Archive for Games

Aug
02

The Homegrown Preschooler ~ A TOS Review

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Gryphon House is an exceptional publisher of educational resource books for teachers and parents, public school and homeschool, young children; and administrators.  Their website is easy to navigate and stimulating.  There are hundreds of free activities available for you and your child!

 

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As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I recently had the opportunity to read The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live.  The title might be used to describe how I raised my own children; but with my youngest firmly in elementary school now, I was looking for encouragement and direction as I consider teaching other preschoolers from the same homegrown bent.  This book is just what I was looking for!

 

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The authors, Kathy Lee and Leslie Richards, are mothers of several children, birthed and adopted; including gifted and special needs.  They have years of education and hands-on experience between the two of them, and their book is beautifully compiled.  A large, 81/2″x 11″, high gloss paperback, it is bold, colorful, inviting; and full of life.  With the family pictures and personal anecdotes generously scattered throughout the book, by the end of it, I felt like I had shared conversations and special moments with wonderful, trusted friends.

From their intros, they had my attention. Kathy Lee says, “Children who experience their preschool years discovering and experiencing are more willing to take risks later in their education journey.”  I didn’t previously know this, so within the first few pages I gained valuable information.  Then, Leslie said, “. . . much of learning can be done within the everyday rhythm of life — measuring flour, skip counting on the trampoline, bringing a meal to a shut-in, writing letters to friends, participating in interesting conversations about big ideas,” and I was reminded of what I do know; and I found encouragement.

The Homegrown Preschooler is divided into 2 sections:

Chapters 1 – 9 help you understand why and how to educate your child/ren at home, giving them a foundation for life-long learning.

Homeschooling – Harvesting a Bountiful Life

Learning through Play

Sowing the Seeds – Preschool Learning

Setting the Stage

Home Life = Learning — Slow Down and Teach

Who Has Time for This?

Organizing It All

Days and Seasons That Don’t Fit in the Box

and

Special Circumstances.

The second section is nearly 100 pages, with at least 200 “easy-to-pull-together”, age appropriate Activities to prepare your child for kindergarten and beyond.  Promoting a healthy educational balance for –

Home Life

Science

Gross Motor

Fine Motor

Math

Language & Emergent Literacy

Art

and Social – Emotional skills.

An Appendix includes an Activity Checklist, Getting Started Checklist; and pages of Resources, with web sites, books, blogs and apps to lend a hand, instruct and encourage you along the way.  They share all their favorites!

I tried recipes, for food and play.  There are dozens of them throughout the book.  I’ve made ordinary finger paints and play dough before, but I’d never made clean mud or puffy paint!  The make-ahead Turkey Taco Pie is easy.  The recipe makes a lot, so it can be divided and frozen for extra pies, but it is actually perfect for my large family.  It tastes good, too!  I hone in on housekeeping and organizational tips, because the Lord knows I can use as much help in that department as I can get.  There are so many good ideas here — some I’ve had myself, implemented and forgotten, or simply slacked off on, and I’ve read them as gentle reminders; others are brand new, and more than once I’ve thought, “Duh, why didn’t I think of that!”  For example, we have wood floors and I taught my children how to sweep and mop them.  How much more fun is it to have “The Clean Floor Dance Party: This often dreaded chore will become one of your favorites! Provide your child with a pair of white tube socks and a spray bottle of white vinegar and water. Encourage your child to squirt the hard floor with the vinegar solution. Put on your favorite dance music. Dance and skate around on the floor until it is shiny!”   Clean floor, lots of fun and laughter, plus, with the amount of floor we have, this gets everyone’s heart rate up and counts as cardiovascular exercise, or PE, too!

I have no doubt, I will continue to use this book, digging into its riches.  At $29.95, it’s a treasure I can share with my daughters who are just beginning to teach my preschool grandchildren.  The Homegrown Preschooler is much more articulate than I am and I think it will be one of the best tools I can offer them for their journey.

My Crew mates had the choice of reviewing this same book or one titled, Global Art.  You can read their reviews when you click the graphic below and follow the link.

