Thursday, April 27, 2017

Drive Thru History (A REVIEW)

I have always thought that the Drive Thru History® series looked very interesting. I mean driving through anything seems thrilling, right? I also thought my boys would love the driving aspect of it, so I was happy to be given the opportunity to review Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”.
Thegospels

This tour of a very special time in history is led by Dave Stotts, who leads us through the story of Jesus as told in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He takes us on a journey through the places where Jesus was born all the way through to his crucifixion and resurrection. As he drives, and walks, and talks us through the life and history of Jesus Christ he shares some amazing sights, thoughts, and questions. It all comes together to make an engaging, and information filled history watching experience.

Drive Thru History

We received the physical DVD's for this review. It comes in a very nice sturdy, book-like case. The picture on the front itself is intriguing, and makes you want to jump right in. It came with 3 DVD's, and a study guide inside the DVD case. The study guide has information and questions for each of the episodes contained on the DVD's. There are 18 episodes in all, those episodes include:

Drive Thru History The Gospels
Episode 1: The Historical Landscape
Episode 2: The Announcements
Episode 3: Jesus is Born
Episode 4: Jesus Grows Up
Episode 5: Jesus Starts His Ministry
Episode 6: Jesus Returns to Galilee
Episode 7: Jesus Begins His Miracles
Episode 8: Jesus Teaches with Authority
Episode 9: The Sermon on the Mount
Episode 10: Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
Episode 11: Jesus Travels North
Episode 12: A Final Trip to Jerusalem
Episode 13: Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
Episode 14: The Last Supper
Episode 15: The Trial of Jesus
Episode 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus
Episode 17: The Resurrection of Jesus
Episode 18: Who is Jesus?
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Our physical copy right after we received it in the mail.

The general age range for this series is about 5th grade-adult, but anyone who is interested can sit in on it too! These episodes are very family friendly, and kept my boys interested (mostly). It can get to be a little too much information for the under 8 crowd, but I noticed my youngest would stop and watch some parts when it grabbed his attention. David Stotts is humorous, and keeps it interesting with things like a BBQ on his engine while traveling through the episode.

Drive Thru History The Gospels

We chose not to use the study guide this time, and just watch the DVD's just because my boys are a little young for the questions. I figured we'd just watch them through once, and then come back and use the study guide while watching them through at a slower pace. I think it could be a good way to help them pay attention to the little details. There are also summaries and reading suggestions for each episode. Those could be a great way to dive deeper too.

If you'd like to hear what other crew members had to say about this amazing Drive Thru History®  history you can click on the banner below.

The Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}

You can also find Drive Thru History® series here:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/drivethruhistory/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/drivethruhistory
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/drivethruhistory/


Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Planet 316 (A REVIEW)

Planet 316

One of my new year's goals was to do more puzzles, and this review helped me to do just that! In fact with this Daily Bible Jigsaw app from Planet 316, I can now complete a jigsaw puzzle everyday of the year! It has been fun to just take a few moments each day and complete a puzzle on my phone. When I first got it, I didn't even tell my kids about it! I just wanted to do each daily puzzle myself. But, it only took a few days before they asked me what I was doing, and they asked if they could too. Of course, I let them! They enjoy doing the puzzles of the past days that I miss (which cost coins), or even sometimes I'll let them do the puzzle of the day (which is free).

Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

This app is available to play for free in the App store for iphone, on google play, or through facebook. What we got for our review was the 500 extra coins. With the free app you get 10 coins to start with, and a few coins can be earned as you put the puzzles together, there are some special awards and bonuses, but those coins go fast! I liked using them to get faster scores, and make life easier (I'll talk about those features in a little bit). These coins can be purchased in bundles at the store. The bundle of 500 is $39.99, but there are smaller bundles of 20 or 55, or bigger ones all the way up to 780 coins. The average cost of things in the app are about 3-5 coins. Some more, some less, and some free.

 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

Lets talk about the features. First of all, we could sign in with Facebook, and if a friend has the app, and has done the puzzle we can see their times and try to beat them. That's a lot of fun! That's more of a side benefit than a feature. Some of the actual features include a rotation tool (that rotates all the pieces the right way), a guide (that shows the picture of the puzzle), a sweep tool (that sweeps the pieces off to the side), a magnet (that will pull 2 pieces together that match), and an edges tool (that sucks all the middle pieces up until you've put the edges together). I use several of these each time I do a puzzle. There is also lovely, relaxing music in the background while you play, soft and instrumental.

