Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble - Review


Seagrass Pier

I recently finished Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble. I hadn't read any of her books today and I was pleasantly surprised by the story.

The story focuses on a lady Elin Summerall who receives a 'perfect match' heart transplant from a young donor. However, shortly after receiving her new heart, Elin starts to have terrible nightmares and flashbacks she realizes that the person she received her heart from was murdered. I found this a little creepy. Imagine if you received an organ with a side of memories. In fact not just memories but also their likes and dislikes.

This story had me hooked from the beginning. In fact, I completely forgot that this was the third in the Hope Beach Series. I hadn't read any of the other books in the series and honestly I didn't notice. I knew a lot about the characters from the beginning. However I will have to go back and read them now.
I am not into scary books but this one is not really scary, but full of suspense, mixed with a love story.

I can honestly say it took me along time to guess who the true villain was. There were some extra plots in the book that confused me a little, maybe I wouldn't have been confused with them if I had read the earlier books. However, for me they seemed a bit unnecessary. Saying that I really enjoyed this book. Full of suspense but no horror, blood, or guts.

Definitely a great summer read!



I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from  Litfuse Publicity and the book’s publisher. All opinions are my own. 


©2011-2014 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

Legoland Discovery Center and Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium - Review

A couple of weeks ago the kids and I had the opportunity to visit Legoland Discovery Center Kansas City and Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium.

They had been wanting to go for a long time. The kids are huge fans of Lego's and Aquariums so to visit both in one day was a dream for them. We drove three hours return and the kids were excited the whole way there.

Legoland Discovery Center and Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium Center share an entrance near Crown Center Kansas City, right next to the skating rink.

Little J got excited as soon as we parked because he saw a cool looking minivan. He thought it was completely awesome that it was different on each side.

Parking is validated for up to six hours so we had plenty of time to visit both attractions.

The kids decided that they wanted to go to Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium first. They were definitely not disappointed. The Aquarium is normally open Sunday - Thursday 10am - 8pm, Friday and Saturday 10am - 9pm. You are also allowed re-entry if you get your hand stamped as you leave.

If you don't book in advance the price of a ticket at the door is $19.00 (plus tax) for adults 13+ ($15.00 if you book in advance online) $15.00 (plus tax) for children 3-12 ($11.00 if you book online).

No flash photography is allowed in the aquarium, so please take that into account when looking at my pictures.

The kids were in their element as soon as we walked in. The lights are dimmed and the atmosphere is perfect from the moment you walk in the doors. There is 5,000+ creatures on exhibit including Sharks, Rays, and Seahorses.

When I asked the kids what their favorite thing from the aquarium they said;

Jam my 13 year old loved the Interactive Touch Pool experience.
Boo my 11 year old loved the Interactive Touch Pool experience.
Little J my 5 year old loved the sharks and the rays he saw going through the under water tunnel.

The displays are broken down into small areas which help keep the attention of the kids. The displays are perfectly placed at 'kid' height. I didn't hear Little J mention once that he couldn't see anything or the usual 'pick me up' so I can see' phrase that I hear so often at the zoo or other museums.

The kids loved the touch pool as I mentioned earlier, I do think the helper could have been a little more out-going and maybe interacted more with the kids. Maybe he was just having an off day.

The kids loved the new 'Claws' exhibit. I was quite amazed at this myself...I am glad these are found very DEEP in the ocean.


At the exit of the Sea Life Aquarium there is a fun play center. Little J had a blast and it was a great place to let out excess energy.

The next step of our day was Lego Land Discovery Center it is just a stones throw away from the Sea Life Aquarium and the kids were chomping at the bit to head there. I am glad that I gave them an early lunch as they really didn't want to take a break.

When we arrived in Lego Land we were met by the nicest lady. She spoke to the kids and gave them a lot of information about how the Lego bricks are made. They found it really interesting. You could tell that she really loved her job. I love it when you meet workers like that! It started our afternoon on a really high note.

 
After we left the greeter the kids found the measuring station. This was fun, first the kids stood on a scale and their weight was converted into Lego blocks. The kids thought this was awesome.


After the weigh scale they got to see how tall they were compared to a Lego tower.

Next we rode the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride the kids especially Little J thought this was great. In fact we rode this ride about 7 times (or more) throughout the day.


