The Cat of Bubastes ~ Review

The Cat of Bubastes
Guess what? You may have heard our excitement when we we were again picked for an audio drama review. Heirloom Audio Productions has done it again! Their new release, The Cat of Bubastes, is another one of our favorite audio dramas. This is the sixth drama realease of G.A. Henty's books by Heirloom Audio Productions.

Most audio productions that we have listened to have been books by G.A.Henty. They help bring the book to life. By listening to a book made into an audio adventure, my children have become more interested in reading the actual book.

About G. A. Henty ~
Born in 1832, Henty became an exceptional English author and war correspondent. His stories are historical and adventurous. They became popular in the late nineteenth century and are still widely read today.

About The Cat of Bubastes ~
This story is about a young prince, Amuba, in ancient Egypt around the time period of 1250 B.C. During a battle with the Egyptians which leaves his father, the King of Rebu, dead, Amuba is captured and taken to be a servant and companion for Chebron, the son of Ameres, the high priest of Osiris. These two boys get caught up in a mystery after uncovering evidence of a murder plot. Eventually, they have to run away after accidentally causing the death of the successor to the Cat of Bubastes, the most sacred animal in Egypt. 

Study Guide The Cat of Bubastes Sample

Included with the 2-CD set, are some digital bonuses. The bonuses I received are as follows:

  • Cat of Bubastes MP3 Set
  • Cat of Bubastes e-book
  • Official MP3 Soundtrack
  • Printable Cast Poster
  • Study Guide and Discussion
  • Inspirational Verse Poster
  • Behind the Scenes Video
The e-study guide and discussion booklet is 47 pages long filled with a lot of information. There are three main parts to the study guide: listening well, thinking further, and defining word.
  • The Listening Well ask questions about what your child remembers while listening to the story
  • The Thinking Further questions are a little bit more difficult where your child needs to think a bit more about the answers
  • The Defining Word section are words to look up that require a dictionary to broaden your child's vocabulary
One of my favorite parts of the study guide are the little tid bits that are posted on several pages. In this study guide they are called "Expand Your Learning" that you can see in the sample above. I also love that they include a three page Bible Study at the end of the guide. 

What did we think of The Cat of Bubastes?
Another 5 star production of The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A.Henty! Again, we loved this production and loved how the book comes to life. We love the humor, the suspense, and the adventure. We usually listen the first time without using the study guide, but we go back and re-listen to the story while using the study guide. We always get hooked on the first listen and don't worry about the time. The kids just want to know what is going to happen next and will listen to the two hours in one sitting. They love these and hope that Heirloom Audio Productions will produce more audio dramas. 

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

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Wordless Wednesday

My youngest daughter lost her 1st tooth last Friday!


Ultimate Phonics Reading Program ~ Review

I was given the opportunity to review the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program from Spencer Learning for my kindergarten daughter.

Ultimate Phonics is a complete no frills program that helps people of any age with learning to read or to become better readers. This program comes with 262 lessons that start with the basic letter sounds and moves through with introductions of special sounds and sight words. The program introduces over 4,000 words and over 2,000 sentences. The program also introduces apostrophes and word endings. With each lesson, you are able to choose from six page types that are organized into four parts which are as follows: Idea/Pattern page, Word List page, Words page, and Sentence page. Each lesson will focus on a specific letter pattern and sound combination and every lesson builds on the previous lesson.

Ultimate phonics is designed to be easy to use for any age. It can be used as a stand alone phonics program or as a supplement. To get the best results from ultimate phonics, it is best to do the lessons in order if using as a stand alone phonics. When using as a supplement, it is okay to skip around to different lessons. Each lesson is fairly short and does not take much time to complete each day.

Each lesson is easy to navigate by using the green arrow to go through each page of the lesson. The bottom left tells the student what page they are on and how many pages total there are in a lesson. To find a certain lesson just click on the word find at the top and type in what you are looking for. This program is easy enough for even a five year old to use.