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A view of the app as I am working on a puzzle on my phone. I have to admit the pieces are kind of tiny on my phone, but it is pretty fun.

The pictures in  the puzzles are always beautiful and uplifting. Also, there are some bonus puzzles that have more pieces that are available for free or for a few coins.

 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

Another important part of these puzzles are the bible messages at the end of a solved puzzle. The pictures always tie in somehow, and the messages are also uplifting. I love to be reminded of the scriptures.

 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

If you'd like to try it out, and can download the free app, do it now. You can also see what others had to say about this fun puzzle experience if you click on the banner below.


Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, April 17, 2017

M is for Math (games)

Sometimes we can find some really great games that involve learning, and the kids don't even realize how fun math can be! This is always a favorite way to do Math  or any school subject for that matter.

I made this rainbow math game that I found on Pinterest around St. Patrick's day time. It was a hit. I made it for my kids at home, and I also had it for a craft for my co-op class the day we studied Ireland.

The supplies are a rainbow made out of construction paper, dice, and some Fruit Loops. 

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This game is played by rolling the dice, adding the numbers together, and putting that number of fruit loops on the matching color of the rainbow. The child works through all the colors, and then they can do it again! My kids also had fun trying it as a race to see who could get through all the colors the fastest.

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This was such great practice for quick adding.

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My 6 and 7 year-old co-op class really enjoyed it too.

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After that game my little guy had fun throwing the big soft dice across the floor to see what he would roll. This turned into a math game too...

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We practiced spelling number words for each letter he rolled. He couldn't remember how to spell a few, so I wrote them down. He could look if he needed to. This was a very spontaneous, unplanned game. Sometimes those are the best.

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And for fun, because it happened on St. Patrick's day also, and it has to do with rainbows...

Our rainbow pancakes!

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We made them on St. Patrick's day morning. I have wanted to do this for years, so this was very exciting and fun.

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One boy couldn't even eat them because it was too "weird," but the rest really enjoyed them. They looked really cool in person.

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That's it for the letter M. It's late, but at least it's here!

And, it was another week that I missed being able to link up because I was too late, but I was supposed to link up to this:

A Net In Time Schooling

Here are my other abc posts:
A is for aggravation
B is for Bingo
C is for Chess
D is for Derby
E is for Evening of Games
F is for Face
H is for Hullabaloo  
I is for It 

J is for Jenga

K is for Kitten (coming soon)
L is for Laser Maze

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Our weekly notebook: Testing, cadet, and Easter fun

Monday:

We started out the week with a fun morning of roller skating at the homeschool skate. It was so nice to get out and move, and see how far these kids have come. They are all pretty fast now. Alex can even do the bumpy part without holding onto the wall, all by himself! He has been trying to master this part for a very long time.

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Tuesday:

We had testing at the charter school. Well, only Aaron, and Aric had testing. Alex had free time to play and even get bored. This is how we passed the time while they took a few hours doing state tests.  So glad it's over!

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Wednesday:

We have Life Academy co-op on Wednesday's. So, this was our 3rd day of just going. I was getting pretty tired of being out, and just wanted to be home. In the afternoon we have a Mom's class where we discuss books, and talk about TJED philosophy (because that is the philosophy that our co-op abides by), and I had a really hard time keeping my eyes open. That is how tired I was! However, I was excited to get a start on this week's assignment. It was to pick a book from the classics book list in the TJED for teens book, and read it. I have chosen The Phantom Tollbooth. I have wanted to read this to my boys. This will be a good preview. So, that's what I'm reading this week!

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On Wednesday after co-op April had her final step for becoming a Salem Police cadet. She had to go in for an interview with the Police. This is what we did while we waited... (can you see the police sign in the background? That's where she was)

Untitled We named this "the town square" (above), and this sweet mama duck (below) hiding in the greenery in the middle of the City of Salem courtyard. She was definitely on some eggs. She wouldn't budge, but I could tell she was nervous when we got a little too close.

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Thursday:

We went absolutely no where. I even skipped cub scouts because I needed to just have a day at home. Aric wasn't feeling well either, and it was raining, and it was an outdoor field trip anyway. It was a nice relaxing day at home.

Friday:

We had our local Woodburn homeschool group Spring festival at the library in the morning. I was in charge of a station, and chose to do a stacking plastic eggs activity. I made a little challenge for the kids to see how tall they could make their stacks. The highest was 23.5"! I loved seeing the kids have so much fun with it. The whole festival was a lot of fun.