 

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Blessings,

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Disclaimer*   I received The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Jun
14

Art Ditto by Birdcage Press ~ A TOS Review

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It never ceases to amaze me what one creative, motivated momma can accomplish when she has three young children, and wants to teach them that learning is fun!   In this case, the woman is Wenda O’Reilly.  Her first game was published by Birdcage Press in 2000.  There are now more than 30 award-winning games available!

 

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“Classic card games with an educational twist.”

I recently had the opportunity to review Art DittoIt is a memory game, but it is so much more, too!

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There are 48, 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″, high-gloss, heavy-duty tiles of famous museum-quality paintings.  The paintings depict birds, boats, cats, flowers, horses; and music.  They are gorgeous!  There are also 8, 5″ x 10″ cards that can be used for collecting art sets.  Designed for ages 4+, it is a wonderful game for family play with multiple ages.  You’ll find it on the website for $24.95, and possibly in your local art museum’s gift shop.

Because Art Ditto is a memory game, it promotes visual processing, matching, memory, taking turns; and sharing for young children.  The pictures are vibrant, and hold a child’s attention.  This game is not just for wee ones, though.  The cards list the subject of the painting, the artist; and the name of the painting and the date.  The text is written in four languages!  English, French, Spanish; and German.  (I do wish there was a pronunciation guide included, because it took me some time to look up the proper pronunciations so I could read them aloud.)  This game could easily be used, with older students, as a supplement to their art studies, history; and language.

I played it with a 4 year old.  Just me and my granddaughter.  She loved the art!  We spent at least 15 minutes just enjoying the paintings, and discussing what we saw in them.  48 cards seemed a bit overwhelming for a memory game, though, and it took us forever to match them; so after the first game, we chose themes ahead of time.  One time we chose the tiles with flowers and tiles with the color green on them, another time we chose tiles that had something “living” on them, and so on.  Each new game, we mixed up the set of tiles and played with the smaller set, making it quicker and a little more enjoyable for her age.  It’s a game that can easily grow with her, and future grandchildren.

My Crew mates reviewed several of the products that are available at Birdcage Press, and if you click the banner below and follow the link you’ll find them there.

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 Blessings,

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Disclaimer*   I received the game, Art Ditto, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Sep
19

Fighting Obesity

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Everyone needs daily physical activity.  Generally, our level of physical fitness reflects the state of our overall health, and the body’s fitness is usually determined by the amount of physical work we do.  Many of our ancestors physically worked hard every day.  They were naturally active.  Technological progress has changed the very nature of work.  Often, we sit at work and then, we sit at home.  Establishing a regimen of consistent physical exercise has the potential to improve our health, well-being and life expectancy.  Yet, it seems so difficult to implement.  I’m hoping that if I start a program with my children, now, maybe it will become such a habit that they will continue it into adulthood.  The experts estimate that “by 2015 75% of all US kids, adolescents and adults will be overweight or obese.”  That’s a statistic I’d rather not have a direct connection to.

Family Time Fitness  is Physical Education for everyone, but with their Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum it is especially for the Home School.

 

 

 

Designed for grades K through 8th, Family Time Fitness utilizes the Guided Discovery Method to teach Movement Education.  “Guided Discovery is based on providing simple instruction then allowing children to explore movements on their own.”  Guided Discovery is approved by the International Youth Conditioning Association.

 

Family Time Fitness gives us, as parents and teachers, the instruction needed to confidently teach our children basic physical movement:

Skipping

Hopping

Crawling

Shuffling

Running

and Jumping

Each of the 260 lessons is clearly outlined with written instructions and video examples to follow.

Lessons detail –

Skills Taught

Equipment Needed

and Suggested Recovery Time

Plus –

3-5 activities for Warm-up:

Standing Leg Swings

Arm Circles

Toe Raises

Heel Walks

Ankle Alphabets

the Rocking Horse Series

and More…

3 or 4 activities for Game Play:

Wall Sits

Ball Circles

Shuffle & Skip with Toss

Partner Turn and Pass

Shoulder Tag

Bear Crawl

and Several Others…

2-3 Cool Down activities:

the Bowing Pose

Lion Pose

Crossover Stretch

Palm Tree Pose

and Single Leg Stretch

To Name a Few…

And 1 Outdoor Activity:

Freeze Tag

Monkey in the Middle

Who can Hula Hoop the Longest?

