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Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Pencil Grip, Inc. #2- A Review

Our family has fallen in love with The Pencil Grip, Inc. Over the past couple of years we have been honored to review their Quik Stix a couple of times. When we were presented with the opportunity to try The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit we were very excited!
The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors
The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors are designed with a plastic safety shield. This can help keep children from cutting things other than paper. I loved this feature, especially since lately there have been other things being cut in the Crunchy Household. There is also a training lever. That is the little yellow piece between the finger holes. This lever makes cutting easier for younger kiddos because it is causes the scissors to spring back open after you push them closed. 
I was surprised with how well these actually cut paper. Most safety scissors that I have used in the past were dull to try and avoid injury. However, because these come with the plastic safety shield they are able to be sharper and still remain perfectly safe.
The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit
The 3 Step Training Kit comes with 3 different pencil grip to help teach children the correct grip: The Crossover Grip for training, The Pinch Grip for Transitioning, and The Pencil Grip for Graduation. I was excited to get these. Sister has really struggled with how to properly hold her pencil for awhile now. I starter her on The Crossover Grip. It was uncomfortable for her at first and she complained that it felt funny. She said that her hand was tired after a few minutes of doing her math. It was then that I realized how bad her grip had become. 
Over the last few weeks, she has been using the grip fairly consistently while doing her schoolwork. She has shown signs of more control, neater handwriting, and has quit complaining of her hand being tired.  I never dreamed that it would help with her handwriting or I would have taken before and after pictures. I was in shock!

The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors are a great addition to any family that is wanting to allow their kids to learn to cut, but not have to worry about them cutting something other than paper. The 3 Step Training Kit is a great way to help teach the proper pencil grip to any student learning to hold a pencil or begin to write. Overall, this is definitely another win in our house thanks to The Pencil Grip, Inc. 

The Pencil Grip, Inc.
You can connect with The Pencil Grip online:

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Other members of the Crew received The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit. You can read about their experiences by clicking the link below:

Ultra Safe Safety Scissors & Pencil Grip Training Kit {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Reading Eggs- A Review

Reading Eggs
I have a mom confession to make: I hate teaching reading! I know that is an awful thing to say, but I'm trying to be honest. I have tried so many different programs to teach my children to read. Each one would teach them a little more, but we always seemed to hit a wall. I was so exhausted. I knew something had to change. I really didn't want to use an online program, but I had just received a 4 week free trial to Reading Eggs in my email. I decided I would at least try it for that time or until I could find something else.That was over a year ago, and we haven't looked back! This became a perfect fit for our family.

Reading Eggs had four different programs that your children can work through: Reading Eggs Junior for ages 2-4, Reading Eggs for ages 3-7, Reading Eggspress for ages 7-13 or grades 1st- 6th, as well as MathSeeds. 

Reading Eggs*

Brother Bear is the one that I needed the program for the most. He had a really hard time learning beyond a certain point. With Reading Eggs I no longer have to fight him to work on reading. The best part is that he enjoys his lessons and is comprehending so much. He has started reading beginning readers. He loves his new found independence! I love seeing the light bulb moments when he successfully sounds out a new word or reads a new book.



After you log into your account, this is the main page that you see. I love that you can review each child progress individually. Here you can see there are 4 different areas for your child to use for learning.




Once you click on a child's profile, this is the landing page. They can choose to work on the next lesson or read books that are on their level. 




The lessons are filled with colorful animations and creative characters that walk the kiddos through each new concept. There are games that help the student reinforce the new letter or blend that they are learning. The program includes books that the student can read using the new found concepts.
 

They just added new layouts for homeschool programs that show how you can use Reading Eggs and all its different programs as a complete school experience. There are also free printable worksheets for each lesson to help reinforce what the kiddos learned during their online lesson. 



Each lesson has 6 worksheets that help with handwriting, phonics skills, and reading comprehension. This is one of my favorite things about the Reading Eggs program because it allows me to see just how much the kiddos are learning through their lessons. 