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Saturday:

We had the opportunity to go to a retirement home and do some fun Easter activities. First they hunted for eggs...

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Said hi to the Easter Bunny...

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Dyed some Easter eggs...

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 And played some games...

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 All of the activities were fun for the kids. There wasn't a lot of interaction with the elderly, but they watched and smiled and enjoyed the children's fun.

That wraps up our week!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CompuScholar (A REVIEW)


CompuScholar, Inc.

Having a good solid foundation of knowledge for computers and the internet is becoming more important everyday. Computers and the digital age are everywhere we go. It's even in our pockets with our fancy smart phones, or at the store with self-checkouts. We search for everything on the internet, and we use computers to help us in so many different facets of life that it's almost unavoidable. I have one child who is sure he will be doing some sort of career with gaming or in the computer world, and thought this review of Digital Savvy from CompuScholar, Inc. would be perfect for him.

CompuScholar, Inc. Web Design

The son that I chose to do this review, his name is Aaron, is actually a bit under the age range for the particular program that we chose (Digital Savvy). He is 5th grade, but since he is such a wiz on the computer already, and loves to spend time on it, I thought it would be a good fit for him to get a better understanding of the basics of the computer. He did great with this program, and even had a few great things to share about it (that I will share a bit later).

CompuScholar, Inc. Digital Savvy

This course is one of many courses that are offered at CompuScholar. There are others that focus on web design, Java programming, and many more. All of these courses range from middle school to high school age depending on the course. It is all done online with many hands on projects throughout the lessons.

This course, Digital Savvy, is split up into chapters which contain 5 lessons each. Each lesson ends with a short quiz, and the chapter ends with an exam.

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A view of the chapter menu from my account (the teacher's account). It looks exactly the same for the student (with different options in the menu on the left).

Here's how it works: My son logs on with his own student name and password. He clicks on the course he is working on, which was Digital Savvy in our case, and it takes him to the the chapter page. He chooses the chapter he is currently working on, and selects it. Finally, he scrolls to the lesson he is on, and chooses to watch a short video, read the text, or do the quiz. I also have a teacher account to log on myself that is linked to his. I can check his progress, and access the teacher guides.

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Aaron reading the text portion of one of the lessons

Digital Savvy is a great program to get to know a little bit of everything in the computer world. It starts out with some very basic information about computers like what kinds of computers exist, how to identify peripherals, and where computers came from. He has enjoyed learning some neat facts about computers. The course goes on to things like word processing, social media, digital images, basic web page design, and many more topics. There are 25 chapters in all with the last chapter being the final project. He didn't get anywhere near the end of this program for our review period so we have a lot to look forward to still!

I asked Aaron what he liked about this computer program, and he said:
"I liked that it had both videos and text. I liked the extra information included with the text even though it wasn't all needed for the quiz, but some things were. I liked the quizzes after every lesson."

I also asked Aaron if there was anything he didn't like about it, he said:
"It was difficult to navigate the pages and find where I was, or which lesson I was on. That's it."
 I'd say I agree with him on that. He accidentally skipped the rest of a whole chapter because he didn't realize he hadn't finished the first one, but once he got to know it, he did fine.  Overall it is a great program to learn more about computer science. Very informational, and hands on. If you'd like to see what others had to say about CompuScholar, Inc. you can click on the banner below.


Digital Savvy, Web Design & Java Programming {CompuScholar,Inc Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, April 7, 2017

L is for Laser Maze

So, I missed letter K. But I do have something for that, and will make it up later. For now here is our
letter L game for the week.

This is a single player logic game, but the kids often work together, helping each other, especially if the one playing is younger. Usually one kid gets it out, and the others all decide they want to have a turn, so while they are waiting their turn they help the other playing if wanted.

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We started a school day with this game one day this week. There are cards with beginner, intermediate, and expert challenges on them. You can choose which level, and then you have to figure how to get the laser to make it to the target, but you have to figure out also which blocks, deflectors, and beam splitters to use.

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You can't see it very well in the picture below, but you know you've reached the target when the red triangle lights up on the top from the laser.

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The laser is definitely a high point with this game. I purchased this game several years ago because the kids' Dad works with lasers for his job. I thought it'd be a fun way for them to "play" with lasers too.

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 I am linking this up with:


A Net In Time Schooling


Here are my other abc posts:
A is for aggravation

B is for Bingo

C is for Chess

D is for Derby

E is for Evening of Games

 F is for Face


H is for Hullabaloo  

I is for It 
J is for Jenga
K is for Kitten (coming soon)
 
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