Jam noticed the Lego Master Builder Academy and decided he definitely wanted to participate in that, so for the next little while we had to clock watch. The classes are done periodically throughout the day. As soon as a class starts they have a little clock on the door so you know what time the next class starts. Jam and Boo were able to complete the little model dragon easily. The kit can be purchased at the gift store if you show them your certificate of completion of the academy class.


Legoland Discover Center has a 4D cinema and it shows four 15 minute movies. During our visit we watched three of them. The kids liked the 3D images and splashes of water etc...it was nice to take a few minutes to sit down. We didn't stay there but split our movie watching experiences throughout the afternoon.

Legoland was featuring a 'Wizard of Oz' exhibit. Although I don't think it had officially opened the kids were excited to be able to see it. We realized that Little J had never watched the movie. (Don't worry we took care of that oversight immediately.)


The rest of the displays in this room were of some of the common sites of the local area. This room cycles through day and night. The lights on the Lego displays are amazing!


Boo loves Lego Friends however she felt a little big for the area designated however it didn't stop her from building something in there. Little J also loved the karaoke.

The kids loved the huge pits full of Lego pieces. In fact it was hard to pull them out. Honestly they could have stayed in there all day, building.


We saved the Star Wars Lego exhibit till last as we all love Star Wars. The kids thought it was awesome. It was definitely worth the whole room dedicated to it. Little J loved the full size R2D2 and C3P0. Jam recognized all the scenes that were on display.



We had an awesome day visiting both of these attractions there is much you can learn around each corner.

As a home-school Mom I am always looking for educational field trips. This one was educational and also inspirational.

Legoland Discovery Center and Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium have told me that have a great rate for homeschoolers.

The prices for homeschoolers are $7.50 for K-6th grade and $8.50 for 7th grade through High School

If you want to book a homeschool visit for the Legoland Discovery Center and Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium call 816-556-3234 or email Katelyn Cook at katelyn.cook@merlinentertainments.biz

Make sure to mention 'homeschoolers' when booking.

I was given free entrance to Legoland Discover Center and Sealife to accommodate this review.






©2011-2014 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

SEAGRASS PIER | Pre-order @ColleenCoble’s NEW book for just $4.99. Enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

Don’t miss Colleen Coble‘s latest release in the Hope Beach series, Seagrass Pier. The book releases July 1st, and Colleen's publisher is offering the ebook at a special pre-order price of just $4.99 between now and 6/30 everywhere ebooks are sold.

PLUS . . . between 6/9 – 6/30 Colleen will be hosting a Kindle giveaway.
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One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Seagrass Pier and the rest of the Hope Beach series by Colleen Coble
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 30th. Winner will be announced on Colleen's blog on July 1st.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning and be sure to stop by Colleen's blog on July 1st to see if you won!


©2011-2014 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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday

My niece is getting married tomorrow. She was my oldest daughter's best friend. It is a time of bitter sweetness for me. My niece is beautiful, and marrying a great man. However it makes me miss Heather terribly. I think of what she would be like, it seems like yesterday and also forever since I last saw these girls together. 15 years has flown by but also dragged on forever.

So in celebration of my niece's wedding and in memory of Heather, I dedicate this post to them.



©2011-2014 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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Random Five Friday - A Little Late!

This week has been crazy. Here's a few things that have happened;

1. My niece arrived from England on Tuesday. She is staying with us for 5 weeks.

2. We became citizens of The United States of America. It has been about 15 years since we first moved here. My Parents and some good friends were with us. If you have never been to a Naturalization Ceremony then I would definitely recommend it! You don't have to have an invitation. People from 27 countries were represented.

3. My youngest nephew turned one and we had a party with all the family. My sister turned up and surprised everyone. We knew she was coming for my niece's wedding next week, but it was nice to see her earlier than expected.

4. The kids have had two swim meets so far. They are doing really well and enjoying it. This week my husband and I were timers. It's fun being involved. It is SO hot my tan is coming on really well, and I'm not even sunbathing.

5. My niece is getting married next week. I am so excited for her. It's a bitter sweet time as it makes me think of Heather and how old she would be now. My niece and Heather are 11 months apart in age and did everything together. It makes me think what she would be doing if she hadn't passed away.

  

The Pebble Pond

©2011-2014 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

Friday, June 20, 2014

Diana and Friends Experience History Though Music Giveaway — $700+ Value!

