for them? If so, please share what works best for you! I'd love to hear about it!

    You can use this Contact Form if you have any questions about any of the Box of I.D.E.As. products.
    Be sure to like them on FACEBOOK too!





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