11/07/2018

Kidzaw Master Kitz The Starry Night ~ Review

The Starry Night Review

Since my girls love to paint and create their own artistic pictures, I knew they would enjoy creating a masterpiece from Kidzaw.com by using the Master Kitz The Starry Night kit.

The Starry Night kit came with the following:

  • Custom Acrylic Paints (child friendly)

  • Custom Oil Pastels (child friendly)

  • 1 van Gogh Roller specially designed to replicate van Gogh’s active stroke

  • 1 re-usable Starry Night Cyprus Stencil

  • 1 standard paint roller

  • 2 pieces deluxe art paper

  • 1 low tack “Mesmerizing Stars” sticker sheet

  • Fun, easy-to-understand van Gogh learning materials

  • Easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions

My daughters decided to work on this project together. They took out all of the supplies from the box and set everything up before starting. My oldest read through each step of the directions while she and my seven year old worked on each step together.

They put on the “reusable” sticker stars, but after they had painted the poster board, they could not get the stickers to come off easily. The poster IMG_20181106_100458board ripped and some of the stickers also started to rip. I’m not sure if they used too much paint or if they were to wait for it to dry before taking the stickers off. The instructions never said to let the paint dry on any of the steps, so they kept on working without letting anything dry.


After taking the stickers off, they then used the supplied stencil to make the houses. They both enjoyed this part because it was simple and fast. After IMG_20181106_102016using the stencil, they used the oil pastels to create the stars and shade in some of the foreground.

Although, it didn’t turn out exactly how it supposed to, my girls did enjoy creating this work of art. They also read through the included pamphlet about Vincent Van Gogh and was able to learn more about the artist.

They did have a lot of fun using the kit and working together. They said they would love to try out more of the kits and create more masterpieces. They are going to try to make The Starry Night one more time with the other piece of poster board that was included to see if they can somehow get it to turn out a little bit better.

I though this kit was a great way to introduce children to various artists and be able to create the artists famous works. The kits would make a great gift IMG_20181106_102108for someone that loves art. These kits would also be great to use in a homeschool when studying different artists. It would be great to have a collection for you and your child to enjoy over the years.

My girls would give this kit 4 stars since the stars ripped and the directions were not clear on if they should let the paint dry before going to the next step.

Overall – they loved creating this masterpiece and would love to create more!They have already asked to get another kit to try out. They may find one under the Christmas tree.

Be sure to click below to see what other crew members thought of The Starry Night kit.

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10/17/2018

Heirloom Audio Productions ~ Review

Heirloom Audio ReviewWe love reviewing audio adventures, so when it was time for the new adventure from Heirloom Audio to be reviewed, my kids said “yes!”. We were so excited to receive our copy of St. Bartholomew’s Eve. Unfortunately, it was shipped right before Hurricane Florence and we had to wait an extra two weeks to receive it in the mail since mail delivery was on hold. But once it was delivered, we made sure to open it up and listen right away. It came at just the right time for us to have a distraction from all of the hurricane mess.

Heirloom Audio takes G.A> Henty books and turns them into an audio adventure your family will remember.  Their main goal is to bring the story to life to make the listener feel like they are actually in the story. It is like watching a great movie, but without the screen.

St. Bartholomew’s Eve takes place during the Huguenot War. It take place after the Reformation when the Huguenots are battling the Catholics for the right to worship God. Philip, who was raised in England, but has French ties from his mother,  goes with his cousin to France to help the Huguenots. Philip finds himself in many dangerous situations. When it came to what he thought was going to be the end, a voice from the crowd begins singing…A Mighty Fortress is Our God… Many of the Protestants did die during the St. Bartholomew’s Massacre, but there were also many that lived and had much more faith than when the war started.

As always, we enjoy listening to the audio adventures as a family. There is so much to learn from the stories, You are able to incorporate the story into your history lesson for the day. You can also listen and have a discussion with your children about the time period and how it is the same or different from today. There are many ways to use the audio drama in your homeschool.

My children would much rather listen to the well produced audio dram than have to sit and read the book. I do have one child that loves to read, but she also loves to listen to the drama stories. The actors do a wonderful job with the work and the production itself is well put together. We love how the sound effects make it feel like we are actually a part of the story. I also love that some well know actors help to make the productions. Brian Blessed (Star Wars), Elizabeth Counsell (Chronicles of Narnia), Andy Harrison (The Secret Garden), and Hugo Docking (Oliver Twist) are a few of the well known actors.

We never just listen to the drama once. We always have to listen again and see if there was anything we missed the first time. It never gets old or boring and it is like listening the first tie every time. 5 stars for Heirloom Audio Productions!

