Saturday, April 24, 2010

Printable Games - a great addition to our homeschool

I have always loved using games in our little homeschool.  I even let the boys declare one game-day a month.  They are in control of the day.  In other words, they decide what day we have game day and they pick the games they want to play.  I also pick two games that we play.  It's an excellent addition to our homeschool and gives me a chance to review things that I want the boys to remember.


So, I was really excited when I got the opportunity to review Super Star Games from Super Star Speech.  In addition to a Speech Therapy products, Super Star Speech produces 11 games in e-book/downloadable format.  These games are Silly Snail Parts of Speech; Planets, Moon, and Stars; Road to Revolution; Explorers of the World; The Inventors Game; Covering the Continents; Colony Quest; Exploring Egypt; Climb the Vine:  All About Plants; The Insect Game; and All About Animals, an animal classification game.  Each game is priced at $3.50, or you can get them in two bundles for $14 and $9 here.


Downloading the printing the games was very easy.  I printed on regular paper and then glued the game boards to a file folder.  I also glued the game cards to 3x5 cards to make them a little more sturdy.  The games are colorful and easy to learn to play.  The only things we needed to find were game pieces, and dice for a few of the games.  We used pennies and other little tokens from quarter machines at the grocery store as game pieces. 


When I found out the various titles of Super Star's games I couldn't believe it.  You see we've spent this year studying the American revolution and animal classification.  In Language Arts, we had just finished a workbook focused on the parts of speech.  So, I was thrilled to find that three of Super Star's games were on the American revolution, animal classification, and parts of speech!  I love when God leads me to things that will reinforce what we are learning.  He encourages our homeschool so often this way.


Our two favorites so far are Road to Revolution and All About Animals.  We even took the All About Animals game and made our own cards to enhance the play of this game.  That was a great way for me to see what the boys had learned from our animal classification study.  Looking at the cards our boys made up for the All About Animals game I could see that they really grasped the concepts we had learned.  And when we played Road to Revolution we learned even more interesting facts while playing.  We've played both of these games several times, including playing in the evening so that we could play with Daddy.


I'm sure we will fall in love with the other games as well, it's just that right now these two in particular really fit into our days.  Check out Super Star's games.  They're really terrific and a great price.  It's a very inexpensive way to enhance your homeschool days.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What Am I?

Once again I was given the opportunity to review a product from All About Spelling.  This time, I was sent a copy of their newest reader, What Am I, in return for this review.  As with The Beehive Reader which I reviewed earlier, this is a truly lovely book.  I wish our boys were young enough to enjoy this beautiful reader.  The illustrations a gorgeous.  The text is well-written.  Again, written as a beginning reader, a little more difficult than the first reader I reviewed, What Am I is still at a very beginning level.  Because the illustrations are so beautiful I am including every sample that the Crew posted in my review.  You will get an idea of the text from these sample pages as well.

If you are looking for a beginning reader that your young child can attempt on his own, then please look at The Beehive Reader and What Am I from All About Spelling.  They are well-written and a joy to hold in your hand. 



My fellow crew-members have reviewed this product here.  It is so new that it's not available on the web-site yet, but check All About Spelling often as I'm sure it will be available soon.  The Beehive Reader was priced at 19.95, so I'm sure that What Am I will be similarly priced.

This is the third opportunity I've had to talk to you about All About Spelling's products, so by now you are familiar with them.  They have a very thorough spelling program and their new series of readers are an excellent addition to the spelling program.  If you need a reader for your young person, check out What Am I.  It will be a family treasure.


Travel to Terrestria

I recently received a complimentary copy of two of the Terrestria series of books by Ed Dunlop in order to complete this review.  The two books I received were Book 6-The Golden Lamps and Book 7-The Great War.


I was concerned that we would have a hard time understanding this series because we had not read books 1 through 5.  But as we began book 6, The Golden Lamps, we were immediately sucked into the plot and understood all the characters.  I'm sure there is more to be gained by reading the series in order, but having not read books 1 through 5 did not hamper our understanding of book 6: The Golden Lamps at all.  We read this together as a family after supper.

In these allegorical books you are in a fictional place where good and evil clash very regularly.  The good guys are servants of the King.  As stated on his website, "The focus of the series is always on the King."  The bad guys are easily identifiable.  Lately as we've read some popular youth-fiction, it can be difficult to identify whether the bad guy is really bad.  Sometimes the good guys are even bad.  Although you see the good guys struggle with temptation, you still know them to be worshippers of the King in the Terrestria series.


This is a great series for boys, or adventure loving girls, there's even a little romance that's very tastefully done.  As I said before we were able to dive right into The Golden Lamps.  It is action-packed from the start.  I'm sure the entire series is full of action and adventure, as the two books we received proved to be.


There are seven books in the series as well as a parents and teacher's guide to the books.  If you got the parents/teacher's gude, I'm sure you could easily develop a unit study from these books.  The books are reasonably priced on the Dunlop Ministries web site, at $7.99 each or the entire set of seven books for $39.99.  Mr. Dunlop has written other books in addition to the Terrestria Chronicles.  You can read about them on his website


If you are looking for a good allegorical adventure, you will find it in the Terrestria Series.  Pick up the first book and let your children take an adventure that will lead them to serve the King.

Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

I recently received a complimentary copy of Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go by Lucille O'Neal from Thomas Nelson Publishers in order to complete this review.


Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go is the life story of NBA basketball player Shaquille O'Neal's mother, Lucille.  It's an easy-to-read telling of her troubled life and her time away from the Lord, as well as her return to Him.  The book goes from her earliest childhood memory, being raised by her grandparents and extended family, raising a family of her own as a military wife, and into her current life.  Chapters were short and the book itself was only a little more than 200 pages in length.

I found this book to be very interesting.  I'm not a huge NBA fan, but I know who Shaq is.  I had no knowledge of his mother prior to reading this book, but I found it a very fun read.  I was drawn in by the very first chapter.  At the end, it slowed down a bit for me, but all-in-all this was a really good book.  I will be recommending it to others.  I even wrote down several quotes in my journal from this book.  I found it to be inspirational in many parts.  I want to share one of those quotes with you.  This is on page 166 and 167, "I know so many of us fall into that same trap of feeling unworthy or less than adequate to receive all that God has to offer us.  But how can we expect to receive God's love, mercy, and grace if we're not ready with open arms?"  Too right!  Amen, Lucille!