I have been using another phonics program with my kindergarten daughter and I tried to use this as a supplement with her. Our main phonics program (we are only about 50 lessons in) moves quite a bit slower than this program and she was not ready to use both of the programs. She would get confused when we went over the main program and then try to use this program also. Our main phonics program has not yet introduced the special sounds yet and I think that is what confused her. I feel that if she had already completed kindergarten this would be a great program for her to use. When we do get to the special sounds in her main phonics, I will be using this more with her to see if it helps her any. She also did not like how plain it was. She told me it was boring. I think for some children the no frills, no cartoon type pictures would help them to better focus. Overall, I feel this program would work as a main phonics for the kindergarten age and as supplement for 1st grade and above. Since I had already started another phonics program, I didn't want her to get confused, so she worked on many of the beginning lessons several times. I'm looking forward to when we start introducing the special sounds in our phonics program to see how Ultimate Phonics will help her as she progresses in her reading throughout her kindergarten year.

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}

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Weekly Wrap Up

Last Friday, we took a trip to Lake Waccamaw (NC) to visit with my mom who was in town for a ladies retreat. We had a beautiful day and great fellowship.

This past Monday, my oldest son started his drivers ed course at the local high school. He has been enjoying it, but is ready for it to be over. Four days done, seven days to go.

Our homeschool is at the end of the 1st quarter. My boys who are taking high school classes are taking exams and I am averaging their grades. So far, my oldest has a 93 in geometry and a 97 in world geography. I'll get to the others this weekend.

The first day of fall was yesterday and my K5'er completed a fall art project. The tree is her hand and arm and the leaves are her fingerprints.

We have had a great week and a great 1st quarter of school.
We have also been busy with review items for the Homeschool Review Crew. Some reviews I am working on that will be posted in the upcoming weeks are Heirloom Audio Adventures, Carole P. Roman books, and My FreezEasy. I have several more, but these are some of the favorites around here.


The Pray-ers ~ Book Review

For the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to read a powerful book on the importance of prayer in our lives. The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles is the first novel of a planned trilogy published by CTM Publishing Atlanta that is written by Mark S. Mirza.

About the Author:
Mark S. Mirza is founder of Common Threads Ministry which helps people with prayer. He was also the men's prayer leader at Dr. Charles Stanley's church in Atlanta. He states that prayer doesn't come easy and we all have to work at it. He wrote this novel for others because he says when he finishes a book, he wants to say he learned something from the book.

About The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles:
In this book, we are introduced to three main characters, each living in a different time period, Epaphras, Alexander Rich, and Dale Riley.

Epaphras lived during the Bible times in the 1st century. He was a colleague of the Apostle Paul. Although he is not mentioned much in the Bible, he was a passionate pray-er who sought God's help.

Alexander Rich lives in Georgia at the time of the Civil War. He is focused on helping his church flock to keep their eyes on God.

Dale Riley is a track and cross country coach at Macon Poly Technic University. He is also the leader of a men's ministry. He must remain focused on God through his daily life.

We are also introduced to several demons and angels throughout the story. Before reading the book, the preface should be read also, as this is where Mr. Mirza explains what we need to know about his writings of the angels and demons. There is also some notes in the back of the book with the angels and demons name pronunciations.

What I thought:
This book was very deep and at first hard to get into. It took a lot out of me each time I sat down to read it. But, there are several things I did learn from this book. The main thing is that we are facing a spiritual warfare everyday. We need to pray about everything everyday. Another thing I liked about the book is the use of footnotes throughout the book. It is helpful to be able to look up the scripture that is being referenced when needed. I had planned for myself to read this book and then to let my teen (14 and 13) boys read the book, but I think this book is geared more for young adults (18) and up. Overall, I did enjoy reading this book and it was helpful to me at this time in my life. I plan on reading book 2 when it is published.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

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HelpTeaching.com ~ Review

I sometimes like to supplement our work with printables during the year. For the last several weeks, I have been using some worksheets from the Help Teaching Pro Subscription from HelpTeaching.com.

I used the website with my kindergarten daughter, but there are lessons, worksheets, and more for up to grade 12. There are several sections/parts to the website that are helpful for any age.