Make sure to read what other crew members that about St. Bartholomew’s Eve by clicking below.

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10/11/2018

Brinkman Adventures Season 6 ~ Review

Brinkman Adventures ReviewHaving reviewed Brinkman Adventures in the past, my family was excited to be able to listen to the brand new  Season 6: Underground Rising. We reviewed a digital download copy of this season. The season can also be purchased on a CD.

The missionary stories found on this season of Brinkman Adventures are real  stories about real missionaries. You can find out more about each story from the Real Stories page on the website. Season 6 is about two hours of listening time, perfect for car rides, during family Bible time, or really, anytime. You can even find a recipe on the page for some yummy treats.

The episodes that are included with season 6 are as follows:

  • Dutch Underground, Part 1 &2
    • Twice Born Fly
    • I Wonder Why
    • Free Burma Rangers, Part 1& 2

Not only are Brinkman Adventures great for Bible time, they are also great for learning geography. You can help your child find the places on the map where the stories take place. These are not just stories you can listen to, but they are action filled drama re-enactments that will make you feel like you are there with the missionaries. You can hear cars passing by, people talking in the background, bells ringing. You can also hear joy, excitement, fear, and heartache as you listen to each story.

Since many of the stories take place in the past, you can also use the stories to discuss the time period for history. For example, the story Dutch Underground takes place during World War II. This story would be great to listen to if you are studying that time period to  know how it affected different people. The story focuses on the Nazi’s in Holland.

We listened to each story during our homeschool day and discussed each story after listening. With having a wide range of ages in our family, we were able to have lengthy discussions with the teenagers and short to the point discussions with the elementary age child.  We discussed the time period and looked on a map to see where each story took place.  We also discussed what they thought it would be like to be the person during the time and how they would have handled each scenario.

It’s always difficult to pick a favorite since they are all well done stories and keep your attention the whole time, but for this season, I would have to say I enjoyed listening to the Twice Born Fly story. This story was based on a dream that Ian Brinkman had one night while he was sleeping. It talks about salvation and how with Jesus in us we should not fear death.

My boys enjoyed listening to the Free Burma Rangers story. My girls didn’t have a favorite. They enjoyed listening to each story and discussing the stories with us after listening. My seven year old enjoyed looking on the map to see the different ares where each story took place. As always, we definitely give Brinkman Adventures 5 stars!

Brinkman-Adventures-Season-Six-Discount-Coupon-Code-October-2018You can save 10% on Season 6 (or any item on the website) by using the code FALL10.






Read what the other crew members thought about Brinkman Adventures, Season 6 by clicking on the graphic below.

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9/21/2018

Alaska By The Way ~ Book Review

Alaska By The Way Book Review

Having been interested in Alaska since I was younger, I was excited to learn that the By The Way Book Series was adding an Alaska book to their book line. We were introduced to the books from By The Way last year when we reviewed their Florida book.

By The Way books are written by Joy Budensiek. After hearing a speaker mention that parents don’t talk  to their children about God. She wanted to create a series of books that would help parents discuss God and his creation to their children. She has already written several state books and one country (Ireland) book.

Alaska is a beautiful full color, hard back book. It is forty eight pages long and tells the story of Alex and Lexi as they journey through the state. They visit many wonderful places and see many animals along the journey, such as harbor seals, humpback whales, and Kodiak bears.

The books is written in a story format,but each page has a lot of information. When I read this book with my seven year old daughter, I did not read it straight through. We took our time reading through the book IMG_20180920_143856and discussing the different animals and people and towns in Alaska. There are also so many beautiful pictures to look at that show children God’s creation.

We reviewed the Florida book last year, so my daughter was excited when we received this book in the mail. She was excited to look at the pictures  and learn about Alaska. At the beginning of the book, there is a page that shows some objects to look for while reading the book. My daughter loves looking through the book to try to find the pictures.

I love that there are Bible verses interspersed throughout the story. The pictures are beautiful and there is so much information to digest. My IMG_20180920_143942daughter and I did learn about kittiwakes. I had never heard of this bird before and it was interesting to learn more about them. We actually looked up a sound bite of their call to see how different it was from the seagulls we have around our beaches here in North Carolina.


I highly recommend these books because they are written from a Christian viewpoint and they contain so much valuable information. These books would be a great tool to use for a state or country study.

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9/19/2018

Wordless Wednesday

While waiting for roads to clear up so we can go home, my kids have been reading and doing some school work while we are displaced from the hurricane.