The Agility Course

and More.

 

 

 

The lessons are structured to provide 25-45 minutes of physical activity, with an additional 15-30 minutes of outdoor play included for a full 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily.  On average, it is taking us an entire hour just to accomplish the 25-45 minute activity.  Sometimes for fun, they do the 15-30 minute play, later in the day.  Other days, lack of time doesn’t allow us to do anymore PE for the day.  This program is flexible to any schedule, adaptable to any level of fitness and can be easily modified to meet each family’s needs.

It is recommended that Fitness 4 Homeschool be used at the same time each day, 5 days a week.  Presently, we are only using it 2 to 3 times a week.  Believing that “physical activity helps activate the brain and improves on task behavior,” we have set our family fitness time first thing in the morning; after face washing and teeth brushing, but before breakfast and school.  Starting after breakfast tends to churn up breakfast-in-the-belly because this, seriously, is a workout!

 

 

The lessons are designed so they can be done in limited space, but I think our space restrictions are a little much even for Family Time Fitness.  We couldn’t seem to do any of the activities in the house.  We did everything outside, and if the weather didn’t permit being outside then we postponed the lesson.  For those that have ample clear floor space, ideas and suggestions are added for indoor use.  For example, “Use foam balls for activities that require a ball with an alternative being a blow up beach ball.”

 

Lots of the activities are done without equipment, but some require readily available items that make the lessons more enjoyable:

Bean Bags – or small Balls, even a pair of socks rolled into a ball shape

Jump Ropes

Hula Hoops

Playground Balls – basketball, soccer ball or volley ball

Foam Balls

Cones – alternative might be a box, a bucket or even a large rock

Measuring Tape

Stop Watch

and an Exercise Mat – if needed after assessment of activity area


 

A Tracking Calendar is provided.  It can be copied and used for record keeping, as well as encouragement when a lesson is completed.

 

There is also an Assessment Form.  It is optional, but it is helpful to gauge where your child is starting in skill level and aptitude.  Assessing again, in 6-8 weeks, will usually show a noticeable improvement in a number of areas –

Strength

Mobility

Agility

Flexibility

Coordination

Balance

Endurance

and Mental Acuity

Other tools to assist you include:  a Daily Food Diary, Grocery List, a Meal Planner; and a Nutrition Log.

 

I have the PDF version of Fitness 4 Homeschool – Core 1 Physical Education Curriculum.  Paying a one time fee of $57 will give you access for a lifetime.  One of my favorite things in this format is the One Page Summaries.  One Page Summaries provide an overview of each lesson.  They were actually created to save on print costs.  How considerate!  You print one page and use it as a reference guide for the lesson you reviewed.  The lessons are formatted for the iPad and smartphones, too!  That’s another print saver.

 

 

It’s my intention to continue with Family Time Fitness and promote a few good habits with my children.  My youngest daughter loves “exercising and playing together.”  Her favorite activity is actually a Warm-up:  “Popcorn.”  The child lies flat on her back with her arms extended over her head.  She brings her knees to her chest, holding her legs with her arms wrapped around them.  She lifts her head as close to her knees as possible, holding that position to the count of 10.  Then, she “pops out” and back to the starting position!

My son gets distracted waiting for the set up or instruction for the next game.  He’s also extremely competitive and has to be reminded that every activity is not a contest against one of his siblings.  I’m looking forward to the improvement in his skill level, but also a positive change in his attitude.

The oldest daughter that is participating sees the benefit of “purposefully moving,” but has never enjoyed exercising.  “If you have to do it, Family Time Fitness is more fun with the family than working out alone.”

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact

Email ~ CustomerService@FamilyTimeFitness.com

Phone ~ 979.209.0778

or Write ~

Family Time Fitness

3131F East 29th Street

Bryan, TX  77802

 

and follow on facebook 

 

 

Please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post; including the banner below that directs you to the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog and my Crew mates reviews.

 

 


 “Be enthusiastic about physical activity.  Children will give physical activity the same importance and enthusiasm that the parent or teacher gives.”

