Archive for Music

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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May
26

Fall On Your Knees

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

 

I wrote the song, Fall On Your Knees,  in 2007.  I have an audio recording of it, but this is the first video recording I’ve done.  Actually, it’s the first time I’ve played guitar with it! It’s not the best sound, but I think you can hear it well enough; and I hope it blesses you.

A special note of thanks to my mom for her constant encouragement, and genuine gratitude to my brother for playing back up guitar with me.  I’m continuing to step out of my comfort zone!  God is good, and all the glory is His!

 

 

Lyrics:

Every day I look around I don’t see what I want to see.
Our whole world is crashing down and so rapidly.
People are just givin’ up, they don’t think there’s a chance,
To save these souls; but they don’t know our wondrous Father’s plans.

CHORUS:
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation; 
We’re gonna rock this world. 
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation;
We’re gonna rock this world.  We’re gonna rock this world!

All across this lonely earth, people are reaching out for love,
To chase away the fear and hurt they hold inside their heart.
Though there’s sin and selfishness, hope will not be drowned.
Through this pain and suffering, faith will find it’s ground.

CHORUS

It’s time to, call on His Holy Name.  It’s time to, call in the cavalry. 
We’re gonna rock it.  We’re gonna rock it.
It’s time to, share the love of Christ and
It’s time to, show the world what’s right.
We’re gonna rock it.  We’re gonna rock it.

Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation.
We’re gonna rock this world.
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation.
We’re gonna rock this world.  We’re gonna rock this world!

Warmly,

Sarah E.

 

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

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Apr
28

A Top Ten List – What I Like To Do

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

Here’s a little something about me.

A list of ten things I like to do, in no particular order:

 

  • Write.  That’s why I’m here on this page.  I like to write stories, poems, songs; and random blog posts!  Writing down characters, plots, and lyrics; that often weave their way through my brain, helps me focus my thoughts and make room for other things.
  • Draw.  I have been doing this for as long as I can remember.  Holding a pencil in my hand feels as natural as breathing.  I like drawing from my imagination — abstract ideas and cartoons; and I like drawing things that I see around me — people, landscapes, and still life.
  • Paint.  Watercolor is one of my favorite mediums.  I find it relaxing and challenging at the same time.  I was a color-inside-the-lines kind of kid, and painting with watercolors coaxes me outside of the box; and sort of forces me to go with the flow.

 

Watercolor by S.E.Koshiol

  • Read.  I can’t think of a genre I don’t like.  I like both fiction and non-fiction — historical, fantasy, Christian romance, mystery and thriller, short stories; and poetry.  I also like reading The Bible.  I read nearly anytime and anywhere I can!  I’m afraid I may never be able to express the endless happiness that reading gives me.
  • Spend time with my family.  I couldn’t ask for better people in my life.  My family is so much fun!  Whether we are on a Sunday drive, hiking, looking for adventure; or just hanging out, talking, laughing, and playing games — we enjoy each others company.
  • Camp.  This is another great family activity!  We generally pitch tents and sleep on the ground in sleeping bags.  We’ve camped in the summer heat and the frozen cold of a spring day that was still too close to winter’s breath.  I like the great outdoors, camp fires and s’mores, lying under the stars at night; and soaking up every wonder of God’s creation.
  • Sing.  I like to sing, but I don’t like to perform.  I like to sing spontaneously, around the house and in the car.  I like the sound of blending my voice with my mom’s and dad’s, and/or sibling’s voices, whether we’re praising God; or goofing off with our favorite tunes. 

 

As I read over this list, seeing my favorite likes in one place, I realize how thankful I am that God has allowed me to do so many things.  My family has never had a lot of money, but clearly The Lord has blessed me abundantly.

I’d love to hear what you like to do.  If you share your list in the comments below,  I’ll be sure to read them!  Thanks.

 

Warmly,

Sarah E.

 

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

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Oct
15

Music to My Ears

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After many years of steadfast prayer fueled by constant desire, some of my children are now receiving music instruction from a local school of Fine Arts.  I don’t know how long we’ll have the opportunity, but with this gang we presently qualify for a big-family rate; so it’s affordable.  I appreciate the balance, as I see it, in their education; with Bible, academics, music & art, home management and community service.  I like being able to introduce my children to different things to find their level of interest and their natural bent.  A couple of my younger ones are actually starting out ahead of my older ones, thanks to KinderBach.

