Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gathering Threads - Litfuse Book Review



You have all heard about "Switched at Birth" stories. What if, you switched with a completely different life. Raised with completely different values and beliefs. 

That's what happened in the series by Cindy Woodsmall. Her latest book The Gathering Threads. It's the third book in the Amish of Summer Grove series. 

I was chosen to review the third book; however, one look at the back cover sent me searching for the other two in the series. I found the first on another review site and then paid full price for the second on Amazon kindle - yes they are that good!

The stories are spellbinding. I love how the relationships play out between the characters. The two families that are caught in the middle of the 'switch' mess are so different. The girls are raised so differently but each have their own struggles they are dealing with.

One raised with basically no boundaries. Parents who have been separate all her life. In fact, they were never even married. The other raised by very faithful Amish, who if truth be told always suspected something was wrong. One raised as an only child, the only sibling being the child of her Mother's new husband. The other the twin sister of an Amish boy, and many siblings.

It's definitely a a tale with many threads (pun intended).

My husband teases me about my love of Amish fiction and this one definitely didn't disappoint.


Cindy Woodsmall is an award-winning New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written 20 works of fiction, including her most recent series, Amish of Summer Grove. Her connection with the Amish community has been widely featured in national media outlets, including ABC’s Nightline. The Wall Street Journal listed Woodsmall as one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction.
RT Book Reviews recently presented her with a Career Achievement Award and gave her latest release, Gathering the Threads, a Top Pick review.
Woodsmall and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.
Learn more about Cindy Woodmall by visiting her webpage here.

Definitely worth the read!


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ©2011-2017 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author Chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com

Writing With Sharon Watson - Illuminating Literature : Characters in Crisis {TOS Review}

Writing with Sharon Watson

If you haven't tried any of the curriculum from Writing with Sharon Watson you are missing out! We have used Illuminating Literature - When Worlds Collide, and The Power In Your Hands previously so Boo was super excited to receive Illuminating Literature ~ Characters In Crisis to review. She is super impressed and will work on it for the rest of the school year!

Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis

We received:

Illuminating Literature : Characters in Crisis - Teacher's Guide
Illuminating Literature : Quiz and Answer Manual
Illuminating Literature: Text Book

You can also download a Novel Notebook here.

Boo loves this program. The first book covered is actually found in the text book and so it's really easy to get started with this program.

We printed The Novel Notebook as it contains extra questions and ways to get the students involved in the book. Since we have used some of Sharon Watson's programs before I knew to do this straight away. The added questions in this notebook really help the student think deeply about the book and to write their ideas down as they are going through the text.

The Teachers guide starts by giving a brief overview of the course. It gives a list of the books that your student will be studying and what publication to purchase. This may seem like a simple thing but it's really important for the student to have the correct book. Throughout the guide specific pages are referred too, so to make it easier and prevent frustration it's easier to get the actual specific text (ISBN numbers are given).

The Books and Short Works studied during this course -

"A Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell (In the textbook)
"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley (ISBN 0-486-28211-2)
"Silas Marner" by George Eliot (ISBN 0-486-29246-0)
"Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare (ISBN 0-486-28272-4)
"A White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett (In the textbook)
"The Garden of Forking Paths" by Jorge Luis Borges (Link in Textbook)
"Haircut" by Ring Lardner (Link in Textbook)
"The Lady, or the Tiger?" by Frank Stockton (In the Textbook)
"Of the Passing of the First-Born" by W.E.B Du Bois (In the Textbook)
"A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas (Link in Textbook)
"Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen (ISBN 0-486-29049-2)
Biography/Autobiography - Students Choice
"The Hobbit" by J.R.R Tolkien (ISBN 978-0-547-92822-7

The next part of the teacher guide gibes a simple grading grid and explains the recommend process, course objectives including; skills, attitude, course.

The course itself is designed to be taught/studied over nine months. The teachers guide gives instructions on how to break it down. Boo really liked this guide as she is very self motivated. This helps her stay on track and makes sure she is completing enough (or sometimes helps her from doing too much) every month.


The Text Book contains the information the student needs to work through the course. There are some places where the student can write and answer questions but most of this is done in the printable workbook. Since this course has lots of small stories included in the course they are found in this book.