Diana Waring is well known in home school circles for her awesome curriculum. I was approached to review her new Experience History Through Music program I was really excited.

I will be doing a review on the full program soon. However I want you to know about the giveaway that starts today.

Diana and Friends Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Experience History Through Music, I am joining members of the Diana Waring Launch Team for an amazing giveaway. Friends of Diana have joined in and as you can see, someone’s homeschool is going to be greatly blessed!
Here’s what you could win!

From Diana Waring Presents

american history -- never this fun 
Experience History Through Music – set of 3 books with CDs ($50/set) Diana Waring Presents is about to bring back into print the BEST folk music you have ever heard, combined with the fascinating stories they represent in American history!   The Experience Music Through Historyseries includes: America - Heart of a New Nation, Westward Ho! - Heart of the Old West  and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The musicians are amazing, every instrument is real, lots of great vocalists, and more toe-tapping music than you can imagine! The books tell the stories behind the songs.  Together, they bring American history to life through it’s music!!With fascinating history books and toe-tapping folk music CDs, American history has NEVER been this fun!
EncouragementCollage2 
Encouragement for Homeschool Moms Collection ($25) Every mom needs that word of encouragement from someone who has been there, who has grownup children and can speak with assurance about the journey. Homeschool moms have an extra portion of the journey to navigate, and often wish for an extra voice that will offer direction but without nagging or prodding. Diana Waring has that voice.

From A Journey Through Learning

Logo New 300 trans 

$50 Gift Certificate $50 to spend in the A Journey Through Learning store, applicable toward any digital download purchase.

From Homeschool Legacy


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Westward Ho! Part I ($19.95) Load up your wagon! Discover the extraordinary times of adventurous frontiersmen and brave pioneers as you travel cross-country along the Erie Canal,  Oregon Trail, and even “remember the Alamo” in Westward Ho Part I.
Westward Ho! Part II ($19.95) Continue the exciting saga begun in Westward Ho! Part I as you journey with the forty-niners, ride the rails of the Transcontinental Railroad, experience life on the prairie, and discover the exciting era of cowboys and cattle drives in Westward Ho! Part II.

From Knowledge Quest Maps


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Map Trek: Atlas and Outline Maps of World History ($55) Map Trek is a historical atlas plus outline maps that allow you to teach geography alongside history. This is a resource that any homeschool parent can use with brilliant success, even if you don’t remember a thing from your history or geography classes in public school.

 

From Home School Adventure Co. 

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Philosophy Adventure™ Digital Download ($39.95) Philosophy Adventure™ is designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.

 From Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom and Real Life Press)

fpf3-bundle-covers-180x180 
Firmly Planted Family Devotional Digital Volume 3 ($39) The Firmly Planted Family Series is divided into ten-week studies and is your key to making sense of the Bible—even if you’re learning right along with your children. Each lesson provides a core idea, a simple narrative, memory verses and discussion questions for children of all ages. And the companion student workbook is filled with age-appropriate, full-color, reproducible activities for children of any age!

From Raising Real Men

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Free Registration to Boyhood Boot Camp or Boot Camp 9-12 LIVE webinar series (winner’s choice) plus Mom & Dad Special Raising Real Men (Book for Mom to read in the bathroom + AudioBook for Dad to listen to on the commute) ($62-69)
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Free Registration for Marriage Retreat Online plus His & Hers Special of My Beloved and My Friend: How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses (book + audiobook), ($65)

From Institute for Excellence in Writing

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$50 Gift Certificate $50 to spend in the IEW store, applicable toward any purchase.

From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

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SchoolhouseTeachers.com ($139) A one year membership to the curriculum arm of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Nearly 100 classes for Pre-K to High School, taught by expert teachers, and lots of extras including the Schoolhouse Planners, Schoolhouse Expos, monthly free ebook downloads and more.

Big-Book-14-Cover-113013-e1392516063206 
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 2014 Print Book ($15) Be encouraged, enlightened, and educated with the all new 2014 Annual Print Book published by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.You’ll get a year’s worth of homeschool support in almost 300 pages in this full color one-of-a-kind print magazine for homeschoolers, by homeschoolers. This is a magazine you’ll refer to again and again.