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9/15/2018

Hurricane Florence

We live in Eastern North Carolina and have had to worry about Florence hitting us. My boss, who I also go to church with, invited us to stay at my workplace during the storm since they had extra beds, food, and a generator. We arrived on Wednesday and the storm came through on Thursday and it is still raining some today. The place where we are staying only lost power for a few hours Thursday evening around dinner time. A big tree also fell across the road during the storm and the firefighters and city workers came out during the storm to move it out of the road. My husband and son made it over to our house this morning to check on the house and everything was fine over there, just no power or water. We are doing okay where we are and will stay for a while longer. I will update in the next week or two.

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And it wasn’t all bad. SmileHere is our dessert from last night.

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9/12/2018

Kingdom Files ~ Book Review

Kingdom Files Book Review

I love reading books to my seven year old daughter. I try to find books that are fun and can keep her attention. We received two of the Kingdom Files books from Barbour Publishing to review.

Kingdom Files are Bible based biographies designed for children ages 8 – 12. Each book is divided into three parts. The fact file, the action file, and the power file. The fact file is  a  two page spread that gives information and a timeline about the person. The action file is the actual story about the person. The power file is where you can find memory verses and how the scripture applies to your daily life. There are also clue boxes throughout the story that help to understand the story better.

Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? tells the story of Mary. from the time she was visited by an angel until Jesus’ death and ascension into Heaven. It is a simple, easy to read, easy to understand story.

I read this book to my seven year old daughter. We went through the files, read the story, and read through each clue during the story. At the end of the story, we went through each power up and discussed how we can apply it to our lives. We also read through the memory verses.

My daughter already loves and knows her Bible stories. She was excited to listen to the story about Jesus’ mother and learn how Mary loved her Son so much. She recognized that the story was Biblically accurate. She loved reading through the power ups and learning how we can use this story to help us through our lives. She also was able to learn a few of the memory verses.

Who was Jonah? tells the story of Jonah. It is set up the same way with the fact file, action file, and power file. The story tells how Jonah was called by God to visit the city of Nineveh. Jonah didn’t want to visit the city, so he decided to run away. He gets caught up in a storm in the boat he is iin and the men on the boat tried to help Jonah by rowing the boat back to shore, but Jonah told them it wouldn’t work. Once Jonah was in the sea, the storm stopped. Jonah spent some time in the belly of a fish where he learned he needed to trust God. He finally makes his way to Nineveh and tells them what God told him to tell them. The city listened, but Jonah became upset. And it is at the end of the story where Jonah truly learns how God had taken care of him all throughout his journey.

My daughter also enjoyed this story and she learned that  God cares, God loves us, and God is faithful.

We look forward to reading more books in the Kingdom Files series. Be sure to check out the website for games and educator resources.


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9/08/2018

My Birthday Field Trip

Today is my birthday! Yesterday we went on a field trip to the Aurora Fossil Museum in Aurora, North Carolina. We had a good time.

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9/05/2018

Reading Eggs Workbook ~ Review

Having tried several different curriculum for my 7 year old daughter’s reading, she still somewhat struggles with reading. She loves trying new things, which I am very thankful for. She doesn't complain when I introduce a new curriculum to her. She gets excited to try something new. She wants to be able to read quickly and be able to love reading. I was able to try out Reading Eggs new reading workbooks. We reviewed 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade.

Reading Eggs is an online reading curriculum developed for children ages 2-13. It is an interactive website that uses games and songs to help your child learn to read or become a better reader. Reading Eggs has introduced a full line of workbooks for reading and math that go along with the lessons on the website. The workbook can also be used independently.

I had my daughter take the placement test for Reading Eggs since she is seven. It placed her at lesson 71. It didn't look like it went along with the book we had, so we started with just using the workbook on its own. I had her start at the beginning so she wouldn't miss anything. After looking more at the website, I realized I probably should have had her take the placement test at the Reading Eggspress level which is designed for ages 7-13. It looks like the lessons here go along with the workbook.

The workbook is designed to be used five days each week. The first two days included a short passage to read for comprehension. It asks you to circle or underline parts of the story and answer the questions about the story.

The next two days are devoted to spelling. Each week a rule or spelling pattern is introduced. There are short activities to do to learn the spelling words such as matching the word to a picture, unscrambling the words, and copying the words.

The final day the workbook introduces grammar. The second grade workbook introduces nouns, proper nouns, articles, adjectives, action verbs, linking verbs, adverbs, contractions, and much more.

We used the workbook for four days each week. I am using a great spelling program already, so I decided to skip the spelling days in the workbook. We went through the reading and the grammar portions of the workbook each week. My daughter has been looking forward to the book each day. She loves that the reading portions are short. I like that the student marks important parts of the story to help them retain the story better.

