Archive for May, 2011


A Beautiful Voice

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I’ve always been one to believe (or at least wish) that I could learn from others mistakes or that I might be blessed by embracing the how’s and why’s of another’s success.  As a parent of many children, multiple ages, I look at the lives of my finished  (using this word lightly, knowing we’re not done until we die) older ones; note their struggles or difficulties and wonder what I can do differently to help the younger ones avoid the same pitfalls.  I find extra strength in Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him (the devil) because of the blood of The Lamb (Jesus Christ) and because of the word of their testimony…”


Sarah Clarkson, is a former homeschool student.  She is now an adult author and blogger.   She has written Read for the Heart, published by Apologia Press; found under Resources for Parents.  It is a wonderful resource for every home school.  An outstanding book about – books.  But, more importantly to me, it is a resounding testimony; the how’s and why’s of another’s success, because Sarah is, in part, her parent’s success.  They raised her on good, whole, living books.  She shares vibrant memories of times spent together, reading aloud.  She has a passion for reading and for sharing the wonder of
“whole books for wholehearted families
,” through her writing.  She has a beautiful voice and I hope it will be heard by countless hearts.





384 pages – cover to cover.  Read for the Heart answers the questions:  What should my children read? and at what age?  It is a book I will refer to, time and again, which makes it, in my opinion, a valuable $17.00 investment.


Click cover for PDF Sample of Chapter 6 – The Golden Age Classics



Sarah coaxes, teaches, prompts and suggests ways to begin, to have a “Life by Books.” She gives a clear “Roadmap for Using This Book.” Then, she entices with Titles, Authors, Illustrators, Descriptions and more…

  • Picture Books
  • The Golden Age of Classics
  • Children’s Fiction
  • Fairy Tales and Fantasy
  • History and Biography
  • Spiritual Reading for Children
  • Poetry
  • Music, Art and Nature


There are more than 25 pages of Appendices:  Caldecott Medalists, Newbery Medalists, Historical Fiction by G.A. Henty, Landmark History Books, The Trailblazer Series, and A Few of My Favorite Things, such as:


Favorite Read-Alouds for the Whole Family

The Gold Thread by Norman Macleod

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit


Favorites for Girls

Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


Favorites for Boys

The Little Britches series by Ralph Moody

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle


Favorite Audiobooks

Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery (read by Nadia May)

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Focus on the Family Radio Theatre)


Sarah Clarkson writes, “As I have considered the many wonderful reasons to read, a steady progression of scenes from my childhood has come to my mind, each one a poignant portrait of a reading life. One by one, these scenes remind me of the reasons I read:  for a wakened heart, a strong mind, and a steadfast soul. This book will help you discover how great stories can form the lives of your children – how books can be powerful companions and teachers that will spur your children’s hearts and minds to life.”


Contact Sarah – email –

or her


Click logo for website


Contact Apologia:

phone 888.524.4724

or writeApologia Educational Ministries

1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220

Anderson, IN  46016  US


Click The Crew header and read additional reviews of Read for the Heart.







This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


Thank you…

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Wordless Wednesday

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“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”   Ephesians 5:1-2



Abundant Blessings,


*Photographs and contents of this blog are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

Thank you for your comments.


All Together

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When I began schooling my children at home, over 25 years ago, there weren’t many, if any, school materials geared toward home use.  Public and private school text books were adapted, by parents/teachers to meet individual needs. We did a lot of that. It took extra time, but it was possible.  We also taught from every-day-living.  We still do a lot of that. A general, life-is-school and school-is-life; there’s-a-lesson-in-every-thing, approach.  I would find a scope and sequence for a specific grade level and then pull-in and organize various resources to build our curriculum each year.  I clearly remember using books published by Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Macmillan and Evan-Moor.  Eventually, we used Abeka Book and Bob Jones Press, but even those were originally written for private christian school use, and not homeschool.  There was so much busy-seat-work, because they were intended to keep a full classroom of student’s occupied.  Teacher’s editions weren’t available to the individual, either.  Everything had to be studied and done ahead of time, so answer keys could be written.  I am amazed and delighted at how far home education has come in the last 25 years!

Pearson Education is now the “world’s leading educational and professional publisher.”  You may recognize some of their brands:  Scott Foresman, Addison-Wesley, Prentice Hall, Longman, and many others.


Click logo to read history


Pearson is trusted and respected, drawing on a heritage that stretches back to 1725, when Thomas Longman published the first book, typeset by Benjamin Franklin.  They provide products, programs and services, in every subject, for PreK-20.