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   I received the Fitness 4 Homeschool – Core 1 Education Curriculum, in exchange for my honest review; as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar
05

It’s a New Day!

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Wow, so much has changed since I began teaching my children at home, back in the dark ages, or so it seems some days.  When we began homeschooling there were few companies that wrote or published curriculum geared toward the unique needs of educating at home.  Now, not only are there several companies on board and promoting materials for homeschool use, but there are also online programs being created for this vast community.  It’s a new day for home education!

K5 Learning is an outstanding, online reading and math enrichment program!

 

Click the K5 graphic above for Sample Lessons 

Geared for Kindergarten through Grade 5, it is a student paced, individualized learning program, based on skill level, not grade level.  Even in light of other online programs we have used, my children agreed that K5 Learning is consistently challenging, but not frustratingly impossible.  I like it because it has repeated spoken instructions allowing even young students to work independently.

There are 1,500 reading tutorials with more than 3,000 activities, and over 1,200 math lessons and activities.  These are not random.  They are sequenced lessons that prompt continued mastery of the subject.  Each session is a 5-10 minute tutorial, then practice, and quiz over new material.

 

 Click graphic above for Math details

K5 Math is comprehensive.  It covers – Numbers & Operations, Geometry, Measurement, Algebra, and Data Analysis.  The Math Facts encourage “instant recall of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables.  Unlike computerized drill programs, K5 Math Facts does not generate questions randomly.  It records every response a child makes, continually analyses what facts your child has mastered or need further practice at, and generates questions based on that child’s needs.  This makes K5 Math Facts far more efficient at teaching math facts than a typical drill program.”

Click Math Facts graphic above to view demo

The Reading Enrichment encompasses Reading Curriculum & Comprehension, Phonics and Phonemic Awareness, Sight Words, Vocabulary, and Spelling.  K5 Spelling has a 150,00 word database, and “is far beyond your typical online spelling program.”

Additionally, K5 Learning keeps parent’s up-to-date with regular student progress reports.

Subscription rate:

per year – 1st child $199

additional child $129

per month – 1st child $25

additional child $15

K5 offers a 14-day FREE TRIAL that includes a reading assessment and a math assessment.

Click assessment graphic above for more information.

My crew mates have shared their opinions and you’ll find them by clicking the graphic below and following the link.

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

phone – 888.281.2145

 write –

K5 Learning

510-4438 West 10th Avenue

Vancouver, British Columbia

V6R 4R8

or facebook

I’m excited about the new options for home educators and I think you will be, too!  Please, follow the links I’ve provided and browse the K5 Learning website.  Let me know what you think.

Blessings,

A trial period of 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.

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Dec
16

It is FRACTAZMIC!

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I’ve found that the best way, or at least the yummiest way, to teach fractions, and actually make them stick, is in the kitchen.  Measuring to mix a batch of gooey, chocolate fudge brownies, cutting a veggie-loaded pizza or slices of hot apple pie, or adding the measures that triple a recipe of Gramma’s Homemade Chicken and Noodles, so they’ll be enough for this crew.  The problem I’ve found, there is no way I can cook enough, or we can eat enough, for my students to thoroughly practice using fractions.  The more you use fractions the easier they are to use.

Fractazmic (TM) is a 60 card game of fraction-practice-fun!  Created for 1st-8th grades, and beyond!  It’s from I See Cards (TM), the maker of the award winning Pyramath (TM) game.

 

 

Using colorful cards, with easy-to-grasp graphics, it teaches fractions, numbers and measurement and there’s no dishes to wash!  My children learn to convert and add fractions, reinforce the relationship between fractions and measurements and show real world use of fractions, without the added expense of chocolate chips or vanilla bean ice cream!

 

 

There are three sets of color coded cards – sixteenths, twelfths, and tenths.  The object is to make sets of cards that equal one whole.  When a player has used all of his cards the game ends and the player with the most sets of 1 whole, wins.  We played this game, and others using this deck.  My youngest daughter’s favorite is Go Fish!  She learned to recognize the fraction on the card and the proper way to say it – one half, four sixteenths, etc., while enjoying the thrill of beating her older sister at a game!  Dr. Ron teaches Fractazmic Trap and Fractazmic Rummy in his free download, Math Success Booklet.

