Friday, March 18, 2011

We Have a Winner - The Art of Bread Making

Thanks everyone for making this first giveaway fun. 

Keep watching here for upcoming giveaways.  In addition to Janice VanCleaves Ecology for Every Kid (drawing to be held March 25th), I'll be having an Easter geared DVD coming up too.  I have a couple others up my sleeve too.

Congratulations to the lucky winner Tristan !  You'll be receiving an e-mail to verify your address. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Another Giveaway - Ecology for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave

It's Another Giveaway!! 

I recently got a copy of this thinking it might be helpful to someone.  If you'd like that someone to be you just follow the directions below.

Janice VanCleave's Ecology for Every Kid
Easy Activities That Make Learning Science Fun

Some of the lessons in the book include:

  • Space Sharers - What Ecology is About
  • Connections - How Plants and Animals Live with and Affect Each Other
  • Food Chain - How Plants and Animals Are Linked by Food
  • Up and Down - Learning About the Water Cycle
  • Boundaries - Understanding Ecosystems and Biomes
  • Woodlands - Learning about Plants and Animals in Forest Biomes
  • Watery Home - Learning about Plants and Animals in Ocean Ecosystems
  • Good and Bad - How Plastics Affect the Environment
  • Endangered - Learning about Endangered Animals 
          There are 25 lessons in all as well as a glossary of terms.   

To have a chance to win this book all you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment as to whether you've used any other books by the author and what you thought of them.
2. For another entry, click to follow me on Google Connect, or tell me you already follow.
3. For an additional entry, click to follow me on Facebook Networked Blogs, or tell me you already follow.
4. For one more entry, go to the "Pondering on the Prairie" page and Facebook and click Like.

The lucky winner will be picked randomly from all entries and posted on Friday, March 25, 2011.
Good luck!



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who Is God? And Can I Really Know Him? - Another TOS Review Favorite



Who Is God and Can I Really Know Him?
Biblical Worldview of God and Truth
John Hay & David Webb    2009    

What We Believe Series
Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.
22 Town Farm Road Bldg #13
Westford, MA 01886

Curriculum Help
Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.
1106 Meridian Plaza, Suite 220
Anderson, IN 46016

253 full-color, indexed pages, hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781935495079
Retail: $39.00

We've recently been reading Who Is God?  And Can I Really Know Him? by John Hay and David Webb.  Let me tell you a bit about this wonderful book I recently received free from Apologia Educational Ministries in return for an honest review of the contents.

Do you have a hard time sharing what you believe about God with others?  Do  you have a hard time sharing it with your children?  Do you or your children have a hard time sharing it with others?  Do you want to make sure your children look at things from a Christian worldview?   Check out what this beautiful book has to offer:
  • Eye-appealing colorful pictures
  • Easy to read larger type font
  • Vocabulary definitions 
  • Bible verses to "hide" in the hearts of your children
  • Thoughtful prayers
  • Nicely outlined notebooking activities
  • Thought-provoking questions
  • Interesting Quotes
  • Interesting Stories
  • Basic Christian Truths and Biblical references from 8 different Bible versions 
  • Pictures of works of art by significant artists
  • Biographical Sections about famous people
  • There are even recipes for Phenomenal Brownies, S'mores Clusters and Creamy Mango Sorbet!
This book guides readers through a conversational, family-inclusive study of Bible concepts and introduces a Biblical worldview.  It's the first book in the What We Believe series which also includes:

Volume 2 - Who Am I? (And Why Am I Here?)
Biblical Worldview of Self-Image ISBN 978-1-935495-08-6 (Summer 2010)

Volume 3 - Who Is My Brother? (And Why Do We Need Each Other?)
Biblical Worldview of Servanthood ISBN 978-1-935495-09-3 (2011)

Volume 4 - What On Earth Can I Do?
Biblical Worldview of Stewardship ISBN 978-1-935495-10-9 (2012)

The information in the book is presented in 10 different lessons, written directly to students ages 6 to 14, which contain:
  • The Big Idea (main topic introduction)
  • What You Will Do (learning objectives)
  • Short Story (about children of ages similar to your child)
  • Think About It (questions to dig deeper)
  • Words You Need to Know (vocabulary significant to the lesson)
  • Hide It in Your Heart (verses to memorize)
  • Integrated Learning (additional articles on various related topics)
  • What Should I Do (godly character traits for your child to strive for)
  • Prayer (adaptable to individual or family use)
  • Worldview Study (Biblical emphasis)
  • House of Truth (a visual model memory-aid)
The book suggests a lesson plan based on 2 weeks per lesson, 3 days per week.  (This is very flexible, however, to allow your child to learn at their own pace.)  Additional teaching materials are available through the Apologia website at (using a password you will find in the book), and Notebooking activities are presented to create deeper learning opportunities.

Lessons Included:
  • Lesson 1:  Where Am I Building My Life?
  • Lesson 2:  How Can I Know What's True?
  • Lesson 3:  What Is God Like (Part 1)
  • Lesson 4:  What Is God Like (Part 2)
  • Lesson 5:  Who Are The Father, The Son, And The Holy Spirit?
  • Lesson 6:  If God Created The World, Why Isn't It Perfect?
  • Lesson 7:  Why Did God Create Me?
  • Lesson 8:  Will God Meet All My Needs?
  • Lesson 9:  Why Does Sin Keep Me From Knowing God?
  • Lesson 10:  Is Jesus The Only Way To God?
We enjoyed this book and the way it is presented.  Favorite parts included the extra articles, stories, and worldview-focused sections.  My daughter liked the stories and thought they tied in well with the lessons.
The lessons definitely held her interest.  The ages suggested for this book are pretty accurate, in my opinion.  Having said that, the book can also be used and enjoyed by children a bit older too, probably up to age 16.  Older children can definitely read this on their own, but we did the read-aloud thing for more discussion.

My favorite parts were the Biblical references, the vocabulary section, the notebooking activities and the memory verses.  This book is beautiful and content-rich.  I had a hard time thinking of anything that I didn't like about this book.  I guess if there were anything I would do different it would be to stick with one Bible version.  Then again, we all have a favorite version so the mixture was okay.  The cost may look a bit expensive, but I think this one is worth it.  (And I'm a thrift store shopper that rarely buys anything new!)  I suspect we'll be checking into the other volumes too! 

I received a free copy of this book from the vendor in return for an honest review.  All comments and opinions are my own.  I was not obligated to provide a positive review.  No further compensation was received.
To see what other TOS Homeschool Crew members had to say about this book click here


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Homestead Blessings - The Art of Bread Making - It's a Giveaway!!

Homestead Blessings - The Art of Bread Making - It's a Giveaway!!

Bread, any way you slice it, it's a staple in a lot of homes.  I have a DVD of "Homestead Blessings: The Art of Bread Making" to give away.  A Franklin Springs Family Media Presentation, this DVD is hosted by Vicki, Jasmine, Hannah & Cece West.  This 56 minute DVD teaches the wonderful skill of how to make bread.  The West Ladies share advice, practical tips and even recipes.  This was educational and entertaining to watch and would be great for teaching children this wonderful "art".   
Come on, who doesn't like the smell of baking bread? 

To have a chance to win this DVD all you have to do is:

1.  Leave me a comment that you're interested in the DVD.

2.  For another entry, click to follow me on Google Connect.

3.  For an additional entry, click to follow me on Facebook Networked Blogs.

The lucky winner will be picked randomly from all entries and posted on Friday, March 18, 2011.   
Good luck!

Friday, February 25, 2011

MathRider - A TOS Product Review

Sharper Edge Pty Ltd
31 Hannah Street
Beecroft NSW 2119
Phone: +61 2 9980 2437
Office hours: 9am to 5pm (East Australian Time – GMT+10), Mon-Fri
Compatible with Windows, Mac OSX and Linux
Current sale price - US $37.

Instant download access

Age range 6-10 years old

"30 Day Risk-Free Guarantee"  (If for ANY reason you or your child are dissatisfied with MathRider, to get a 100% refund just contact the company within 30 days after purchasing.

Caution:  You are now entering the Mathlands . . .

We recently have been using a downloadable math game from Australia.  Let me tell you about this fun supplemental way to learn basic math.  MathRider is a new math game for kids to practice the number facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division from 1 to 12.

The download and registration of this game is pretty easy, although you may have to download Adobe AIR if you don't have it.  After downloading, your "rider" is easily added on the Rider Menu.

In the game the player rides on different quests and learns each of the 4 math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and  division).  While the game is played the computer stores and analyzes what the rider knows and what they still need to practice.  The cool thing about this is that the players get to actually practice what they don't know instead of doing random problems.  There's even an overview map for each number table to see which facts are mastered (answered correctly with consistent speed).

Screenshot from Addition Quest

Each of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) has four quests, which are the same, but the rewards are different in each quest.  The riders enter answers as they move along the quest.  They pass through the Mathlands, a richly illustrated background.  At the end of the quest the rider gets to see their reward on the main screen of the game.

Quest Progress Map


Along the way your child rides their own horse and takes off on fun adventures, some of which include finding magical flowers, returning gems to elves and rescuing a princess. All your child needs to do is type in the answer to the problem presented and press ‘Enter’.

Below is a picture of one of these overview maps of mastery.  In this subtraction statistics example most areas are green (mastered), but a few orange and red areas (problem areas), need more practice. Grey areas show the problems that have not been played yet.  This kind of feedback allows parents to figure out where their children still need practice.


This game also allows multiple children to play (up to 10 on a single license), and the game tracks each child separately. (They just log in to their own game.)  This feature is great if you have kids at varying skill levels, because the game becomes "their own" based on how well they answer questions on their personal quest.  (For example, you can have a younger child working on addition and subtraction while an older child works on multiplication and division.)  This feature is also great because you pay once rather than per child.

My daughter, a horse lover, thought this game was a fun way to practice her math and gain a bit of speed in solving basic problems. Yes, she asked to do math on her own time - hurray.

This one gets a thumbs up for helping learn basic facts. We weren't that excited about the graphics, but there is good variety for the quests. There are wizards, elves and other fantasy items we don't really care for, but this is worth considering for the inspiration to quickly learn math facts. I'd be interested in seeing this game with different types of quests rather than the fantasy theme.

To see what other TOS Crew members had to say about the game click here

I received a free trial download of this game to use for the purpose of providing an honest review.  Opinions and observations shared are my own.  I am not obligated to provide a positive review.  No further compensation was provided.

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