Click cover for pricing guide


I received the Scott Foresman, Social Studies – All Together, 1st Grade text book, for review.  It is high-gloss, hard-bound, with bold, brilliant, color pictures on every page!  It is not written for homeschool use, but it is a great supplement to any social studies curriculum.  Interestingly enough, I was not given a teacher’s edition or any of the additional teaching aids/tools that are available; so, it was just like the good-ole-days.  I had to pay attention to the text, as we read it, so that I, too, could correctly answer the review questions at the end of each unit.  My 6 year old thought it was so funny that I had to do the same work that she had to do!

All-Together teaches students “what it means to be citizens of this nation – that respect, caring, responsibility, fairness, courage, and honesty are the pillars that make us strong.”  In each unit, there are pages dedicated to Citizen Heroes, and on the upper right corner of the page, one of the six pillars is highlighted.  Because of the consistency of the layout, my daughter would go to that area of the page, first, to see which pillar we were about to read.


Citizen Heroes


The following companies, and others, are partners-in-education with Pearson:




Their contribution is evident in the content and format of the book –


Dorling Kindersley






You open the over-size book to find a full-color Social Studies Handbook.  My young student was drawn-in completely and couldn’t wait to discover what was on the next page and the next page and…



We did put a home spin on the units.  Most of them had a reference to school or the bus or the cafeteria, etc.  “Your cafeteria is too noisy.  Tell steps you would take to solve the problem.”  We talked about the noise of living in a big family; what noises we liked, which ones we’d rather not hear and how to get more of one and less of the other.  We also discussed what it might feel like to eat lunch with others that you might not know very well.  Everything was adaptable and useful as a teaching element, even if it wasn’t used exactly as the authors expected.  That is the beauty and flexibility of schooling at home, though, isn’t it.



Unit 1 – Time for School
Unit 2 – In My Community
Unit 3 – Work! Work! Work!
Unit 4 – Our Earth, Our Resources
Unit 5 – This is Our Country




Map and Globe Skills
Songs and Poems
Chart and Graph Skills
Picture Glossary
History and more




“…God shed His grace on thee…”

“…one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

“Our country’s motto is ‘In God We Trust.”


This was actually the first thing I looked for – does Pearson Education keep God where our Founding Fathers placed Him, over our Nation?  I’m pleased to say that in Social Studies – All Together they certainly do.


The student edition of this book is $43.47.  There is also a teacher’s edition, workbook and answer key, planning guide, resource package, readers, map tools, video field trips and more. Please note that some items can only be purchased with PO or school credit card, which is not homeschool friendly.


Click graphic for companion site!


There is free access to a companion site:  with a Social Studies library (dictionary, encyclopedia, and almanac), Current Events (In the News and Time for Kids), an Atlas (world & U.S. geography, facts and tools); “This Day In History” (attaches a when to a what or who), “Meet the People” (people & biographies), and Activities (by state, grade level/book and unit).  This site is full of information, plus it’s fun and easy to navigate.  Free downloads at Symbols of America, too!





phone:  1.800.848.9500


K12 Customer Service

P.O. Box 2500

Lebanon, IN  46052


My mates at TOS reviewed Social Studies – All Altogether – 1st Grade, enVision Math – 1st Grade; Reading Street – 2nd Grade.  Click the banner below to read all about it!





This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for your comments.  I appreciate YOU!


Wordy Qwerty

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Have you ever noticed how young children love to rhyme words and names?  Inevitably, at some point in their young life, one of my children runs up to me to tell me something similar to – “she called me a lazy-daisy” or “he said I’m such a twirly-girly.”  Outside, during a game of tag, I’ll often hear, “na-na, boo-boo, you can’t catch me.”

Dance Coach – Nancy, easily becomes Dancy Nancy

Soccer Coach – Ricky = Kicky Ricky

Voice Coach – Sylvester, is surely Talky Rocky

Word Coach – Qwerty, is none other than Wordy Qwerty


My kids have been working with a word coach, “to build reading and writing fluency” and he actually goes by the name, Wordy Qwerty.  He gets his name from the top, left-hand row of letters on a keyboard – Q.W.E.R.T.Y.    (I’ve noticed that many electronic toddler toys now come with a QWERTY keyboard, as opposed to a keyboard in ABC  order.  I think it makes the transition to typing/keyboarding much easier.)  Wordy Qwerty utilizes a writing to read approach of teaching.