 

 

Karri Gregor is the creator, illustrator and teacher of KinderBach Piano Lessons.  She believes that children do not have to read to be able to learn to play piano or read music.  She has designed characters that help her students remember the piano keys, notes and the staff; instead of letters making words that must be read.  KinderBach is bright, colorful, fun and engaging!  Designed for ages 3 – 7, my younger children gained a foundation in music before they even realized they were taking lessons.

 

  • Music Theory
  • Note Reading
  • Rhythm
  • Music Vocabulary
  • Ear Training
  • Hand Position
  • Do, Re, Mi Singing
  • and More!

 

Click the graphic to view an informative video of KinderBach at Home.

 

The characters are endearing to children.  My youngest daughter was introduced to KinderBach around 6 years old, but was enthusiastic about using the online program again because of her affection for several of the characters.  You might also notice older siblings picking up instruction and building their own foundation in music from being in the same vicinity where the program is being viewed, because the lessons are lively and entertaining.  My preteen son says, “The story and songs stick in your head and then your brain recalls the pictures and instruction that is originally taught.  I know things about music that I didn’t even know I knew!”

 

Click to see the full cast of characters.

 

There’s ample material covered over 6 levels with 10 lessons each and 4 sessions in each lesson.  Yes, that’s a total of 240 sessions of private, in home music lessons!  Lessons are child-paced.  They can be watched and watched again, at no extra cost, when your daughter gets stuck on a favorite session or two like mine did.  The hands on activities thoroughly reinforce the lessons, making this a complete curriculum.  My daughter especially enjoyed attaching the little finger cues to her fingers, following the prompts and playing the piano.  I laminated the paper finger puppets so she could use them more than once, because they really encouraged her to strive for the goal of eventually playing without them.  Children quickly learn to play music that they recognize.

 

 

 

 A Year Online Membership gives you web access to all sessions by computer, iPad/iPhone, Android, Tablet, Kindle Fire or Nook; plus downloadable PDF activity pages that accompany lessons.  The best value is $7.99 a month for an annual subscription – billed in one payment of $95.88.

The TOS Crew previously had the opportunity to review KinderBach, but this time some of my Crew mates were given the chance to use the new iPad/iPhone App that’s available for Levels 1 – 3.  “App lessons can be purchased one at a time, or at a reduced rate for an entire level.”  The keyboard that’s needed for the lessons is on the screen, plus six mini-games are unlocked as you purchase more lessons.  The added convenience of education-on-the-go for just $26.99.  I’ll definitely be reading their reviews!

The entire curriculum is still available in a DVD & CD Activity Package, per levelfor the one-time charge of $40.45 each.  Value Packages are available, too!  What grabbed my attention is the fact that every disc has a “lifetime replacement”  included in KinderBach’s exceptional 30-day Money Back Guarantee!

~

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact  KinderBach  through the website.

Write:  KinderBach LLC, P.O. Box 181, Le Claire, Iowa 52753,

Call:  563.332.0587

 

and

Follow on facebook.

 

You can also read the numerous Crew reviews of the online program and the iPad app when you

click the graphic below ~


 

In addition, I have written two other reviews of KinderBach, and they can be found under the blog titles – Good Education and The Sound of Music.  This is a great program and I hope to use it with my grandchildren in the future.

 

Blessings,

 

Disclaimer*   I received 6 months online access to KinderBach, 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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Aug
24

Behind the Music

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A couple of my daughters write music and lyrics.  Often, if they sing a new song, one of the first questions one of us asks is, “Did you write that or did someone else write it?”  We appreciate knowing the origins of music and learning the back story.

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers, is a story about “two young teens who, while on vacation in England, are befriended by an elderly English gentleman called Mr. Pipes.”  Annie and Drew first meet Mr. Pipes when they’re drawn into an old cathedral by music.  Music that is being played on a pipe organ, filling the cathedral with grandeur, as Mr. Pipes calls it.  It is unlike any music they’ve heard before.   Through the summer, Mr. Pipes gives them fishing lessons and rowing lessons, teaching them patience and perseverance.  He tells them stories about British hymn writers, their life and times, and music.  He shows them the value of traditional praise and worship.