 

My view ~ “Educational fun for a fraction of the cost!”    Truly, the game is only $6.95 or play Fractazmic (TM) Speed Version online; if your speed is the fastest, you could win a free deck of cards.  Warning:  Online Fractazmic can become addicting.

 

If you have comments, questions, orders, need support or have an idea for new cards:

emailcorporate@iseecards.com

You’ll find other reviews when you click the graphic below and read what my TOS crew mates have to say about I See Cards (TM) and Fractazmic (TM).

 

I hope you enjoy this game as much as we have enjoyed it.  My husband said, “Finally, a way for you to teach fractions without having to feed the neighborhood!”

 

Blessings,

 

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.

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Categories : Games, homeschool, math, TOS
Comments (0)
Nov
28

Time Well Spent

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I am especially fond of playing games with my children that teach more than just good sportsmanship or cooperation.  I appreciate games like Scrabble, Boggle, Bible Trivia, and chess, more than Sorry or Parcheesi.  I’m all for fun, but time is valuable, so why not combine fun and learning to make the most of it, right?

If your child is not yet reading, or could use some sight-word reinforcement, I have the perfect game for you!  The Reading Game.

 

 

Designed for children ages 4 and up, it requires two players – the student and a tutor.  It is a fast paced memory game, it’s FUN, and the results are quick and encouraging!

Basically, it consists of 6 story books, illustrated in black and white sketches, and six color-coded decks of cards.  You begin with the cards.  There are 6 games per deck, introducing 5 new words per game or 30 words per deck.  The players match the words, and while doing so, the student-player learns to recognize and master them.

 

This video might give you a better idea of how it works –

 

When all of the words in a deck are learned, all through game play, the corresponding color book can be read.  The stories are well-written, they seem like “big-kid” stories.  The feeling of accomplishment by the reader is palpable!

 

 

 

When the first book, Skunk, is read, it means that 30 new words have been mastered, and 30 more, when the second book, Snake, is read, and so on, through all six books, until your child has a reading vocabulary of 180 words!  22 of the 25 most commonly used English words and 42 out of the top 50.  It’s no wonder children and parents get excited to play this game.

The Reading Game is a well researched, supplemental reading program, that promotes long term retention of words.  It is serious FUN!  It’s $24.95, and time, well spent!

 

For more information, follow the links I’ve provided to the website.

Questions or Comments – emailinfo@thereadinggame.com

call 858.412.3442

or

write Allsaid & Dunn

2727 De Anza Rd., Suite SD21

San Diego, CA  92109


Read other informed reviews of this product by clicking on the graphic below.

Blessings,

 

 

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. 

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Nov
08

Clever Dragons Discount!

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Clever Dragons launches it’s smart fun for boy’s only, today!  My son has been waiting weeks for this, as I wrote in my review of a scoop of laughter, a scoop of learning, Always Icecream, for girl’s only!

I’ll be posting a review of this site, soon, but couldn’t wait to tell you that Clever Dragons is online and they are offering a discounted membership rate for a limited time only.

* Now through November 27th *

Launch Special Price

$39.99 for Lifetime Membership

No promo code needed.

Find Clever Dragons on facebook for the latest updates.

Blessings,

Clever Dragons, nor anyone affiliated with them, asked me to write this post.  I received no compensation and any expressed opinions are my own.

Thanks for your comments.  PK

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Nov
07

An Adventure to Ooka Island

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Technology has not changed at our house at the same rate that it has generally, but, we use more of it than many households do, I’m sure.

I remember a time when we didn’t own a camera.  One year, I wrote every detail I could think of to record our child’s 2nd birthday party.  We didn’t have a camera and I didn’t want her to think we hadn’t had a party for her, because there were no pictures; so, I described everything!  Eventually, we owned a Polaroid that developed instant pictures and a little 110 camera.  We had to send our 110 film off in an envelope to get it developed and then got our pictures in the mail.  Initially, 35mm disposable cameras were expensive, yet they cost less than investing in a real one.  The first 35mm camera we were able to buy was all manual.  You set the flash when you needed it, you advanced the film after a picture and rewound the film by hand and gave it to the developer.  It was certainly not an SLR, but I thought it was a wonder!  Over the years, we were able to upgrade to an automatic and I have some great pictures from those years.  The Christmas after our youngest child was born we were given our first digital camera.  You know how, usually, the first child in the family has the most pictures taken of them?  Well, that’s not the case here.  We have so many pictures of our youngest daughter!  Everything new she did was documented with the cool camera that had the itty-bitty screen on the back.  Now, a decent digital camera is reasonably priced and there are nearly half-a-dozen, owned by the teens and adults of our family.  My younger children think you look at every picture after you take it, they don’t know any different.