This program is such an amazing resource for any homeschool classroom. I have even allowed Popper to use Reading Eggspress to help improve his reading comprehension and language arts. You can get a 4 week free trial by clicking the link below:

Reading Eggs
Reading Eggs

You can connect with Reading Eggs online:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
YouTube
Instagram: (handle) readingeggs



Other members of the Crew also received a 6 month subscription to Reading Eggs. You can read about their experiences by clicking the link below:

Reading Eggs
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Worthy Kids/Ideals- A Book Review

WorthyKids

My main goal with my children is to instill a love of learning in them. One of the best ways that I have found to do that is by teaching them to love reading. I am finding, that with my boys, it is a little more difficult. They love adventure and excitement while I want educational and morally sound books. That is why anytime I can find a book or series of book that can fill both of those needs, I jump at the opportunity to read them! I was beyond excited when I found out we were chosen to review the first 2 books in the series The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls by Worthy Kids/Ideals. These books are filled with adventure, but also focus on teaching the Bible in an engaging way that kept my boys (and girl) hooked until the very end!

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls is written by M.J. Thomas. He is a dad that was also on a mission to find great book for his own boys. When he couldn't find what he was looking for, he decided to write his own! I am grateful that he did, because I am not a writer and without these, my boys and I would still be searching! 


The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
Book 1: The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning
Our story begins as siblings Peter and Mary, along with their dog Hank, find themselves staying with Great-Uncle Solomon as their parents travel to Africa. They are sure that this will be the longest month ever! They soon discover that Uncle Solomon is an archaeologist who searches to prove that the Bible is true.  Last year he found his greatest discovery and decides to share it with Peter and Mary: the Hidden Scrolls. These allow whoever breaks the seal to travel back to Bible times. But only when the lion roars. 

Later that night Peter, Mary and Hank are woken to a loud roar. When they begin looking for what caused the noise, they accidentally open one of the seals and are instantly transported back to the beginning. Where they begin to witness first hand the creation of the world.  The adventures are just beginning for these two young ones. Luckily for them, they have the angel Michael to help protect them on their journey. Michael explains the rules of this great adventure to the Peter and Mary, and they begin to understand the magnitude of what now lays before them. Seven days to translate a scroll written in Hebrew or be stuck in the beginning forever!
The stakes are high, but Peter and Mary are brave! One by one they begin to understand and solve the mystery of the scroll, but not without a little adventure. From riding rhinos to an encounter with a snake in a beautiful garden, can Peter and Mary solve the mystery before it's too late?
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls

Book 2: The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark

Book 2 begins as Peter, Mary and Hank are still with Uncle Solomon. It has been 3 days since they broke the first seal. The are anxious to know when their next adventure will begin, but for now they are stuck inside because of rain. They begin exploring the giant house as they wait. They find a map and some of their uncle's journals from his archaeological discoveries. They desperately want to learn more about these Hidden Scrolls that take them on great adventure. 
When the lion's roar calls them to open the next scroll and begin their adventure, they find themselves in an ancient civilization where the people are less than welcoming. They soon learn that they are in a place where they are not allowed to say the name of God, otherwise they will be punished. 
The next day they discover paw prints everywhere. Upon following the prints they find a giant boat: the ark!  Slowly the scroll begins to be translated and they realize that they are on the right track. 
A meeting with Noah and his family, helping build a giant ark, caring for animals of all sizes, are just the beginning of the adventure for these two. When an elephant breaks part of the ark, Peter and Mary take a risk to travel back into town for the part. Will they escape? Can they solve the scroll before their time is up? 


These books are captivating! They kept the Crunchy Kiddos' attention from the first page. They begged each night for one more chapter! Our whole family is excited for the release of the next book! These are a definite favorite in our home, and would be a great addition for anyone looking for adventure books with Biblical teachings!