 

 

 

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers, written by Douglas Bond and published by Christian Liberty Press, is the first book in a series.  It is available in print, and also conveniently as an e-book, presently on sale for $8.79.  The complete 4-book set can be purchased for $38.99.

 

 

 

 

 

This book is living literature.  I read it aloud to my children, because I wanted several of us to hear it at one time and be able to discuss it.  It is written for 7th through 10th graders, but 7 years old through adult comprehended it just fine.  It is rich in historical facts and you’ll find nuggets of Scripture throughout.  487 pages cover the hymn makers:  Thomas Ken, Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, William Williams, John Newton, William Cowper, Augustus Toplady and Thomas Kelly, and John Bunyan, plus Scottish Hymn Writers, Anglican Hymn Writers of the 19th Century, Women Hymn Writers, and additional British Hymn Writers.  You’ll also find Further Reading at the back of the book.

I chose to print this book, double-sided on standard-size copy paper, put each page in a clear protective cover and place it in a three-ring binder.  I made extra copies of the few illustrations, sketches that are in the book and used these as coloring sheets for my children.   I also created word puzzles to correspond to each specific hymn writer, and had them draw pictures of the story, as I read it.  There are also numerous YouTube videos to watch that gave them a clearer picture of a place or a thing, like a pipe organ.

We really like this book and I hope to purchase the rest of the set, so we can continue the adventures of Mr. Pipes and his friends.

To read other reviews, written by my Crew mates, click the banner below.

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A PDF copy of Mr. Pipes was given to me free of charge, 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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Aug
01

Summer School and More

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Unlike many families I know, including those that homeschool, we continue schooling throughout the summer.  We take plenty of breaks during the year, at our convenience, but we do school year-round.

I’ve recently added Zane Education, with *The Missing Piece (c), to our summer schedule.

 

 

Zane Education has  “the largest, and most comprehensive fully subtitled online educational video library”  compiled to accommodate the requirements of the K-12 curriculum, and aligned to National and State Standards.  There are over 1,500 videos, covering nearly 400 topics, provided with lesson plans, interactive online quizzes, and more!

 

Subjects include:

Art

Biology

Geography

Health

History

Library Skills

Literature

Mathematics

Music

Religious Studies

Science and

Social Studies

 

Research proves that *The Missing Piece (c) – using subtitles and closed captioning on video – can dramatically improve children’s reading and literacy skills.

~

Once subscribed, you can begin by selecting a subject and then a specific topic to study, according to the access you purchased.  [In our house, a Gold Membership allows me to utilize the video library for my elementary; middle and high school aged students, and continuing education for myself, at no additional cost!]  User Guides  are available and cater to your child’s specific bent.  You can also download, and even print, a Lesson Plan Guide for each video.  Zane provides a vast Video Word Glossary, and interactive study tools:  an Encyclopedia, a Dictionary, and a Thesaurus.

Click the graphic to view a FREE Educational Video of the Day

When you watch a video, you might notice a couple of the quirks that we found slightly annoying, but not distracting enough to discontinue use of the program.

  • Videos do not play full screen.  There are some courses we could work on at the same time, but the viewing screen doesn’t really accommodate more than one person at a time; so, we’re concentrating on individual lessons.
  • There are non-functional button graphics in the videos.  I believe they are part of an older system and we just made the choice to ignore them.

 

There is also quite a bit of evolutionary content in different videos, especially in the Biological Science series.  Personally, if I am made aware of such content, ahead of time, I make it part of my student’s education and address it in comparison to our new earth creationist view.  It is my personal belief and Zane’s conviction that “students should know and understand positions outside of evangelical Christianity.   We are confident that their faith will be stronger when they know both sides and understand why we believe the Biblical view of the world is correct both intellectually and spiritually.”   Zane Education not only makes one aware of the bias, they have also written a Christian Learning Guide to assist you in teaching the truth.  “Zane Education’s educational program and this document offers you and your children two critical requirements for future influence:  (1) solid grounding and factual education, and (2) a Biblical Christian perspective and application of the program.”

~

This is our plan of action, for getting the most out of Zane Education:

Day 1 –

Print or Pull-from-File the Lesson Plan Guide for your assigned subject.  If not already done, put it in a clear plastic sleeve for future use.  Read.

Look up Glossary Terms ~ write summarized definition; key words, etc.