Click logo for website


Qwerty and his musician-friend, Midi, are the creation of Jeannine Herron and the star characters of her Talking Fingers – Wordy Qwerty program.


Click for demo

Wordy Qwerty is a follow-up to Talking Fingers – Read, Write & Type system, but it easily stands on it’s own.  Designed for 7-10 years old, any student can use it.  It is my 9 year old son’s favorite program of the school year! My children already have basic keyboarding skills, but none of them have used Read, Write & Type, and they say that “using Wordy Qwerty is easy-peasy.”


Click to read the FAQs


20 lessons – 6 activities each

Qwerty helps students master activities and earn music spheres that they give to Midi.  The spheres enable Midi to build his marvelous music machine and make music.  This is a definite highlight of the program in our house.

Jeannine Herron has developed 6 steps that guide a child in acquiring reading and writing fluency:


  • Patterns – recognizing that most words follow about 20 easy spelling rules.



  • Karaoke – catchy, stick-in-your-head songs for each of the 20 spelling rules.  Learning that some sounds can be represented in several ways.



  • Recycler – there are many word families.  By changing the first letter, you can make hundreds of words.  We make things rhyme all the time.



  • Pop-a-Word – quickly, and automatically recognizing that some words are “outlaws”, they consistently break the spelling rules.



  • Write Stories – using rhymes, memory and dictation to build vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency, while developing spelling skills.



  • Read Stories – reading and filling in missing words, increases vocabulary, comprehension and fluency skills.




Click on the scope and sequence graphic, below, to try lesson 1 – Silent E – FREE.



All home online subscriptions are for 5 years.  Licensing is available for 1-5 users, for $25.00-$71.25  or you can order the CD home edition, for $35.00.  Talking Fingers also lists the option of purchasing both home editions, Read, Write & Type and Wordy Qwerty, for $99.00.


Please, take the time to watch this 5 minute, YouTube video of Wordy Qwerty.  It will give you a great overview of the system.






Talking Fingers, Inc.

830 Rincon Way

San Rafael, CA  94903





Let’s Talk About Reading, Writing and the Brain


Click graphic to follow facebook page


Find additional reviews by clicking the TOS Crew banner, below.



I hope you’ll let me know what you think of this product…  It was an answer to my “need spelling curriculum” prayer, this year, with the bonus of reading, writing and typing practice.




This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

As always – I value your feedback.  Thanks,  PK


Mad Dog at Our House

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Do you love cats, dogs or any animal in general?  Do you need pure bred or will any stray do?  Would you rather not have the responsibility of any pet?

We’ve been both a way-station and a permanent home for a variety of animals, over the years.  We’ve loved and cared for an iguana, turtles, birds, a bunny, pygmy goats, a guinea pig, numerous stray dogs, cats and more.  We have just one indoor resident pet at the moment, a finicky, persnickety, sure-she-owns-the-home, fat feline.  She suits our family purrfectly!

The only mad dog at our house is Mad Dog Math, created by Julie Kotoff and named in remembrance of her beloved Golden Retriever, Ruff.


Click logo for website


Julie loves her pets – three cats and two dogs – but, she also has a heart for children.  She has experience as a teacher, administrator, and an educational consultant.   30 years of experience poured into a project that gives children an exceptional foundation in math.

Mad Dog Math has been providing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts drills, to classrooms, for years.  Now, there is a “student-tested Windows PC application that provides an at-home practice experience that is just like the classroom…”  (or better, in my opinion, because it is at home.)  It is presently available for Windows PC only, but there is a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version.


Designed for K – 5th grade.  A couple of my older children found it quite helpful for improving their computation skills.  There are three levels and a challenge level.



My children asked for extra time with this program, every day!  But, a steady 10 minutes a day, as a supplement to your regular math curriculum will make a marked difference in how your child views math.  They’ll build confidence and become fluent in their math facts, by using Mad Dog Math at Home. How long does it take your child to answer you if you ask him/her what your name is?  A second?  That’s what it means to be fluent:  without hesitation, automatic; not having to pause to calculate, just knowing that you know the correct answer.  You can give an answer so quickly you seemingly don’t even have to think of it. I want my children to be fluent in their basic building blocks of math.  Every other concept builds on the facts.  Mad Dog Math will help them achieve this goal.

There’s a free trial available; so, you can see if it works for you and your family.

