Thursday, May 23, 2013


 I just finished up another amazing year homeschooling Batman.   One of the reasons why our year has gone so smoothly is because I use Evan-Moor curriculum.  Math, science, geography, history pockets, vocabulary, name it!   I really like that it is core-curriculum that is easily organized and user friendly.   Batman likes it and I'm committed to using their products for years to come.   

I introduced Evan-Moor Learning Line Flashcards to Batman a few months ago and we've had so much fun with them.   These flashcards are great for ages 4-7 and target reading, math, and other learning concepts.   Each pack of flashcards contains 56 sturdy, full-color cards including an activity card to show you different ways to use them.   

Learning Line flashcards include free access to Evan-Moor's online timed tests and interactive activities to add another dimension to flashcard practice.   They even have a wide selection of Learning Line activity books that correspond to the flashcards.

  Just $4.99 each for ages 4-7!

Here are some fun ways I use flashcards with Batman and also his buddy Tiny Terror:

 This is the very first day I ever introduced Batman to multiplication.  He totally got it!   He worked for over an hour with his flashcards as he grouped his manipulatives.  He loved it and continues to work on learning his multiplication facts each week.  Not bad for a first grader!

 Batman wanted to be timed to see how many flashcards he could get right in one minute.   He loves games like this!
 For every right answer, Batman got to stack a block.  When he was done he tried to shoot it with his nerf gun.  It's a boy thing!
Flashcards are a good way to give mommies a break when you need a few minutes away from teaching!
Here is Richie's friend, Tiny Terror using the Color and Shape cards.    He's matching some color manipulatives to his color coded flashcards and also saying the name of the color.  Tiny Terror is only 19 months old and is doing great!

I recommend these flashcards as a wonderful learning tool for your child.   These are great to use in the car, waiting in line at the store, and for a change in your classroom routine.  I love that each card is in color and that the cards are very durable.

I received a copy of the above mentioned product to help facilitate the writing of a frank and honest review.   A positive review is not guaranteed.  All opinions are my own.  Your results and opinion may vary.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


 I'm just finishing up my second year of homeschooling my son "Batman".    I've spent countless hours researching everything that has to do with homeschooling.  That is except, how to properly track grades and activities.
I was so happy to have been given the opportunity by Mosaic Reviews to learn about this process using My Home School Grades.    Now I can get a jump start on documenting results the easiest way I know how.

A solid transcript is key to success and further advancement.   This service manages grades and activities for every child in your family.  It provides your child with a professional and official college ready transcript.

I have to say that this is a super easy program to use.  Simply login and follow the easy to use prompts.   The first thing you do is go to the section "Add a student".   This is where you insert your child's name along with an optional profile picture. 

Next, simply add the title of each specific class, credit hours, school year, length of the class, and grade level.  You can even code if the class was an ap/honors class.   Don't see the specific curriculum offered that you want to add?   Simply request MHSG to add it and they will.  Grades can be entered as a letter, number, or fraction. 

One area that I especially liked was that you can also document "activities" in each transcript.   If your child has participated in music for example, then this is the place to notate it.   Don't see your particular activity from the drop down menu?   Simply contact MHSG's and they will add it for you.

  MHSG's can be accessed by any laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Now you're just one click away from an official looking transcript.

My Home School Grades is offering everyone a free 14 day trial.  If you love it as much as I do then you'll want to join fast!  A lifetime family membership is just $49.99!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hands On Math with K'NEX

Batman loves math and anything that requires building.   I came upon this really cool kit K'NEX Education-Elementary Math and Geometry a few months ago on amazon.  I thought it would be a perfect accompany to our math lessons.  Batman thinks it's a treat to build things for school work.  We ended up working on this kit for two solid hours!    I was able to solidly teach new concepts to Batman that he grasped quite clearly.
   This set allows children to build, investigate, and explore math and geometry concepts in a 2-D and 3-D world.  There is a teacher's guide that covers key terms and vocabulary.   There are also 142 K'NEX parts and enough parts to build 38 lessons.   The possibilities are endless.   I loved that  each lesson offered a series of questions to ask the student.
Here is Batman building a 3-D rectangular prism.  Today we talked about lines & angles, triangles, squares, rectangles and learned what a quadrilaterals is.   We then moved on to 2-D and 3-D shapes and had fun building every type of example.   Here are a few questions I asked Batman:

1.  How many faces on each shape?
2.  How many edges on each shape?
3.  How many vertices does each shape have?

We have much more to do with this kit.  I can see us using this to discuss fractions, symmetry, congruency, angles, and so much more.