From Writing with Sharon Watson

the-power-in-your-hands-front-cover 

The Power in Your Hands ($53.96) With The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, they’ll learn what they need to know for high school and will be prepared for college writing.
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Writing Fiction [in High School] ($35) Are you raising the next C. S. Lewis or Jane Austen? Help your students develop their fiction-writing talents with Writing Fiction [In High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life .

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S., age 18 and older only. Other Terms and Conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

©2011-2014 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, June 16, 2014

A Mother's Secret - Amy Clipston - BookLook Bloggers Review

 

This book is not a traditional Amish story. It deals with the situation of a unwed mother in a very traditional Amish neighborhood. Carolyn Lapp had a child when she was a child. After having her child she joined the church and therefore received the forgiveness and acceptance of her community. However Carolyn who raises her son with the love and help of her parents always feels judged by others, including her brother.

When her son Benjamin gets into trouble at an animal auction. He has to go to work for Joshua Glick who owns a horse farm in a neighboring community. Although this seems at first like a punishment it turns into an amazing experience, and helps Benjamin get out from his domineering cousins.

Joshua assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn's nephew, although Carolyn never tells him this, she never corrects him either. Will Joshua still be interested when he find out - or will his domineering mother manage to control the situation.

This is a really nice story. Also showing a son's appreciate and love to a Mother that sacrifices everything for him.

This story is definitely worth a read. It even made me shed a tear or two.



Biography

Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing "career" began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. An advocate for organ and blood donation, Amy donated a kidney in 2011 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through her donation, her husband received a second kidney transplant. Amy and her husband matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. Amy's memoir, A Gift of Love, will be available in early 2014. She hopes her story inspires others to become organ and blood donors. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find her on the web at www.AmyClipston.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks. 
 
I was given a free copy of this book via BookLook Bloggers.
 
 


©2011-2014 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

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day

The kids couldn't wait to give their Dad his present for Father's Day! They mixed up a couple of ideas we found on pinterest.

What do you think!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Random Five Friday - June 13th 2014


1. Today is Friday the 13th and a full moon. I'm not superstitious but I did find it a fun fact that this won't happen again until 2049. Even though I just read that only those living in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America — and those in the Eastern Time Zone — experienced the full moon on June 13. The full moon showed up at 12:11 a.m. ET, so anyone in time zone west of EDT saw the silver-dollar moon the day before, on June 12.

2. Jam has been at scout camp ALL week. My husband dropped him off at 3am Monday morning so he could arrive by 6am with the rest of his troop. Boo has been walking around all week like her arm has been amputated. I wonder how long it will take them to start arguing when he arrives back.

3. The kids have made ******* for Father's Day. I got some great deals on candy at CVS today. Boo did all the work since Jam is at camp. They made one for Dad and Grandpa...and they are VERY excited. I will show pictures later - just in case some one reads this before Sunday.

4. Boo has been working really hard this year with her swimming. She has not swam in a meet yet. Tomorrow is the first one and she's a little sad that Jam will still be at scout camp so she will have to go without him. She will be swimming 50 Free, 50 Back, 200 IM, and 2 relays. Talk about jumping in at the deep-end.

5. It's World Cup frenzy in our house at the moment. My husband loves soccer, but we never really watch until the World Cup comes around. So every four years we go soccer crazy. We get to support 2 teams again this year GO USA - GO ENGLAND.



The Pebble Pond



©2011-2014 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

Blogging Through the Alphabet - G is For Grandparents

 

Those of us with Grandparents know what a blessing they can be in our lives. I know that not everyone has the opportunity to live close to them. I don't have any living Grandparents anymore. My Grandfather (on my Mom's side) died the year I was born, and my Grandmother died when I was about six. My Dad's parents have also died but I was lucky enough to have my Dad's Mom at my wedding.

My oldest daughter passed away when she was three. Her main concern was how much we loved each other and how our family was joined together. She used to ask my Mom (her Grandmother) whether she loved her other Grandparents and wanted to make sure that her family was close. This was not a hard question for her as she has know my in-laws longer than I have. They first became friends when my husband and I were very young.

My children's grandparents are a huge part of their lives, even when we don't live close to them. Recently due to health issues my husbands parents haven't been able to visit us from England. So after our last visit my husband and I were concerned about this. What did we come up with - Latin. Every Monday morning my older two kids have a Latin lesson with their Nana (My husband's mom) in England. They meet on Skype with our webcams. They both really like this, and although they are learning a lot, it's more about the time together face to face than the Latin.