I used to write out every quiz and test, in duplicate, because I didn’t have a copy machine.  When our older children were our young students, they answered workbook questions on separate sheets of paper, so I could reuse the workbooks with their siblings.  For the last few years, we’ve had a do-it-all printer/scanner/copier.

In years past it wasn’t even a thought to own a personal computer.  It was way out of our budget.  Now, not only do we own a PC, but we have high-speed internet access.

Remember the Walkman that played a cassette tape?  One year, several of the children received personal CD players for Christmas.  Last year the three youngest were given MP3’s.

There are cell phones everywhere! And it wasn’t that many years ago that there were only three television stations and you actually had to leave your house to rent a VHS movie.  No HD, no DVD, no Blue-Ray and certainly not as many acronyms.

An older daughter has a Kindle and I recently bought a WebOS Touch Pad, for reading and school-on-the-go.

Our children know how to use each of these devices and more, usually before we do.  The last two school years have seen a dramatic difference in how I teach, because I’ve had access to online curricula.  I’m still working on finding a balance, but I don’t shy away from the use of technology, like I once might have done.

The fact is, some of my children are a generation apart.  Things have changed.  I have more options today than ever before, when it comes to their education.  By no means are we on the cutting edge of technology, but we are trying to keep a steady pace.

Recently, my youngest daughter and I set out on a new adventure.  Now, before I take a trip, I like to know something about my destination.  I do a little research before I book a flight or a cruise.  I read reviews, check out the best eateries and look for places that aren’t tourist traps.

I discovered an island that I hadn’t heard of before.  So, we went to the logical place to check it out – You TubeThere are dozens of videos about it!

 

This one got us excited about beginning our Ooka Island Adventure!


Click graphic to view the Official Trailer.

Ooka Island is a virtual online world.  A vibrant, energetic world created especially for ages 3 – 7 years, pre-K through 2nd grade.

Students style a personal avatar and set off on heroic quests.  Along the way, they develop skills essential to prereading, reading and spelling.  They learn to understand sounds, associate sounds with letters, blending and making words, all while mountain climbing, cave exploring, cake making and more.

This is an innovative program.  There are 24 levels of purposeful, crazy-fun 3D games, led by a robot named Zobot!  The players meet Auntie Kay, Ooka elves that need rescued and the mischievous Figgs.  20 minutes of school work, that they don’t have a clue they’re doing, and they earn 8 minutes of free time.  They’re successes are rewarded with the option to play games or buy stuff for their avatar.

Click graphic to read “the Ooka Adventure for Parents.”

The ten Ooka Island game areas, are designed to build on each other, getting more difficult with each one.  The entire system adapts to each individual child’s progress.  It is a complete curriculum, using 85 interactive e-books, on three levels:  Emergent, Beginning and Fluency.  My daughter is quite fond of the Ooka books, because they seem rather Dr. Seuss-ish and are written for the child.

Take your child on an adventure to Ooka Island, there is a Parent’s Page where you can track their progress and play along.  Together, you will motivate and teach him to be a fluent, lifelong reader.

There’s no risk with the 14-day Free Trial.

Click graphic for full pricing overview.

Use promo code:  LAUNCHSPECIAL30  and save 30% on a monthly subscription.

To read other Ooka Island Adventures reviews, click the TOS Homeschool Review Crew graphic below.

Stay up-to-date with everything on the island by following Ooka on facebook.  Browse the website:  http://www.ookaisland.com  and read Village Voices, the Ooka blog.