This review is based on my own personal opinion.  I wasn't asked nor compensated by K'NEX in anyway to do this review.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Have you ever heard of such a thing?  I hadn't but I was excited to get a copy of my new Waterproof Bible by Bardin and Marsee Publishing to check out.   When I first received the bible I sat down and frankly was in awe over how the pages felt.  They were lightweight, smooth, and 100% plastic.  I showed my husband the Bible and he thought that it was the coolest thing and perfect for him since he travels at times with job.   He immediately asked if he could have it.   

*New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs
*Extremely Durable Synthetic Pages
*100% Worry Free
*100% Rip proof
*Stain Resistant
*Ultra  Clear Text
*Ability to write and underline using pencil, dry highlighter, and ball point pens
*No bleed thru
*Ideal for traveling, backpacks, tote bags, or purses
*Multiple Designs and Versions

Perfect for traveling, camping, missions, fishing, lounging, and more.   You can have 100% confidence that your Bible will withstand anything.

It is available in five popular versions.
*English Standard Version (ESV)
*King James Version (KJV)
*New King James Version (NKJV)
*New International Version (NIV)
*New Living Translation (NLT)

Each version is available as a full Bible for $44.95 or as a new Testament with Psalms and Proverbs for $24.95.   There are three different cover options:  pink & brown, blue wave, and sportsman camouflage.

Now to the test...
I took the bible outside, wet it, and threw dirt on it.   
I let it sit one hour in a sink full of water. 
I simple let the Bible air dry and came back to my beautiful Bible in perfect condition.

This is such a perfect Bible for everyone!   Anyone, even your children, can enjoy reading this.  Now you can take your bible anywhere, anytime and don't have to worry that it will be damaged in anyway!  Love this!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Etiquette Factory

The Etiquette Factory 
for Mosaic Reviews

As a member of Mosaic Reviews I was given the opportunity to review Etiquette for Beginners by The Etiquette Factory.   This program is created by a fellow homeschool mom, Monica Irvine (a.k.a. Ms. Mary Manners) who is a certified etiquette instructor.  The Etiquette Factory is a 3-level approach to teaching proper manners.    Starting with the basics like good hygiene to going on a job interview as a teen, children will learn etiquette in a simple, fun way.

This program is for children from preschool to fourth grade.   It's a 12-week course that covers topics including table manners, good hygiene, being a guest, and a clean mouth.   This is a program that only takes a few minutes each day to implement.   Parents get a Teacher's Manual that clearly reviews the etiquette skill to be covered.   Each week your child will focus on one etiquette skill by watching a dvd lesson with Ms. Mary Manners .   Then they will hear a great story that further illustrates the etiquette skill.   Next, children have fun as they sing and dance using the Jukebox DVD.   The songs are really fun and your child will love them.  Statistics show children learn more when singing, rhyming, and chanting so this cd is a sure hit.   At the end of the program for the week, children will "Make a Special Treat".   These treats are simply a way celebrate their accomplishment of finishing a week of etiquette training.

A  great addition to the program is teaching children their table manners with the instructional placemats.   Sold in a set of four, these laminated placemats are colorful and teach exactly how to set a table using the diagram.  Helpful table manner hints are also written on the placemats such as "remember to thank the cook".

There are also two other levels for your child to master as they get older.  
Level 2: Etiquette Intermediate 4th grade and up
Level 3:  Etiquette Masters for Teens
Buy all three levels for $99.95.

*I thought the program was extremely easy to use.  The Teacher's Manual was clear and it took very little time and effort to implement the topic of the week.
*My son "Batman" loved the songs and really had fun with it.
*The placemats are awesome!  Batman loves to set the table correctly each day.
*My son six year old has definitely learned from this program.

*The Beginner Combo is $69.95 which I felt to be a bit steep in price.
*The "Make a Special Treat"  food item almost always involved a sugary treat with ingredients like m&m's, fruit roll-ups, sprinkles, and candy toppings.   I would've liked to see healthier food choices to give.