My parents live closer we used to live in the same town, however last year we moved an hour away to be closer to my husbands work. Although it's only an hour...it has made a lot of difference. We miss each other a lot. Every other week we drive to our old town (an hour away) for piano lessons. (We don't do change very well!) This has become a standing lunch date with my Mom (and Dad when he can make it). Hopefully soon we their commitments will enable us to be able to spend more time with them. My older two also text my parents a lot. This is definitely one use of technology that I support 100%. Closeness is not about distance it's about love and effort. You can be close to family on the other side of the world or in the house next door. It just takes a little more work.

I know that Grandparents can be a huge blessing in the lives of the younger generation.

If you have them treat them well!

Ben and Me

©2011-2014 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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A SEASON OF CHANGE from Lynette Sowell - Review

I love Amish novels and this one didn't disappoint me but it did surprise me. It is nothing like any Amish fiction I have read before, in a good way. A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell is definitely a refreshing change. This book is Book One in the NEW Seasons of Pinecraft series and I for one can't wait to read more!


A Season of Change Lynette Sowell

The story blends Amish and Non-Amish complications and family struggles. The story kept my attention. I was intrigued how the author was going to blend the two words together. I had never thought about Amish people heading of to Florida for vacations either.

About the Book

Amish widower Jacob Miller believes it was a mistake to visit the Amish village of Pinecraft for winter vacation, especially after his daughter is struck by a car. Stranded in Sarasota until his daughter recovers, Jacob grows increasingly wary of events that unfold in his unfamiliar surroundings—including the strange curiosity of Englischer Natalie Bennett.
Natalie never thought her circus career as an aerial silks artist would end with a blown-out knee at the age of 25. She also never knew her late mother had a secret—that she was once Amish.
When Natalie meets the Millers at the Sarasota hospital, she is attracted to their warm hospitality and simple ways—and soon wonders if they can help her find her mother’s family. As Jacob and Natalie fall in love, their worlds collide. Will their differences tear them apart? Or will their love be strong enough to blend their clashing cultures?

You definitely have to read to find out. I think this book took me one day to read...basically I started it on a Friday and before I went to sleep Friday, I had to finish it. Okay technically it was Saturday...but who's counting the hours after mid-night when you haven't slept yet.

About the Author 

Lynette Sowell was born in western Massachusetts in the shadow of the Berkshire Mountains, raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and now makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country. The award-winning author of more than 15 titles, Lynette loves reading, cooking, watching movies, and is always up for a Texas road trip. When not writing fiction, she works in medical transcription and is a freelance writer and columnist for her local newspaper.

BONUS - TONIGHT IS THE FACEBOOK PARTY - You can win a Kindle





©2011-2014 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, June 10, 2014

Learning Wrap-ups Review (TOS Review)

Learning Wrap-Ups Review

As you know Little J struggles with Amblyopia and so I am always on the look out for learning products that help his hand-eye coordination. We were recently given the opportunity to review some amazing products by Learning Wrap-ups. Honestly this was a huge review and we have benefited from all the amazing products we have been able to try. I will list all of them and then talk about them individually. All of the items listed below apart from the 1st grade math and reading cards are suitable for grade K-5.

Physical Products

1st Grade Math Learning Palette 1 Base Center Set
1st Grade Math LP Titles
1st Grade Reading Learning Palette 1 Base Center Kit
1st Grade Reading LP 5 Pack
Math Intro Wrap-up Kit w/o CD
Vocabulary Intro Kit - Wrap-ups
10 Days Book & Multiply Wrap-up combo
10 Steps to Addition Mastery Book & Wrap-up

Online Product
Learning Palette (Online Version)


When we received this huge box of supplies Little J did a happy dance. He loves getting mail, and a parcel is even better. He was really excited and we started working on them straight away.

We have really enjoyed using these items. I have had different kids using different things so the easiest way to make sure I don't forget anything is to start at the beginning.