She has also been loving the grammar portion of the workbook. She looks forward to getting to the grammar portion each week and learning about the different types of nouns. I hadn't really introduced her to any grammar yet, but she seems to be picking up on it quickly.

We both enjoy using this book. I like that she is picking up on reading comprehension and remembering the stories she reads. She likes that it is fun. She enjoys looking at the colorful images. She enjoys reading the different short stories. And she enjoys learning about grammar (so far). We give this workbook 5 stars and will continue using it throughout this year.

If you purchase a workbook, I have a code that gives you 10% off the price. Use code WK10BEEENYU when checking out. In addition, you can sign up for 4 free weeks of Reading Eggs by clicking on this link.
Online Reading Eggs Suite {Reading Eggs Reviews}

9/01/2018

Aquarium Trip and Jellyfish Sting

We had a fun day at the Pine Knoll North Carolina Aquarium yesterday. We have a year pass and the aquarium is one of our favorite places to visit.  On this visit they had a bird show and we had front row seats. Here are a few pictures:

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After the aquarium, we went to the beach to enjoy the ocean since it was calm. While we were there my 15 year old son was stung by some jellyfish We ended up calling 911 because we didn’t know what to do. They keep their trucks stocked with vinegar. He was doing okay after the vinegar, so we started our journey home (we live about one hour from the beach). I stopped on the way home for more vinegar and some Benadryl. He is doing okay and will probably be just fine.

Update (9/21/18) ~ He is fine. He hurt for a couple of days after the stings and had welts all over his legs, but they have healed and he is back to his old self. Smile

8/23/2018

What My Tween Girl Likes To Read

Books My Tween Daughter Likes To ReadMy twelve year old daughter loves to read. She has some favorites that she will read more than once just because she loves them so much. I love that she loves to read since I also love to read. She has read some books that I read when I was her age.

IMG_20180827_084253Mandie Books ~ These books are set in the state (north Carolina) we live in. I read these books when I was her age and had a couple of the books that I gave to her to read through. She got hooked, so I decided to buy the collections (there are five books in each collection) for her and to save them for future readers (my 7 year old  and hopefully granddaughters one day).

There are also a few movies that go with these books and my daughter has enjoyed watching them.

My daughter also loves books by Marguerite Henry. She has read severalbeed0ec1454c14bafdde8130c8a3f508 including Misty  of Chincoteague, Stormy, Misty’s Foal, and Brighty of the Grand Canyon.

She has also watched the Misty movie and enjoyed it. She wanted to know if there were more movies for any of these books and I found out there are some, but they are hard to find (especially on DVD). She loves anything that has to do with horses.

Some other books she ahs read and enjoyed are classics. Anne of Green Gables and Little Women are at the top.  She has also read The Secret Garden and several Little House on the Prairie books. We go to our local library sale whenever they have it (usually two times per year) and she picks out several books that she thinks she would like to read. The majority of the books she picks out are animal related. She loves animals and will read anything that has animals in it.

I just wanted to make a list of a few of her favorites in case you are looking for something for your tween daughter to read.

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8/17/2018

God Schooling ~ Book Review

God-Schooling-How-God-Intended-Children-to-Learn-by-Julie-PolancoI enjoy reading books and having been homeschooling for thirteen years now, I have realized that I still do not have all the answers. The book, God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn by Julie Polanco, is a great book to encourage you through your homeschool journey.

Julie Polanco is a homeschool mother who is active in the women’s ministry and worship team at her church.

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn is a short, 158 page book that can be easily read in a few sittings. The chapters include the following:

  1. Biblical Support for Natural Learning
  2. Motivation & Excellence
  3. Thoughts on Teaching Children Under Age Eight
  4. Thoughts on Teaching Children Aged Eight to Twelve
  5. Giving Teens the Wings to Fly
  6. Spreading the Banquet
  7. Getting Started
  8. Some Q & A
  9. Record-Keeping and Structure

I enjoyed reading through this book even though I have been homeschooling many years, I was still able to find some things that were interesting. All of my children are different and have achieved different things at different ages. It was comforting to read that some children have difficulty reading until a later age. My seven year old has been having a difficult time, but seeing that the author’s children all learned to read at different ages was comforting. Another area of the book that I liked was having some study questions at the end of each chapter. It helped to get me thinking on what I could change. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is just starting to homeschool or even someone who has been homeschooling for many years. Everyone can learn something!

If you are interested in reading God Schooling, you can get the ebook for haf price until August 22.

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Upcoming Reviews

We are working through a new workbook for Reading Eggs.

















We will also begin to read these new books by Matt Koceich.

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