You can connect with Worthy Kids/Ideals online:

Facebook Tag @WorthyKidsIdeals
Instagram  Tag @worthypub
Twitter     Tag @worthypub 

Other members of the Crew received copies of The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls book as well. You can read all about their thoughts by clicking the link below:


The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls. {WorthyKids/Ideals Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Heirloom Audio Productions: Captain Bayley's Heir- A Review

Captain Bayley's Heir
Every time we hear that Heirloom Audio Productions is working on a new drama, we stalk their Instagram and Facebook accounts waiting on the new release! Captain Bayley's Heir was no different! We counted down the days to its release! You can imagine the excitement when we heard that we were given the privilege to review a copy! 

Heirloom Audio Productions focuses on bringing real history to life through audio dramas. So much of the history that I learned in school left out the main point: God and how His story was woven together. Daddy T and I love that we have this amazing resource from Heirloom to help teach our children history while keeping God where He belongs, right in the center!

Classical Conversations is studying Cycle 3 this year which focuses on Us History. Imagine my delight to receive a copy of Captain Bayley's Heir which takes place in America's Old West! Thus adding even more detail to our current studies.

Our story begins as Mr. George is heading West in America researching his next story. He and his guide begin talking over dinner that night. Opportunity lends itself for Mr. George to tell his travel guide one of his great tales. His tale introduces us to 3 cousins: Frank, Fred and Alice who seem to always be together. They are related to Captain Bayley, who's only daughter ran off with a man that he did not approve of long ago, and he has not seen her since. This is a bit of information that few know about. 

One day the cousins meet a young boy named Harry, whose dog has fallen through the ice on a pond. Frank rushes to the scene eager and willing to risk his own life to save the dog. Harry in returns the favor later by warning Frank of his fellow schoolmate being ambushed by rival schoolboys. We get an inside look at the loyalty and genuine goodness of Frank. A bit later, Frank is wrongly accused of theft at school. When he can't find anyway to clear his name of the theft, he decides that his only hope is to flee to America leaving behind his friends and family. 

Of course, America is filled with hardships that young Frank never thought he'd have to deal with as a privileged boy in England. But through the trials his genuine goodness holds fast. We discover he has more integrity than we ever imagined. Through storms and Indian attacks, Frank is deemed a hero more than once.

Frank makes his way further west to California. Through trial after trial, God's grace is woven together beautifully to remind us just how amazing His grace really is! The long lost daughter, the drowning dog, and a young boy who flees half-a-world-away all come together in an ending that will leave you in awe!

After Mr. George finishes his tale (I will not ruin the ending for you) his travel guide begins to understand God's grace in regards to his own life.  In a story filled with hurt feelings and false accusations it is a great reminder that we serve a very graceful God!


We love that Heirloom includes a study guide to helps to ensure that my kiddos are really understanding what they are listening to. The guide includes three sections for each tract. They are:

1. Listening Well- This is a series of comprehension questions that help me know that the kids were listening. They are usually simple questions like 'What does Frank do with the money?' Just enough to know that they were actually listening to the story.

2.Defining Words- These are words that the kids will hear during that specific tract that they may not know the meaning of. This allows me to define these words, if needed, for better understanding of the story. 

3. Thinking Further- These questions cause the kids to think more in depth about the story and characters. There are questions about what each kid 'thinks' is the reason for certain reactions by the characters in the story. These are good to help the kids begin to think beyond the story. 

The Study Guide also includes a Bible Study section. There are 3 parts to this section: God's Grace, Becoming a Christian, and Honoring Your Parents. I love this part. It is a great way to make God even more the center of the story that they are listening to by talking about their role!

With the new Live the Adventure by Heirloom Audio Productions, you get so many extras! There are printable posters, ebooks, the study guide, an official sound track and downloadable wallpaper. I love all the extras! 


Captain Bayley's Heir was a fantastic addition to our home library, one that we will enjoy listening to again and again! I think any family that is looking for a great audio drama or to get their kids to fall in love with history would love this one!


Heirloom Audio Productions


You can connect with Heirloom Audio online:

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Twitter
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Other members of the Crew received a copy of Captain Bayley's Heir also! You can read what they thought about it by clicking the link below:
Captain Bayley's Heir {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer