FREE 14 Day Trial Is Now Available for the Odyssey Adventure Club!

Don’t miss this awesome chance to try out the Odyssey Adventure Club! We log into the club several times a day to listen to episodes. We love having easy access to any episode at anytime! While we own almost all of the CD sets (we are just missing a few new ones) having unlimited access to every episode of Adventures in Odyssey has us completely spoiled! We love having all of the cartoons available and all of the Last Chance Detectives series!

One of the really neat benefits is that all three girls can listen to different episodes at once if they like on their own tablets. Every afternoon my girls have quiet alone time in separate rooms. They are required to read at least 2 chapters of a book and then may color, craft, draw, or play quietly. Most of the time they ask me to log in to the Adventure Club on their tablets and listen to episodes while they have their alone time. They love the freedom to pick and choose and even search for their favorite episodes.

Now YOUR have the chance to try out the Adventure Club for 2 Full Weeks for free!

oac

Think of ways you can enjoy this summer for free:

  • Hiking
  • Visiting parks in your area
  • Swimming
  • Camping in your backyard
  • Visit a public museum or library

Now, add more fun and imagination to your summer through the Odyssey Adventure Club!

The Odyssey Adventure Club will give you streaming access to more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes plus a sneak peek of exclusive audio and video stories, on-line activities and daily devotions you can’t find anywhere else.

Start a free 14-day trial for your family today and make the summer even more fun!

Signing Time: Review and a Freebie!

When my oldest daughter was about 8 months old she finished her puffed star snack, looked directly at me, and started touching her finger tips together. I found this a little odd because she seemed to be trying to tell me something, but for the life of me I didn’t have a clue! My husband walked into the room and said, “She wants some more snack.” When I questioned him on how he knew what she wanted and what in the world it had to do with her hands he explained that the pair of sisters I had been teaching piano to had been teaching her signs. I would teach one piano and they would teach her sign language. I was shocked and delighted! I had them teach me a few basic baby signs and we used just the basics with my girls from about 6 months on: more, yes, and all done. I think there may have been more, but those are the ones I remember! This picture of Grace saying, “All Done!” Very emphatically with her hands after taking one bite of carrots at about 9 months!

My oldest daughter has been asking me to learn more about sign language. When Two-Little Hands gave me the opportunity to review Volume 13:Welcome to School I was excited and so were my girls! This DVD teaches many of the common signs of things found in school. The signs formally taught on this DVD are: Crayons, Scissors, Paper, Glue, Pen, Pencil, Table, Chair, Backpack, School, Line Up, Pay attention, Learn, Remember, Smart, Principal, Teacher, Class, Student, Name, World, Numbers, Count, Draw, Paint, Read, Quiet, and Rest. In addition to these formal signs Rachel, the Signing Time teacher, uses a number of other signs as she talks and sings. Rose (seven-years-old) picked up on a lot of those while Grace (three-years-old) and Beth (five-years-old) mostly focused on the formally taught sings.

The first thing that struck me about the DVD was how quickly it engaged my girls. Like many families we choose to limit the amount of time our girls are focused on a screen. There are many reasons for this, but one in particular is the lack of participation and interaction required is typically minimal even with educational shows. With signing time my girls all worked hard to sign well and talked with one another as well. Rose especially encouraged and helped her younger sisters.

Principal

The girls asked to watch this every single day. I’m not kidding! They love it that much! Not only that, they started signing to one another and to me to ask for things. It has been a really fun thing to watch.
Scissors

It’s really neat to see my seven, five, and three-year-old learning together and able to successfully learn at the same time. It is also rare to find a DVD which all three enjoy equally. Usually what interests one bores the other. All I have to say is, “It’s Signing Time!” They run and sit as quickly as they can while they wait for me to get it started.


Table
The girls also really enjoyed the extra features as well, especially watching the voice-over recordings. It was a good experience for them to see the production side of programs. I also like the extras include more signs to learn. Rose is really into Bonus Features right now!

This is a quick video of my girls’ completely absorbed in Signing Time! Take a minute to watch and you’ll see just how fun this has been for them!

 

And NOW for the freebie! As an exclusive gift for my readers is the Homeschool Guide e-book! Click the image to start your download! This exclusive guide is a great start to help you see just how easily Signing Time can fit into your homeschool day. 
Disclaimer
I received Signing Time: Welcome to School in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received.

Trail Blazer Books: Review and Free Book offer!!!!

One of the great needs of our children is to know and understand the Christian heritage they come from. Our family loves great literature and especially literature which draws my children in and causes them to want to learn more about the characters and history which make up the story. Rose in particular is beginning to very much enjoy historical fiction and so I have been searching for new stories to excite and engage her.