The Quiz and Answer Manual contains quizzes that are to be completed after the student reads the book or story. Some of the books also contain Literary Quizzes and Opinion Surveys. The answers for the Yes, I read it, and Literary Quizzes can be found in the back of the book. The Opinion Surveys are only graded for completion not for content since they are after all opinions.

What BOO thinks-

I love how Sharon Watson writes her courses. The introduction inspired and motivated me. I had heard about simple "Character Labels" before like Protagonist and Antagonist but Sharon Watson includes so many other's that I found super interesting! I had never thought of a character being a "Shapeshifter" or a "Mentor" before. I feel like I learned so much - just by reading the introduction.

 I love the background information she gives of the authors and the novels. She makes me think about what the author felt while writing. I always wondered how people could write such intense novels; however, I realized if you learn about the authors life and the trials they have lived through you can see what inspired and influenced their stories. 

I am so excited to see where this course takes me over the next year. I am sure I will be better prepared to see the artistic values of a book. To find the issues and truths about life that are embedded in the pages and to be able to reach beyond reading to be just entertained.  

I also love quotes! I get the impression that Sharon Watson loves quotes too. I have a notebook where I wrote down my favorites!



As you can see from Boo's comments above she really likes this course. She was a little nervous about reading "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly; however, learning about the author really helped with this and gave her an excitement to get started!

You can follow Sharon Watson on social media by clicking on her pages Facebook and Pinterest.

Check out what others on the review thought by clicking on the link below!!


Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis {Writing with Sharon Watson Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ©2011-2017 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author Chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com

Monday, November 13, 2017

Forbrain ~ Sound For Life ~ LTD {TOS REVIEW}

Boo is trying hard to memorize scriptures. We heard that the Forbrain from Sound of Life LTD could help with concentration and memorization. Boo was really excited to be chosen for the review. Captain has gotten some use out of it too. We have found it very adaptable for different situations. So carry on reading to find out more!

Forbrain Sound for Life LTD

What is Forbrain I hear you ask. It's a device that helps you use you own voice to help your brain be more attentive. It is a little head set that has a microphone. You speak into the microphone and you can hear yourself very loudly. It is perfect for using daily when reading aloud. Captain has been using this when he has to read aloud for school. He hates reading school texts and finds it hard to stay on task. Of course it's a different story when he reads for fun! Although Captain doesn't suffer with ADD or ADHD I have noticed that it helps him stay focused, I can really see the benefit for a child suffering with these conditions.

Captain has been using the Forbrain while reading his assigned science text. It's a little bit of a novelty for him and helps him stay focused. He finds it easy to stay on task when using it. I have noticed a change in his fidgeting during his science readings.

Boo has been using the Forbrain while memorizing her scriptures. She has twenty five scriptures to learn for a class she attends. They are not all simple short ones. In fact some are multiple verse long. She has mentioned that she finds it easier to concentrate and retain what she is studying when she's using the Forbrain.

Forbrain Sound for Life LTD

The device itself is very small and easily stored. It comes in a hard sided case and is rechargeable (which I LOVE) because it doesn't go into your ears I have no problem with the kids sharing the device.

It is recommended that you only use this for a limited period of time each day. Captain only uses it for 15 minutes per day. However, depending on your circumstances or needs you could follow the chart below. Captain did use it for longer that the suggested time once and got a really bad headache. He has made sure to stick to the recommended time after that! Boo however is older and she has found that 20 minutes is perfect. She also finds that wearing this device has trained her brain to know that she is working on memory skills. She finds she is less distracted with the device on as she knows she only has a limited amount of time to focus.

Both of my kids love this and go and get it without being reminded. I think Captain thinks it makes him look cool - like someone from star trek or something!

You may be wondering how all this works. I'm not going to try and explain! I've read the information on their website explaining the scientific process. I would suggest you check out the information here. It explains the Neural mechanisms and you can click here to read more scientific research data.

Here's Captain using it while reading his science text. He also likes to sing the text wearing the Forbrain, which is one of their recommended activities.


Check them out on social media!
Facebook - Forbrain
Twitter
LinkedIn

Check out what others think about the Forbrain by clicking on the link below!