Blessings,


 

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.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Oct
28

You Can Say Anything

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In our house you’ll find a new game for Family Game Night.  The latest family edition of North Star Games‘ wildly popular Say Anything.

 

 

I’ve said before that I look for ways to keep my children connected to one another.  It may only be a fine thread of similarities or a few shared memories, but since there are so many of us and the age range between our oldest and our youngest is more than 25 years, it is an important thread.  Say Anything Family  is ideal for this!  It’s designed for 3-6 players, ages 8 and up.  It takes about 2 whole minutes to learn how to play and actual game time tends to be an easy, quick, fun 30 minutes.

Start with 60 question cards that are protected by a glossy coating on each side, 3 questions per side = 6 questions per card = 360 questions total.  6 individual dry-erase boards, with color borders and 6 dry-erase markers.  12 player tokens (betting chips) and a SELECT-O-MATIC 6000 (no spinner) with printed pics of color-coded meeples.  1 pre-printed dry-erase score board and a sturdy, colorful, full-size page of rules.

 

Basic play:  A “judge” draws a card and asks a question.  The other players answer the question, write their answer on their white board, and quickly submit it to the judge.  The judge picks up the state-of-the-art SELECT-O-MATIC 6000 and secretly chooses the picture of the meeple that corresponds to the color border on the white board that has his favorite answer written on it.  The other players then use their tokens (2 each) to bet on which white-board-answer the judge chose.  According to scoring rules, points are tallied.  The SELECT-O-MATIC is passed to the next player and a new round begins.  Two turns as “judge”, asking 2 questions each, and the game is done.  The player with the highest score wins!

The laugh-out-loud fun is in the questions and the answers!  This game builds relationships.  My generations-apart-children get to know each other better with each round they play.  I learn more about the heart and mind of a grand child or a niece when I play with them.  Yet, no one (but me, of course) is really paying any attention to this, they’re just having a blast playing a great game!

Questions include –

What’s the most important quality in a friend?

What would be the best city to live in?

What’s a father most likely to forget?

What’s my biggest guilty pleasure?

What’s the most annoying thing about being a man?

What technology don’t we have that I wish we did?

You can learn much about a person by how they answer these questions.  Do they answer with truth and facts, according to what they think or what they think the “judge” will think?  Do they answer with humor and jest or in-all-seriousness?  Do they have a clue or none?  Ah, the possibilities,  they can say anything!  And the interchange between players, while trying to convince the judge which answer to choose, is entertaining by itself!

My husband and I also have future plans for Say Anything Family.  We told our in-house kids, those not yet out-of-house-grown-and-married, that this will be an outstanding game to play before they can get married.  A You-Want-To-Marry-My-Daughter?-Just-Choose-Half-a-Million-Correct-Answers-And-We’ll-Give-Our-Blessing Game!  =)  Yes, it might take several rounds of play, with a few questions rigged to elicit valuable information, but it’ll still be quicker than the fourteen years that Jacob had to work and wait for Rachel (Genesis 29.)  They think we’re joking…we’ll see.

Last Thanksgiving, when our whole extended family got together, we introduced everyone to Wits and Wagers, another game by North Star Games that I got to play and review.  This year we are excited to share Say Anything Family.  There’s not a doubt in my mind that they’re going to love it!

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You can find North Star Games at local toy and game stores, like Target and Toys “R” Us, and online at Amazon.comSay Anything Family usually retails for $19.99.

Click the TOS banner and link below, to read other reviews of these games, written by my crew mates.

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

telephone – 301.493.4331

or

email – Sales@NorthStarGames.com

and

facebook 

Let me know what your family thinks of North Star Games.

Blessings,

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.

Thanks for your comments.

*Contents of this blog and photographs are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Oct
19

For Girls Only!

Posted by: | Comments (3)

Finding one’s place in a big family can sometimes be difficult.  Having something that belongs just to you or that didn’t belong to a sibling before you doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it’s nice.  It’s a little affirmation that you are one-of-a-kind and not just part of the group.   I look for ways to let my children know that I see them as individuals.