There are many sections on the website that I will give an overview on. The first section is the tests and worksheets section. This is where you will find worksheets on English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Seasonal and Holiday, Early Education, Arts and Music, Study Skills and Strategies, Graphic Organizer, and Physical Education. Since I was using this with my K5'er, there were some sections that did not have any worksheets for her age group. I did use many of the printables from the math and early education section. And as the holidays get closer, I will be using some of the worksheets from the holidays section as well.

The next section is the lessons section. There are several new lessons in this section for pre-k and K. Each letter of the alphabet is available as a lesson where they watch a short video that lists the sound of the letter and several words that start with that letter. After they watch the video, the child can then answer some questions about the letter (online). Some other lessons for the pre-k and k level, are sight words and other vocabulary words. Some of the lessons also have printable worksheets that accompany them for the child to work on after the lesson.

Another part of the lessons section that we liked is the read alouds. There are several books that are read aloud via a video and also have a printable worksheet that accompanies the read alouds.

There is also a games section where you can go in and make up a printable game worksheet. They have a bingo generator, word search generator, and words bingo card generator. You are able to put in any value you would like for your game.

The last section on HelpTeaching.com is the test section. There are three options given to you and they are as follows:

  1. Create a test: with a Help Teaching Pro Subscription you are able to have up to 100 questions on the test
  2. Use the library to find questions
  3. Create a quick test: type in a keyword and it will generate some questions
Lastly, there is also an option to have the child take an online test. With the pro subscription, you have unlimited access to online tests and quizzes.

What we thought of HelpTeaching.com:
At first it was hard for me to find worksheets for my daughter to work on, but when I started digging through all of the content I was able to find several for her. She needs help with her numbers, so math was my main focus during the review period. As new seasons and holidays approach, I will begin using several of the worksheets in that category. Another part that we enjoyed that I mentioned above, is the read aloud section. There are a few short books at the kindergarten level to choose from that also have worksheets to go along with the story. Overall, we have enjoyed using the worksheet and lesson parts of HelpTeaching.com. It is a great way to supplement.

Help Teaching Pro Subscription {HelpTeaching.com}

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Kindergarten Poems ~ Printable

The Abeka Kindergarten curriculum includes memorizing thirteen poems. I wanted these poems in a printed form, so I decided to copy them and add a picture to each poem. You can access the poems (except for one that I couldn't find) by clicking here or the picture above.


The Biggest Story ~ Review and Giveaway

The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film (DVD)

*This post may contain affiliate links*

I was recently sent The Biggest Story DVD and CD to review. The Biggest Story is a book written by Kevin DeYoung that was published in August of 2015. Recently, the story was brought to life through an animated short film and an audio cd.

About the animated short film:
The DVD is narrated by Kevin DeYoung and is about 30 minutes long. It brings the pictures from the book to life. The story is about God's plan for us from creation until His return. It also features beautifully animated illustrations adapted from the book, The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film will captivate children and parents alike as they see how all the classic stories in the Bible connect to Scripture’s overarching message about God’s glorious plan to redeem his rebellious people.

About the audio book:
This audio book of The Biggest Story—written and narrated also by the best-selling author Kevin DeYoung—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ's death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.

My kids and I enjoyed listening to and watching this story come to life. We had not heard of this story before the review, but now we are interested in also reading through the book. Both the cd and DVD come with a two-sided colorful poster. We highly recommend the DVD and CD.

Enter below for the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"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.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

I received sample copies in exchange for an honest review. No further compensation was received.  


Mid Quarter School Update

We have been schooling for almost 8 weeks now, which means we are actually almost to the end of our first quarter and exams! I cannot believe how fast the time is flying. My two boys who are taking high school classes are doing great with their classes. My two girls are also doing great. 

We took some time to go to the lake last week and it was great to have a day off and enjoy the last of the summer. Next week, we are meeting my mom at Lake Waccamaw and I plan to take school pictures. 

Some upcoming filed trips we would like to take are a trip to the zoo, a trip to the aquarium, and a trip to the fair. 

It's always nice to get started early and be able to take breaks/ days off when needed. I look forward to having a great rest of the school year.



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