Homeschool Planet – A Review

Homeschool Planet – A Review

Looking for an all-inclusive program to organize your homeschool… and your life?!?! Homeschool Planet is probably the solution for you. I searched and searched, tried different programs for keeping everything organized and simple, but Homeschool Planet is the software that I ended up using for our first homeschool year. I was also given a free year of the subscription for sharing this review for all of you. This program was created by the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op and offers a free trial, so you can make sure it’s the right fit for your family before you actually buy it. Homeschool Planet is the most user-friendly online program I have found anywhere. It literally includes everything you will need. I’m sure I haven’t even used all of the fun features that are included… so many options. You can set up individual accounts within your profile, and the kids can even have their own logins so they can view only their assignments. Here are some of the awesome features within Homeschool Planet: Different views so you can see your classes/schedule in whatever format you need, including a calendar view so you can see all calendars at once and a planner view so you can simply see everything you need to do and when. Email and text message reminders to help everyone stay on schedule. Daily digest emails that can go to the whole family so everyone can see their schedule, assignments, and even their chores for the day. Attendance tracking. Transcript creation. Compatible with Google Calendar, iCal, and other online calendars. Mobile version that allows you to edit on smartphones. A rescheduling helper...
The Ripken Way – Review & Baseball Package Giveaway!

The Ripken Way – Review & Baseball Package Giveaway!

***CONGRATULATIONS TO DANA BOWMAN! You are the winner or the Ripken Baseball Package! Thanks to everyone who entered!*** Today’s post is sponsored by Ripken Baseball through the Bloggy Moms Network. I’ve always loved baseball. It’s pretty much in my blood. The smell of outfield grass and hot dogs, the chalk dust, the chatter, the familiar tunes, the sounds of ball-hitting-glove and bat-hitting-ball, and every single baseball movie ever made! My preteen/teenage Saturdays were spent at the ballpark watching my little brother, along with other boys I knew and liked. In high school, I was the manager of the JV baseball team (which meant I could keep a pretty mean scorebook and make sure stats were correct). Then there was softball, which I played until I started having babies… and throughout all of this time, a deep love for the game of baseball and the Atlanta Braves. So now, our oldest son loves baseball just like his mama. It’s fun to watch him as he learns the fundamentals and grows into a stronger player. There are so many lessons that our kids can learn from playing the game of baseball… ‘If we do all the little things right, then we’ll never have a big thing to worry about.’ – Cal Ripken, Sr. Enter The Ripken Way. If you know anything about baseball, you’ve heard of the Ripkens. Cal Ripken, Sr. was with the Orioles for 37 years as a player, coach and manager. Although his career was successful, Cal Sr.’s legacy is his love of the game and the wisdom that he instilled in players… and the wisdom that has...
IEW Primary Arts of Language: Reading & Writing – A Review

IEW Primary Arts of Language: Reading & Writing – A Review

Because Katherine has continued to struggle with learning to read, I was excited when we got the chance to review The Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Special Needs Curriculum: Primary Arts of Language. We received the Reading Complete Package and the Writing Complete Package for this review. At first glance, the program can seem overwhelming because of all of the pieces included. However, Jill Pike’s introduction videos walk you straight through the why, how, and what of the entire program. After watching and learning from her laid back and very calming explanations, I was no longer worried. She makes the process simple… and fun! The Primary Arts of Language: Reading Complete Package uses poetry, letter stories, and daily games to give a well-rounded approach to learning concepts. The package includes the following: Primary Arts of Language: Reading Teacher’s Manual Primary Arts of Language: Reading DVD-ROM, which includes the following: Instructional Video by Jill Pike Four MP3 audio talks:​ Nurturing Competent Communicators by Andrew Pudewa The Four Language Arts by Andrew Pudewa Poetry as an Integrator by Anna Ingham Intro to the Blended Sound-Sight Program by Anna Ingham Primary Arts of Language: Reading Student Book (e-book) – You can print it all out at one time as a workbook OR print the worksheets as you go along. Very flexible! Student Readers – Set up so you can print them out and staple together to make little booklets. Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Games Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Farm folder with stickers There is such a flexibility with how this program is put together. The Teacher’s Manual, Phonetic Games book, and Phonetic Farm folder are all printed materials. However, the student...
Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal: A Review

Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal: A Review

Apologia Educational Ministries produces so many incredible products for homeschooling families, including science textbooks for all different levels, planners, journals, and so much more! When I was given the opportunity to review their Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal, I jumped at the chance! After all, our kiddos love to go on field trips. 😉 Apologia’s Field Trip Journal is divided into several sections: Preparing for a Field Trip; Student and Teacher checklists for the week before, the night before, on the way, and at the “field”; Over 100 Field Trip Ideas; Over 100 suggestions for studying plants, animals, Earth, space, aviation, the human body, history, government, culture, and more; Places I’ve Explored Maps; Three separate sections help you document the date and destination of any field trips exploring your state, the United States, and the world; Field Trip Pages; Specific field trip pages help you plan out your visit, document any books you’ve read about your field trip, create a “must do” list, take personal notes, tell the “Story of my day,” and record “Something I never want to forget”; Special Spot Pages; As I See It Pages. This beautiful, spiral-bound journal is designed to help your student slow down and notice the fascinating changes that occur from one season to the next.  Four times a year, your student will map out a specific location to see what happens over time, recording things such as color, flowers, leaves, sights, sounds, animal clues such as track or droppings, temperature, average rainfall, and much more. It was created to help your child document thoughts using imagination to capture an experience as...
JazzEdge: PianoWithWillie – A Review

JazzEdge: PianoWithWillie – A Review

I was SO excited to get an opportunity to personally review JazzEdge‘s piano curriculum, which is called PianoWithWillie. As a musician, and someone who has wanted to learn the piano and more in-depth music theory, this program has given me the opportunity for me to do just that. For this review, I was given a Studio Membership for one year, which includes 3500+ lessons, a 30-day start program, sheet music, audio downloads, unlimited support, and more. JazzEdge was founded by Willie Myette, a Berklee graduate, who wanted to put all of his jazz education and performance ventures in one place. He has lessons available in jazz, funk, latin, rock, gospel and blues for everyone, including homeschool families. The different programs offered by Willie are: PianoWithWillie, DrumsWithWillie, Homeschool Piano, and Easy Piano Basics. Willie’s teaching theory includes complete integration between Rhythm, Technique, Reading, Song, Style, and Concept. His idea is to make learning fun.. not just learning the foundations, but to make it fun in the process. By the 4th lesson in his 30-day start program, you are playing a fun little song. This will keep students entertained as they learn. By the 8th lesson, students are already learning about improvisation. This program is extremely comprehensive. The 30-day start program is great for either a refresher course or a cram course for a newer player. After that, there are a TON of lessons that will teach you how to play a variety of songs in many different genres. Willie’s demeanor is great, very relaxed, and makes you see learning the piano as what it should be… fun. It works on all different types of devices… computer, iPhone, iPad,...

FishFlix.com: Privileged Species – A Review

FishFlix.com offers a huge variety of Christian movies from every genre and for every age group. The company that eventually became FishFlix.com started more than 10 years ago when Dr. Enis Sakirgil, a Turkish Christian, started producing Christian films. When he immigrated to the United States, Dr. Sakirgil started online sales of his movies: Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches film. This developed into selling other Christian films online, which became FishFlix.com. This Christian-led company is now based in Mora, Minnesota and exists to glorify God in all that they do. They still have ties with Turkey through a partnership with a radio ministry there. I received a DVD of Privileged Species: How the Cosmos Is Designed for Human Life to review. Throughout the film, featuring geneticist and author Michael Denton, we learn about various elements and how they all come together perfectly to support human life. The film opens with Bill Nye, the Science Guy basically rambling about how he is a “speck” in the universe… a speck on a speck on another speck, etc. It really hit me just how depressing life would be if it really was just us. If there really was no God. It made me sad for the Science Guy, who was making light of the fact that his perspective offers no hope. After the opening clip, Michael Denton explores carbon compounds, water, oxygen, and just the overall way the universe is aligned in order to create a perfect living environment for humans on earth. He presents the evidence in a way that is simple to understand and incredibly eye-opening. There are so many puzzle pieces that...