Click cover for Order Page


A 1 year software license is $19.99

2 years – $29.99

and the best for a family of learners is:

A perpetual license for $39.99

also available:




paper/pencil drills $69.99 each



email –

phone – 562.533.5772


Mad Dog Math

4562 Ocana Avenue

Lakewood, CA  90713


find Ruff and Mad Dog Math on facebook


Read other TOS Homeschool Crew Reviews by clicking on the banner below –





This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you, sincerely.  PK


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“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

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“Congratulations!  Today is your day.  You’re off to Great Places!  You’re off and away!  You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go…”


Click to find more Seuss

Where to go?  Where to go?  How to get there – do you know?  Bright Ideas Press has WonderMaps that’ll get you there in a blink and two snaps!



The creative potential just boggles the mind.  There’s nearly a map for every thing-a-ma-kind!


This brand new program, available as a download or CD, is a “customizable collection of over 350 different maps.”


Click the graphic, to find everything under the WonderMaps category…



60+ maps of the world




60+ maps of the USA




125+ historical maps, including 25 Biblical maps






The complete map sets from The Mystery of History Vols. 1-3 and All American History Vols. 1 & 2




WonderMaps is teacher, parent and student friendly.


The video below will give you a better idea of all that WonderMaps has to offer –



Bright Ideas Press
P.O. Box 333
Cheswold, DE 19936

877.492.8081 or email –


Click to follow facebook page



We like it!  It’s true!  $49.95  – for me or for you.  I really must say, though I’d rather not, we found an error on a map, maybe two, maybe more.  Made corrections, changed directions, and didn’t keep score.   Saint Paul isn’t happy that Minneapolis would dare, to take the title of capital heir.  The mappers will fix it, of this I’m quite sure, too much confusion for Minnesotan’s to endure.


Reviews by The Crew, you can read them with ease.  Click the banner to see what they think, if you please.






This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  I also have no affiliation with Dr. Seuss, Seussville, or the Dr. Seuss & Friends Book Club and receive no compensation for references to them. The opinions expressed are my own.


Thank you for your support and encouragement…  PK


Run! MOVE! Wiggle! Play!

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Summer is nearly here, after an uncommonly long winter for many.  Did you get snowed in for days this year?  Will the heat of the summer keep you inside in air-conditioning?  What does your family do when it rains for three or four days straight?

I love fresh air and sunshine.  L.O.V.E.  it!  I like being outside.  I like mowing the grass, working in the garden, playing in the rain, raking leaves, sledding, planting flowers, bicycling, camping, swimming, and…

I am not a fan of air-conditioning even on the hottest days, and thankfully, it hasn’t been a conflict (between me and my husband, whose body runs several degrees hotter than mine) because our house doesn’t have it.  I’d much rather do yard work than house work, any day!  (Regretfully, to my darling’s dismay, sometimes.)  I tend to equate cooped-up and stuffy with boring.

I grew up being told to go outside and play…often.  It wasn’t cooler inside than it was outside, anyway.  See, I’m old school.  Actually, maybe I’m just old…er.   =)  I seem to recall that if you didn’t like being outside and finding something to do, your choices were limited to reading a book, painting, drawing or writing, maybe watching something on a 13″ black & white TV, or listening to the radio…  Remember when there were no video games?  PC games?  portable DVD players?  I remember and I have some fond memories of doing things; going places, and generally moving and playing with my siblings and friends.  (Note the action words.)

Because, I think my momma did right by me – I send my kids outside to work or play…often.  (It is easier to get them outside though because it’s no cooler in our house than it is out.  They don’t have to continually acclimate to a constant change in temperature.  It’s usually just plain hot, everywhere.)  And, when we do get stuck indoors, their TV and electronic game time is strictly limited, making it more fun to be outside and doing something.  I admit, sometimes, we really have to be creative…  When was the last time you participated (in the privacy of your own home, of course) in a dance-a-thon or a tickle-fest?  I’m blessed to have healthy children and I believe that one of the reasons they are healthy is because they don’t have a sedentary lifestyle.

Do you know that The National Center for Chronic Disease reports that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years?  Do you know that the most common causes of obesity are poor diet and eating habits combined with a lack of physical activity?  Fact.  I think, one of our jobs as parents is to prompt, coax and sometimes even force our children to get up and move. We should be showing them and telling them how to feed their body healthy food, how to protect it from harmful substances, and how to exercise it.  Technology has come so far, but the fact remains that we only get one body for the length of our days.