The first thing we worked on was the online Learning Palette we actually had access to this before the parcel arrived and so it was an excellent introduction. I signed Little J onto the website and I was impressed that we had access to all levels. This was excellent as I knew that we had the Grade 1 LP Math and Reading Titles I thought it would be a good idea to review some of the online Kindergarten Learning Palettes. Little J really liked the online program. When signed in the first place you go to is a screen showing all the levels basic - level 5. Anytime that we are signed in I can click on the 'Progress Report' button and see all of the online cards that Little J has completed as well as the average time and score of each card. Little J and I really wished that the online program spoke to you. This would be especially useful in the younger grades K-2. The older grades of course can read thoroughly and so it wouldn't be as useful. This program is suitable for children from Kindergarten to 5th Grade (or older if used for review). LearningPalette Online is available for $59.99 for up to five users. Plus if you use the code "Homeschool" you receive an additional 20% off that price which brings it down to $48.00 for 1 year access.

1st Grade Math Learning Palette  1st grade Math Learning Palette 6 pack cards  ($71.99) and 1st Grade Reading Learning Palette 1st Grade Reading Learning Palette 5 pack Cards ($61.99)




When we got these palettes out of the box Little J was over excited. Each set comes in its own bag that keeps everything organized. We have being doing Kindergarten with Little J this year and so when I was look at the card samples I decided to go ahead and ask for 1st grade as he had covered most of the material in the Kindergarten sets. We also used the online version of the cards for him to work more independently on the Kindergarten sets. The kits themselves are large hard plastic circles with small colored circles, some solid and some with a hole in the center. You place a card in the center which lines up with spaces for the circles. When the child figures out the answer they place the correct colored disk in the space. When the child is finished the card is turned over and the if the colors match the child has got the answer correct.



We started working on these palettes every other day. Little J can't read well enough to work on these by himself so Jam and I took turns reading the instructions for him. He liked them, it was nice to have something for him to use that doesn't beep and bop all the time. Some days he was excited to play with the palettes and sometimes he only wanted to do either maths or reading. I kept this light and let him choose whether he did one or both.

Although trust Little J to find a way to make noise with it.



Math Intro Wrap Kit w/o CDS
($44.99)

These wraps were designed by a fourth grade teacher to help her students learn their math facts. All of my kids have used these. However Boo used the Multiplication wraps the most whilst Little J spent time with the Addition wraps.  Jam, Boo, and myself had no problem using the wraps. Little J struggled a little with coordination to hold it and wrap the string around tight enough so that it wouldn't slip of the notch. However he definitely has improved his recall of his addition facts.


Vocabulary Intro Kit - Vocabulary Wraps 
($35.99)
Learning Wrap-Ups Review

Jam and Boo have been working with these kits. They are a little above Little J right now because of his reading level. This kit consists of four wraps synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, and compound words. As soon as Little J is reading enough these kits will be very useful. Jam and Boo both found them a bit easy. However they still liked to time each other - Healthy competition.

10 Days Book & Multiply Wrap ups
($12.99)

Learning Wrap-Ups Review
Boo grabbed this set the minute it came out of the box and has completed the whole thing. I will definitely buy this book when Little J is ready to learn his multiplication facts. Boo has struggled with the harder multiplication facts for the last couple of years. For some reason she felt that they just wouldn't stick. Her confidence has definitely improved since working through this 10 day program. The only thing she mentioned when I spoke to her about it, was the fear of not remembering them in a different order. For some reason she is concerned that she has memorized the pattern. She thinks she still needs to practice more verbally as she wants to be able to know them instantly.

($12.99)

Little J liked this book even though some of it is a little advanced for him. When I showed him this book he started to answer the questions in the book. He knows all his +1 and +2 facts and so he loved that he could use a book similar to the multiplication book Boo was working in. Although this is called a 10 Step book we have split it down into a lot smaller lessons. Jam decides how much he wants to do and I'm happy with that. Even on his schedule we are still about half way through the book. He can't really work on the speed drills yet. However we will definitely work up to that.

We have had a lot of fun with these programs. The online program is a favorite. I love the fact we can jump around levels. It has helped me customize a program for Little J. The Learning Palettes are bright and inviting and Little J loves to play with them. However he is done for the day after one or two cards. The wraps are awesome, they are easy to carry about which makes them great to use for 'car-schooling' in fact Boo was using them on the way to our piano lessons today (a 2 hour return drive). I would have taken a picture but - safety first-.

There are so many things to review and so many different ages that you really need to check out all the reviews that have been posted. You can click on the picture below to see the whole list.


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