I was very excited to have the chance to review Trailbazer Books written by Dave and Neta Jackson. I first saw them online at a Christian supply website, but they were out of stock. I was very interested to have historical fiction which incorporated important figures from Christian history. Some of these books are now out of print in hard copies, but they are all available as ebooks! My daughters love ebooks because that means they get to use my Kindle. Although each book is available individually at http://www.trailblazerbooks.com/, they can also all be purchased on a CD for less than $1 each. This is a great price for excellent literature.

There are also several teacher’s guides available which incorporates several disciplines of learning. Included are the expected study of literary elements, vocabulary, social studies, and a variety of activities to engage student beyond the words written on the page. I like that there are connections to so many other areas of learning and that the guides are broken down into 2 chapter sections. Many other literature guides I have used take the book more as a whole rather than its parts. Since I typically like Rose to read at least two chapters a day when we study literature this is a nice setup.

I let Rose choose which book she wanted to start with and she liked the sounds of The Bandit of Ashley Downs. The story centers around a homeless orphan who gets into trouble after trying to steal some money and ends up being taken in by George Muller as one of his orphans. The twist is the money he stole actually belongs to the same orphanage!

Rose loved this book from the start! Before we had a chance to begin discussing the book she asked me, “Is this really a true story?” This was a great opening to talking about historical fiction as a genre. She said how much she loved the adventure and I loved that she learned about George Muller and his legacy of trust in God and prayer.

There are many great works of literature she will study and read throughout her education. Giving her opportunity to learn of her Christian heritage through excellent literature is even better. I look forward to exploring Christian history with her through the Trailblazer Books.

And now for a great gift for my readers directly from Dave and Neta Jackson! For the entire month of May you can get Drawn by a China Moon, a story about a young southern girl who goes to China with her parents to aid Lotti Moon and her work, for free!!!! Just click the cover to the left for your free e-book!

Don’t miss out on this offer and share it with your friends!


Disclaimer
I received the CD Rom of 40 e-books in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received. 

Field Trip: Home Depot Project

When free field trip opportunities come our way we jump at the chance. I’ve seen these projects at Home Depot advertised for a couple of years, but we hated to take one of the girls and not both. I thought this one looked like a lot of fun so my husband called to check on the ages and they said that even though there is a suggested age range, everyone is welcome! So we packed up the girls on this usually cook Saturday morning and ventured to our first Home Depot Kids Project Workshop!

The workshop area is set up outdoors, but is enclosed with an orange barrier and underneath the cover close to the store. I appreciate the care taken to make this as safe and enjoyable as possible. The only downside to the morning was the store had not received their order of kids’ aprons. Since this project involved painting that would have been really nice. We hope to get one next time!
The nice Home Depot employee gave the girls a variety of colors and our girls were thrilled to have their favorites as choices! Beth picked pink, Rose purple, and Grace blue. Beth liked painting, but did not appreciate the cold wind that was blowing. May is usually very warm in the south so we anticipate warmer weather next month.  She liked handling the screwdriver although she did need a little help from us to get it tight enough. She loved the color of pink paint and happily painted the back of her planter pink once she finished up with the screwdriver. 

Rose loves working with her hands and likes to make crafts. Before we even started she asked excitedly, “Can we come again next week!?!?” Her only frustration is she likes to do everything on her own and doesn’t always like to wait on help from one of us. She did quite well getting the screw in place for the project and only needed a bit of help getting it started. Her favorite part of the project was planting the flowers for the planter. 
Grace jumped into this project without any hesitation! She knew right away she wanted to paint it blue and went at it with gusto. She did want to mix the colors more than she wanted to paint at first though. I liked that the brushes the girls used were sponge brushes. They easily painted on the wood and did not give such a think coat that it took a long time to dry. Grace is still young enough she doesn’t mind extra help from her parents. She was younger than the target age, but had a lot of fun and did a great job! 
Finally the girls were ready to get flowers for their planters! 
Everyone was so kind and engaging with the girls. I can imagine there might be times when this could be a rather thankless job, but the employees were all very patient and pleasant, directly instructing the girls and allowing them to fully participate in every aspect of the project.
Grace wanted to add a lot of dirt! She was just tall enough to reach the into the cart and scoop out some dirt for her pots. 
Beth has always loved playing int he dirt and really enjoyed this part as well. I liked that the project included more than just the building and incorporated gardening as well.
The girls were allowed to pick which flowers they wanted in the planters. Each chose one red and one purple. We’ll make sure these get hung in a nice sunny spot outside! 
This is definitely a great way to give kids a hands-on project with no cost to your family! In addition to the project the kids each get a project apron (getting ours next time!) and a project pin to place on their apron. Collecting a variety of pins is just one more fun aspect to this outing! We look forward to participating each time one of these activities is available!
Family Friendly: 10
Kids Engagement: 10
Likelihood to return: 10 

Books in One Syllable: Free E-Books!

I happened across a series of books which were written with the intent to help with early readers. Most of these were written over 100 years ago. The links will take to you a site where you can download a free pdf version, kindle version, nook version, and more! If you use any of these in your homeschool let me know how your kids like them!

History