There is research available to support the statistics, but better yet, there is help available to bring about a positive change in these statistics.  One way – become part of the trybe.


Go – get active

Try – something new

Be – your best! “is an online fitness and nutrition community that delivers daily fitness, nutrition, wellness, and motivation content to students and teachers (and parents) across the US.”

Warm-ups, cardio, flexibility and strength-training workouts for every age.  Education, quizzes, rewards and community support.  Remember P.E.? This is Physical Education at it’s best!


K-5th grade join the ZooDoos

6th-8th grade workout with Trybe180

9th-12th grade is part of NexTrybe


Members create a personal avatar.


As online workouts are completed, educational video segments viewed and quiz questions answered correctly – points are earned.  Points accumulate and can then be used to buy clothing, accessories, pets and more for ones character. Can you say motivation?



My older ones pointed out that GoTrybe gear, that is available for purchase online, would be a real motivator, too.  A not too subtle hint, I do believe.  (I’d like to see GoTrybe create an option to save points earned, from answering more difficult questions, that could be exchanged for Trybe Trinkets, that could then be used toward purchases in the tribal store.)


Build-your-own workout, comprised of six drag and drop videos.  Title your personal workout and you can store it or use it as you choose.


Choose a pre-built workout.



Workout sessions run an average of 20-30 minutes each.



Become part of the community.  Create a personal profile page.  Make a buddy list, send messages to friends, check stats and updates, etc.



Sign up personally or sign up your child, in the age appropriate trybe, free for a day – just enter promo code GETFIT.  Either way, this is a good time to explore everything has to offer.  A 1 year subscription is usually $39.95, but, after your one day free trial, you have the option, now, to sign up for $19.95.


Click the graphic to Sign Up


You can find added information, education and support on the




by following on facebook.


Questions? email –


GoTrybe has been a blast! even though it has been a little difficult for us to accomplish, sometimes, because of lack of space.  It can only be viewed, and therefore followed, on the computer monitor, and that’s in a small office area.  I am hoping will eventually be Wii compatible and then we’d be able to stream it through our TV in the living room.  Quite often, the children like to work out together, (but there is no way for each tryber to get workout points, if they workout together) and that is nearly impossible because of our confined quarters.

We have children in each of the trybes and they have some definite, personal opinions:

  • They really like and look forward to their workouts every day!
  • They recognize a positive difference in their stamina, from the first time they worked out to now.
  • My ZooDoos do not like the choices available for their avatars.  They’re drawn with “really big heads”, as opposed to the “normal” looking choices for the teens.  The Trybe180 female Trybers think the teen girl character is too mature looking and her stance is unattractive.

  • We also have NexTrybe Trybers.  They found some of the Yoga workouts to be a little odd and felt that even the male students that worked out in the video segments, with the female teachers, looked uncomfortable.
  • It was also noted that there are no male leaders, in the flexibility segments, for the older boys in the NexTrybe to follow.
  • One of my NexTrybers liked doing the ZooDoos Hip Hop routines better than their own, because the moves are taught slower and they are repetitive.
  • My NexTrybers have a favorite leader, from the younger trybe, that they’d love to see teach in their trybe.
  • The positives far out weigh the negatives!  We’re movin’ more and lovin’ it!


You’ll find other, definite opinions, from my crew mates at TOS.  Click the banner to read their reviews.


Walk or run, jump, play, wiggle or dance.  Get up and move like your life depends on it – it just might.

May God bless your endeavors to move your family,


This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for your encouragement.

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Mirror Images

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Monkey see, monkey do – with as many children as I’ve raised, and more that I’ve cared for, over the years – I know this is a fact.  Children, especially young ones, mirror the images and examples they see.  You do something often enough and your child will pick it up.  Children mimic what they hear.  Repeating the words and often even the tone.

It is also a fact that children that are read to, learn to read and have better comprehension than those that are not.  Did you know that “a one year old learns twice as fast as a three year old, and a three year old learns twice as fast as a five year old?”  Did you know that your baby can learn to read?


Intellectual Baby believes that “these early years represent a critical time in your baby’s life.  This is the absolutely best time to teach babies to read, introduce music, art, foreign languages, etc…”

Their top product line is the MonkiSee Program, developed by homeschooling mother of 6, Krista Guerrero.  It includes 30 minutes each, interactive, educational DVD’s, accompanied by books and flashcards that will help you teach your baby to read.