Forbrain {Sound For Life Ltd Review}

Crew Disclaimer

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ©2011-2017 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author Chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com

Random Monday Posts


It's been a crazy few days. We have some exciting changes on the way. Let's talk about a few.

1. Boo had her piano recital this last weekend and she did an amazing job. I'll be posting a video on our YouTube channel soon!

2. We are having some trees cute down today. We have lived in our current house for about 6 months and have a ton of trees. There are a couple of problems with two of them. After getting some advice from a couple of tree experts it was decided we would remove two of them. Although it wasn't the reason a nice bonus is that I get sunlight in my house now!!!


This may seem like a little thing but we used to live in a super bright house so it was a shock to have no direct sunlight!

3. BIG ANNOUNCEMENT coming on Friday!!!!

Have a great week everyone!!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ©2011-2017 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author Chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thin Stixs Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc - Review and Giveaway {HS REVIEWS}

The Pencil Grip, Inc.
You know how much we love  Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc so we were super excited to receive the Thin Stix Creativity Pack to review! We have used and reviewed these so many times on the blog. You can see some of our creations here, and here I am sure there are a lot more too! Captain is a little older now but I still don't want him getting regular paint out unattended. Sometimes you need to be doing things while your kids paint and relax. I have no issues with him getting the Kwik Stixs out while I'm giving lessons in the morning, as I know there will be no mess.

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

The pack we received this time is amazing. It comes with 24 different thin stixs. Captain loves the thin sticks as it allows him to be a little more creative and detail oriented now he's getting older. The 24 stixs are made up of 12 classic, 6 metallics, and 6 neon. The company claims that these stixs are dry in 90 seconds - I think they are dry in about of 60 seconds. In fact as soon as you paint with them it feels dry!I put them to the test in my little video below.

Captain had a great time working on some new seasonal art. He painted a turkey for Thanksgiving and a snowman. The snowman is in hope of having snow soon. He just bought a snowboard with some birthday and Halloween treat money and now he's desperate for snow. I keep telling him we will get so much he will be bored of it before spring but he doesn't seem to agree.


I mentioned on my video that the only thing so far that we couldn't use our Thin Stixs on is our Halloween pumpkins! It was so cold outside that when we brought them inside they were covered with condensation. We were on a little time crunch to go trick or treating as our neighbor has a rule that you can only go between 4:30 and 7pm so we couldn't wait for them to come up to room temperature. 

Every year Captain makes a new Christmas ornament for our tree, he's already decided that he wants to use the Thin Stixs metallic paints. This pack comes with gold, silver, pink, green, blue and purple I can't wait to see what he comes up with!

These are perfect to give as Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, or just to refill your kids paint cupboard!

The Pencil Grip, Inc wanted to give you the chance to win your own set of Thin Stix. So if you have never used them and would like to try them - or if they are your favorite paints to keep in (which I'm sure they will be after you have tried them!) Entering is super easy! Just click on the entry form below, fill in your details, do a little sharing and boom! You are in with a chance.


Check out some of the fun projects other members of the crew made by clicking on the link below!

Thin Stix Creativity Pack {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ©2011-2017 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author Chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com

Home Depot Craft Mornings - Veteran Day Craft

We had such a fun time Saturday during our Home Depot kids craft morning. Captain was so excited to complete this craft. This kid loves cars and the fact he was going to make on out of wood had him intrigued.
We arrived and picked up our kit, and Captain's pin. He remembered his apron this time! Sometimes he needs a little help understanding the kit but he had this one done before I remembered to grab my phone to take pictures. It took 4 nails and he decided not paint it as it came with some excellent stickers.
This Humvee was chosen to represent Veteran's Day. My older children go to an online charter school now and they a great thing set up for Friday. They are having a ZOOM meeting with a Veteran from World War II. My kids are really excited to watch this video. They can also ask questions, so I already have them thinking about what they would like to ask. My Dad served in the British Military. However, we were very fortunate that he never had to serve during a war. However, I know lots of people that are serving, have served, and even one who died for our country. This Veteran's Day we are making sure to take some time out of our week to learn about those who have served our great country.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ©2011-2017 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author Chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017



Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ©2011-2017 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author Chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com

Gathering Threads - Litfuse Book Review

You have all heard about "Switched at Birth" stories. What if, you switched with a completely different life. Raised with comp...