Day 2 –

Start video, pause at the beginning of each new page/frame and write down highlighted words that are not listed in your Glossary Terms, then restart video > listen carefully.

Look up words and write definitions.

Day 3 –

Play/Read video on mute.

Review words.

Day 4 –

Watch video and work on assigned Sharpen Your Skills projects.

Day 5 –

Watch video.

Take quiz.  (Note – Quizzes are marked and correct answers supplied by Zane, when needed, so that even in testing the learning process continues.)

~

We found this schedule fairly intensive.  We didn’t always complete the vocabulary work on the set day, and often rolled it over to the next day, but the retention of the material has been excellent!

Many of my Crew mates made use of  Zane in an entirely different way, and it’s beneficial to read their reviews, too.  You can click the banner below to do just that.


~

Monthly Subscriptions start as low as $8.99 per Subject, $12.99 per Age/Grade Level, or Full Access – All Subjects – All Videos for $17.99.

Yearly Memberships are also available, starting at $98.89 per Single Subject through the Best Value – Full Access – Gold Membership for $197.89.

~

You can contact:   Zane Education, by email ~  follow the link on their website, call ~ 1.650.488-8204, or write ~

Zane Education

2203 NE 203rd Terrace

Miami, FL  33180

Also, watch for their latest developments and new products –

Read their News Blog and follow Zane Education on facebook.

Read – What You Get with Zane


Zane Education addresses the genuine need for different learning styles, in our homes and our schools.   I encourage you to follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post, and browse their website.   You may find that it is the Visual Learning Solution for your child’s needs – whether gifted or specialized, home schooled or public schooled; Summer School, Bridge work, or Full Curriculum.

~

As a “thank you” for reading my blog, I can offer you a 35% promotional discount on the purchase of any annual subscription to Zane Education, available through August 31, 2012.  Use code ZE828HSM during checkout, to receive your discount, and leave a comment telling me which subscription you chose.  Thanks, again.

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A  one year, full access, Gold Membership subscription was given to me, free of charge, 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.

 

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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Feb
03

Good Education

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I want to give my children the opportunity of a good education.  After feeding them and clothing them, sometimes, the cost is greater than my budget.

This isn’t the case with KinderBach.

KinderBach provides a solid music foundation for the children while, at the same time, overlapping and enhancing basic math and language skills.”  Designed for beginners, ages 3-7.  It is good education.

 

 

Karri Gregor is the fun, energetic author, illustrator and educator of KinderBach.  She uses memorable piano pals, Frisco, Dodi, and friends, to teach note reading, rhythm, singing, composition, and more, reinforcing the value of each lesson with coloring pages, worksheets, and games.

 

 

Piano for young children. The lessons are child-friendly, quick and easy!  More than 240, 10 minute lessons, achieving 6 levels.  DVD/CD packages starting at $40.45 +s/h or an instantly accessible online subscription for $95.88 per year.  That makes it good education within budget!  That’s just $7.99 per month or less than 30 cents a day for a music tutor, no scheduling conflicts and no gas money.  I didn’t even factor in the 30% off  you can get, until February 2013, when you use coupon code TOScrew2012.

I first discovered KinderBach last year, and since then there have been some exciting changes.  You can still use the program on your computer, even streaming to your TV, but now, you can also use it with iPad, Android Tablet, Nook, or Kindle Fire!

They still have their 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, plus all DVD’s & CD’s have a lifetime replacement if damaged for any reason.  There’s really no risk because KinderBach also offers a two week free trial, before you pay for anything.

 

Take a few minutes to follow the links I’ve posted here, to the KinderBach website.  It’s simple to navigate and full of great information!

 

Still have Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Email – info@KinderBach.com

Phone – 563.332.0587

Write –

KinderBach LLC

P.O. Box 181

LeClaire, IA  52773

or 

facebook

You can also choose from nearly a hundred other reviews, viewpoints, written by my crew mates, when you click the graphic below.

 

 

I think learning is simply fun and affordable with KinderBach at Home.

 

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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Jan
13

Maestro Classics

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We love music.  I encourage my children to develop an appreciation for the art, beauty, and talent in every genre.  I’ll admit, it’s a little harder to find in some, more than others, but it is possible.