Click on the logo for a quick quiz to see if MonkiSee is right for you and your child.


MonkiSee DVD’s increase brain stimulation, boost IQ and strengthen the bond between you and your child as you participate in his/her learning.  They are easy and fun for children ages 3 months to 4 years old.  It is my experience that the Monki See Monki Doo theme song will stick in your head for days and become one of your child’s favorites.

Featuring two silly, brother monkeys, Howie and Skip, and utilizing catchy songs, poetry, puppets, real life children and animals, sound effects, written words (vocabulary) and spoken language (rhyming) – your child will be captivated by MonkiSee.  Krista, the author, recommends that “in order for babies and young children to get the most from these products, the video should be played daily, about 5 days a week, for a month or so.” 

I was given MonkiSee – Baby’s First Words DVD for this review.  After the third viewing I no longer had to prompt watching the DVD, my granddaughter asks for “monkey” everyday.  Her 4 month old brother hasn’t had much to say about it…yet  =) but after reading several testimonials I’m excited to see the results in the next year.


Baby’s First Words is generally for ages 3 months to 2 years.  Common, often used words are introduced, like mommy and daddy and my favorite, kiss, as well as describing body parts – head, arm, leg; nose… It helps a child to see and hear; identify and read their first 40 words.



Individual DVD’s are regularly $24.95, but they are on sale now for $19.95. Click the graphic above for Baby’s First Words.



You can purchase Know Your Monkey, paper cover book, for $9.95.  Click the graphic above to see books in the MonkiSee Program.


Baby Reading Kit 4 is the best value!  It includes: 

3 MonkiSee DVD’s

5 sets of MonkiSee oversize flashcards

1 guide to teaching babies to read

2 MemoFlix Video FlashCards DVD’s

with 80 categories and over 800 words

2 MonkiSee books


On sale now for $139.95, you save 45% – Click the graphic to read all about it. They guarantee complete satisfaction of products and will refund the full purchase price less the cost of shipping.


877.505.5079 or 407.574.2886


Click Howie to review Frequently Asked Questions


Skip can take you to the Teaching Baby to Read Blog


My Crew Mates have posted their own MonkiSee reviews, and you can find them when you click on the graphic below.





This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.



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A New Friend

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If you’ve read many of my blog posts you have probably figured out that reading is fairly high on my list of wonderful things to do.  I’ve mentioned before that I hope to pass the love of all-things-bookish on to my children.  As a child, I learned, and now I teach, that, among other things,  reading allows one to travel – sometimes even through space and time; to meet new people and make new friends – real and imaginary – past and present.

I was recently introduced to Kregel Publications and author, Susan K. Marlow.  My youngest daughters met little miss Andrea Carter, Andi to her family and friends, on the Circle C Ranch.

My young one is six years old and so is Andi.  Andi has a pony; lives out west in the late 1800’s, and has to go to school in a schoolhouse.  We don’t own any horses.  We’ve always lived in the east and we certainly don’t live in the late 1800’s  (although many aspects would be a blessing, I admit I would miss having a washer and dryer, refrigerator, bread maker, cell phone and internet.)  We only leave home for school, if we’re going on a field trip or a picnic.  So…

Andi’s Scary School Days was a perfect adventure for my girls!  They were excited to turn every page.  Circle C Beginnings is a series of books written for 6-8 years old, but my big girl enjoyed Andi’s antics as much as her younger sister did.  There are four titles available now and two more due to be released in August of this year.


Click graphic for publishers discount

Since I have September birthdays still ahead, I think the whole set will make a great gift.  They are $4.99 each, but you get 30% off, now through August 31st, when you purchase directly from the publisher.  Just enter HOME11 during check out.  If you purchase from Susan’s website, you won’t find a discount, but you can order personalized copies.

These are wholesome, moral, entertaining and educational stories for our children.  There are free downloads available – Activity Packs with coloring pages – correlating to each book.  Vocabulary, math, writing, maps, history and more.  The illustrations, by Leslie Gammelgaard, can be copied and colored.


Circle C Beginnings are actually prequels to Susan K. Marlow’s already popular series, Circle C Adventures.  The adventures are written for 8-16 years old and feature a preteen  Andrea Carter and her grown horse, Taffy.  My daughters have suggested that “it would be nice if Ms. Susan continued to write about Andrea as she gets older; so she can get married and have a daughter or son of her own, and the adventures can go on and on through time and maybe across country.”  I love that they are invested in the story line.  How cool is that!