Our youngest daughter is the youngest of 11.  She loves her position, but we’ve made it a point to let her know that she wasn’t an afterthought.  She was/is wanted and she is an important part of our family.  It would be easy for everything she owns – clothes, toys, books & games – to be a hand-me-down, much is, but not all.  Truly, she probably wouldn’t even mind, but I would; so, when I recently had the opportunity to review an ad-free learning website, for girls only, I was just a wee-bit excited about the possibilities!  I wasn’t disappointed.

Always Icecream is geared for girls, ages 7-12, and it looks like it was created just for them.  It’s pink and fun, and frufru and fun, and cute & sweet and fun!  Much to my youngest son’s dismay, the website for boys only hasn’t been completed, yet, but I hear it is in the works.  If I’d allow it, he’d learn & play right alongside his sister, but since I haven’t, he can not wait for his siteWhy have a site, for girls only?  My guys and girls get along very well together.  My guys are a little more sensitive, considerate and compassionate and my girls are comfortable catching bugs and fishing, because of their interaction with each other, but it’s not that way in every home or classroom.

    • “Online games for girls are games that have been specifically designed to meet the interests and curiosity of girls. This gender-focus makes it possible that “girls can be girls” without the fear of being bothered by boys who tend to make fun of everything that girls consider “cute.”
    • “Within the target age group of 7-12 years, children’s preferences and ways in which they can be motivated tend to be influenced by gender.  Collaborative play (girls) versus competitive play (boys) and girls tend to be attracted by virtual goods that are “decorative”, such as clothes, versus “useful”, such as machines or armor.”

“Notwithstanding the differences in brain development and socialization, Always Icecream is adamantly opposed to stereotypes such as “girls are not interested in science or math.” The site challenges its young members to engage in learning activities across a broad spectrum of subjects:

Language Arts

Math (basic and advanced)

Science

Computer Skills

Geography

History

Foreign Languages

Music & Arts

and Religious Education

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I asked my daughter for her opinion of Always Icecream.  She said, and I quote:

I love it!  You get to make your own house and you get your own pet.  It’s fun!  The learning is still fun, too.  I am learning, you know.  There are so many activities, I can’t even tell you!  I’m practicing typing and I’m learning my states.  Want me to show you?  I’m getting higher and higher in my math and I got all of the Bible questions right, last time, because we had just learned about two of them in Children’s Church!  The pet world thingy-place is my favorite!  The pets can play games and do stuff.  You can buy them accessories, (yes, that’s her word.  We are big Fancy Nancy fans, but I’ll save that for another time) like a necklace or a bow.  You use your $coops to buy stuff.  ($coops is the earned currency in the Always Icecream world.)  You buy them food and feed them, like carrots for the rabbit, not bacon or dog bones, of course.  You give them cuddles and love and their hearts go up!  I already said it, I just love it!

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School time.  Learning time.

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 Play time.  Reward time.

Parental participation, behind the scenes, is encouraged.  Parents sign-up to receive a progress report, once a week, and may choose a number of $coops to be rewarded for special in-real-life projects, chores or accomplishments.  My kids are on a rotation to clean the cat’s litter box.  Our youngest was rewarded $coops for doing it without having to be reminded.  Granted, she would like to go to Dairy Queen in the future for real-world ice cream in exchange for a real-world chore, but since she usually only gets a “thank you” she thought getting $coops was actually “pretty cool.”

The girls earn $coops currency for completing their learning tasks, challenges, games & videos.  They create a mini-me avatar and can switch her clothes, buy rooms for the house and purchase furniture, pets and more.  My girl loved this!

There is also a social feature available, set up by the parent, that enables or not, the girls to “make friends” and communicate with one another safely through Always Icecream.  Although we didn’t choose to activate this feature, I do appreciate the excellent safety measures that are in place for the girls.  Click the graphic below for more information.

 

*  $4.99 per month  *  $29.99 per year  *  $99.99 for a lifetime membership  *Take a quick tour of the site and try out FREE GAMES before you buy.  “Satisfaction guaranteed: Your daughter will have fun and learn relevant skills – or you get your money back!”

 

You’ll want to read more reviews by my crew mates and their girls.  Click the TOS banner below to get the full $coop!

 

 

Contact:

website

email – feedback@always-icecream.com

or visit

facebook

 

 

Blessings to you and your girls,

 

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.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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