In December, I had the opportunity to take my children to hear the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  The youngest, especially, were amazed to hear and see the instruments at the same time.  I loved watching them, as they heard a new sound, searching to find the instrument it was coming from.  It was a wonderful experience.

“Listening to symphonic music allows a child to listen to the sounds that various instruments make and then make an informed decision on which instrument they might like to try playing.”  It’s true.  My child could envision herself playing the flute.  Actually, she mimicked playing it throughout the entire concert.  I don’t know if she had even seen a flute before then.

Maestro Classics is classical music for kids.  It is geared for children ages 6 – 12.  The music is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

 

They have 9 productions available:

Peter and the Wolf

The Soldier’s Tale

The Story of Swan Lake

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music

The Tortoise and the Hare

Casey at the Bat

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Juanita the Spanish Lobster

Each CD is $16.98 or purchase a MP3 download for $9.98.  Nearly an hour of music, by brilliant composers, narration and background information.

Comments or Questions?

email ~

info@maestroclassics.com

write ~

Maestro Classics

P.O. Box 688

Falmouth, MA  02541

call ~

888.540.2811

or

508.548.2811

and

facebook

Read other reviews by clicking the banner 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.

 

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Categories : Art, Award, homeschool, Music, reviews, TOS
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Oct
19

For Girls Only!

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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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Apr
06

The Sound of Music

Posted by: | Comments (3)


I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano and to read music. I haven’t, yet, but I will.  My mother was in her thirties, late in college, when she finally took a music course.

One of our daughter’s took piano lessons for several months, when she was 6 years old, and even had a recital.  The private lessons were reasonable, but still cost a bit.  It also took some time to drive to the lesson, wait during the lesson, and drive back home.  The more children we chose to have, the less feasible private lessons became.

KinderBach is the perfect answer for my young ones.  Karri Gregor is the author, illustrator and music educator of KinderBach.  “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  Karri wanted a music program for her young children and no one wanted to enroll them because they weren’t reading, yet.  As many homeschool parents would say, “the best thing to do is teach them yourself.”  She had the background; so, it wasn’t a far stretch for her to do just that.  Personally, I’m already stretching in other areas; so, I’m grateful she used her talents to put KinderBach together.

 

Click for website


Karri Gregor firmly believes that children do not have to be able to read to learn piano.  She teaches the notes on the piano and staff by characters rather than letters.

 

Click to Meet the Piano Pals

 

Bright, colorful, fun and engaging lessons.  More than piano, 3 – 7 years old are given a foundation in music with KinderBach

  • Music Theory
  • Note Reading
  • Rhythm
  • Music Vocabulary
  • Ear Training
  • Hand Position
  • ‘Do, Re, Mi’ Singing
  • and More

There are 6 levels (the 7th will soon be available) – 10 lessons each, 4 sessions in each lesson.  The Year Online Membership includes all of the web lessons, with 240 sessions, and downloaded PDF files of coordinating activity pages.

 

 

 

 

 

The best value is $7.99 a month for an annual subscription – billed in one payment of $95.88.  There are also DVD & CD packages available, which is great if you have a slow internet connection.  These start at $40.45 + s/h.  You’ll find that the KinderBach Shop has multiple discounts

AND

a 30 Day Guarantee

KinderBach has a No-Hassle Return Policy for DVDs & CDs as well as a satisfaction goal for web members. There are no bad decisions with KinderBach. All Products carry a 30 day Money Back Guarantee. In addition, all of the disks have a lifetime replacement should any be damaged or broken for any reason. KinderBach wants you to be totally delighted with their product.

 

 

Click on the graphic (above) and it will take you to a full Curriculum Syllabus by Level and a quick click on the graphic (below) will give you FREE online lessons!

 

 

Please, take the time to follow the links I’ve provided, as KinderBach has an excellent web site and there’s so much information to share with you.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

It was a joy to use KinderBach for this review.  A big plus for my “littles” is the fact that you can use KinderBach Online with your  Wii, if you have one.  This made it so much easier for all of mine to see and do at the same time.  We don’t have a big TV, but it’s a whole lot bigger than our PC monitor!

 

Email: info@KinderBach.com

 

Phone: 563-332-0587

 

Mail: KinderBach, P. O. Box 181, Le Claire, Iowa, 52753

 

Click for facebook

 

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew has additional reviews of KinderBach on their 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.

 

Thank you…

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