You can contact Susan K. Marlow on facebookclick the Circle C Beginnings graphic below or write to She loves to hear from her readers…


facebook page

It has been a pleasure to meet Kregel Publications.  They have Biblically based resources with a backlist of over 900 titles.


  • Biblical Studies
  • Pastoral Resources
  • Christian Living
  • Fiction
  • and many others


  • The Pictoral Guide Series, for middle-school and high-school age readers is definitely worth exploring


TOS Homeschool Review Crew members received one of Susan K. Marlow’s books from the Circle C Beginnings Series; so, you’ll want to read what they have to say – click the banner below for individual opinions.




This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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Vintage Books

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I have hundreds of books, and then some.  Neatly organized on floor to ceiling shelves, stacked on tables, under tables and I’m sorry to say, packed away in boxes awaiting their rotation.

Most books that I read, while growing up, were not mine.  They were borrowed from the library or a close friend.  They were prized possessions, even if they did belong to someone else.  The binding was handled properly and the pages were never dog-eared.  One did not eat or drink while reading a book, lest something mar the pages.  I was raised to see the value in books, for purposes of education or fun; based on fact, fiction or fantasy, as a means to an end or just an escape to another place or time.

As an adult, I’ve acquired books of all shapes, sizes and genres.  Many times my husband has heard me say, “Oh, I need this book, or these books or that set of books, for this subject or that reason or because – “This is just beautiful!”  We’ve moved several times while we’ve been married and the books always move with us.  I have learned, over the years, to pack them in smaller boxes, because books are really, really heavy.  On more than one occasion I’ve heard, “I do not have room for anything else in this trailer.  You cannot move all of those books.”  My reply, “Leave the couch, the books must go.”  My reasoning – a couch or nearly anything else, can be replaced, fairly easily, but – books, especially old books; classics, or one you read to your child, five hundred times the first eighteen months of his life, are just too difficult to replace.

Because of this, I have been a bit reluctant to embrace Ebooks.  They just don’t have the same smell or feel as real books.

Because of Yesterday’s Classics, I am now an Ebook AND Kindle lover.  Because, what these do have is the same content as real books – illustrations and all; plus, the carry-anywhere-factor is huge!

I don’t have room for another bookshelf.  Well…I might be able to find one more space, but…my husband is much happier having my newest 225 books on the Kindle

For years, Yesterday’s Classics has been rebublishing books that were first published “in the golden age of children’s literature from 1880 to 1920…”  in high quality paper-back.  Vintage literature.  Now, in addition, every one of the 225 books they offer is available in EPUB and Kindle format!




This bundle is specially priced through May 31st; at $99.95 that’s less than 50 cents for each book.  Yes, many of these books are available online for free, but many of those have formatting issues, unlike these.  And, the majority of those do not have a table-of-contents, especially one that actually corresponds to the new layout in EPUB or Kindle.  Yesterday’s Classics also offers the convenience of having everything in one place, which gives this already overloaded momma more time to actually read to my children, instead of consuming my time searching for the right book.



Yesterday’s Classics has several of the titles used by these top curriculum writers:

Ambleside Online

Heart of Dakota

Living Books Curriculum

Tapestry of Grace

Pageant of History

Old Fashioned Education




They have republished books in 22 different genres –

  1. World History
  2. American History
  3. Science
  4. Ancient Greece
  5. Ancient Rome
  6. Early Civilizations
  7. Renaissance and Exploration
  8. Middle Ages
  9. Britain
  10. Fables
  11. Nature
  12. Fairy Tales
  13. Legends
  14. Biography
  15. Poetry
  16. Shakespeare
  17. Faith
  18. Literature
  19. Readers
  20. Kindergarten
  21. Children of the World
  22. Christmas Stories

You can view the entire catalog by author – click

by title

by subject


When you purchase EPUB or Kindle format you have immediate access.  So much quicker than browsing the aisles at Books-a-Million, or some such bookish store, making a selection or two or ten; lugging everything to the car, and then, still having to rearrange everything on the shelves to find room for your newest favorite collection.


There are instructions here for downloading files to EPUB or Kindle, and then you can choose which format you’d like to sample for free.

Questions or comments?

You can contact

Lisa M. Ripperton

Yesterday’s Classics

P.O. Box 3418

Chapel Hill, NC  27515

or call





You can read other reviews, written by my crew mates at





This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for your comments…

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