Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Classical Composition I: Fable - Writing Curriculum Review

When I think of Classical Christian Education I think of Memoria Press.  My youngest son doesn't like writing very much.  I'm not just talking about structured writing I mean he doesn't like writing at all, he would rather talk about it than write it.  We have dabbled in a few different writing curriculums in the past but nothing spiked his interest.  I am familiar with Memoria Press so when given the opportunity to review their Classical Composition I: Fable Set, I decided to give it a try with him.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Summer fun with The Critical Thinking Co.™ || A Homeschool Review

We don't normally take off school in the summer, however, because we have been so busy this year I decided we would take a few weeks off.  We are still working on a few educational things but mostly fun learning.  One of the things we have been working on is The Critical Thinking Co.™.  We have always loved The Critical Thinking Co.™ so I jumped at the opportunity to review Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha.  This has really gotten my kids critical thinking skills going.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wordless Wednesday - Kite Day Fun

This week's Wordless Wednesday is inspired by some fun at the park we had.  Join us for some kite flying fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Elementary Comprehensive Language Arts Curriculum - Review

Our family was given a one-year subscription to Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum and interactive notebooks from Home School Navigator in exchange a review.  I am not to fund of teaching Language Arts.  Well, it's not that I don't like it, it's just that I am always doubting myself in that area or I feel like I may be missing or leaving something out.  Home School Navigator was designed for the homeschool parent like me in mind.  They provide your children with a life long learning experience.

Monday, May 21, 2018

T is for Tree: A Bible ABC book for toddlers - A Book Review

First of all is it really almost June already?!?  This year is almost halfway over.  Where did the time go?  I hope you are getting your summer book list ready.  Still gathering suggestions for your list?  Well, that's great because today I want to introduce you to a sweet Christian children's book titled, T is for Tree: A Bible ABC from Reformed Free Publishing Association.  I was sent this book in exchange for my honest review.   My niece has enjoyed listening to me read it to her as she looks at the pictures but even more so she has enjoyed talking over and trying to read it her self.  LOL

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Curriculum Review - PandaParents

My two-year-old niece spends the day with our family during the week.  She started showing interest in wanting to learn more and read by the time she started walking.  She would grab books from the bookshelf and say, "Read Kie, puwease."  So I would read to her and work on ABCs, numbers, and colors whenever she was interested.  I had not introduced her to a formal curriculum until now.  We have been working MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS by PandaParents for the past month.  We received this in exchange for our honest review.

What is PandaParents and what does MESSY stand for?

PandaParents is a monthly preschool learning curriculum subscription.  It is recommended for kids 3-6 years old.  Each month comes with a preschool learning storybook, video story, a pdf workbook, and other projects which are included in the workbook.  They cover several different subjects such as Reading, Math, Art, Science, and even foreign language.

MESSY stands for 

Mixed subjects and activities for integrative learning
Engaging activities that challenge minds
Simple 1 2 3 steps: Read, Learn, Create
Smart designs for creative learning
Yeah, a new way to promote preschool STEM and early brain growth.

What we received

We are reviewing an electronic version of this program.  We received three months worth of the program.  

A Jolly Jingle Journey parts 1 and 2
Mommy's Baby
Scotty Skunk Hears a Scary Sound

How we used it

My niece is only 2 years old so  I am not forcing her to sit through complete lessons.  Ideally, the kid would read the book, watch the video story, and work on the workbook pages and crafts.  However, I had my niece listen and watch the video story and then I printed off the worksheets as needed.  

We worked through A Jolly Jingling Journey it came with 2 stories, the video story, and a pdf workbook.  We did not make it all the through the workbook but I did look over all the pages to get an idea of what they covered.
Part 1 introduced the letter J.  Mrs. Kelly taught the kids about the uppercase and lowercase "Jj" they incorporated the English, Spanish, and Chinese languages.

Part 2 was about a little boy named Davy who is on a hunt to find Santa.  This story teaches the letter "J", colors, patterns, the Arctic region, and more.  Working through this workbook your child will learn reading skills, memory skills, numerical order, problem-solving, and so much more.  My niece enjoyed the worksheets more than she did the story.  I think it's because it made her feel like a "big girl"

We did not make it through all three of the stories but I did look through all of them.

Mommy's Baby is a story about a baby, that didn't want to go to sleep so mommy reads a cute little story about a panda names Amanda.  This story introduces shapes, animals, sizes, and different foods.  Working through the workbook your child will learn about emotions, letter recognition, patterns, living and non-living things, reading comprehension, and so much more.

Scotty Skunk Hears a Scary Sound is a story about a skunk trying to find a new home, but everywhere he goes there's a scary sound so he leaves to go find a new home.  The scary sounds are not scary at all they're things like a tractor, lawn mower, a train etc. but for a little skunk, they can be very intimidating.  The storybook taught the letter S, sounds of locomotives, the 4 seasons, the weather and so much more.  Working through this workbook the kids will work on handwriting, matching games, patterns, sorting, reading comprehension, chronological order, and a ton of other things.

My thoughts

This program is a great curriculum for preschool children.  The preschool learning stories are easy to follow and keep the attention of the kid.  It covers a variety of subjects in a fun, interactive way.  It is very parent-led intensive, but  I don't mind that.  I will definitely continue to work through this program with my niece as long as she is interested.  I would recommend this for children 2-6 with a little patience on the parent side for the younger kids.  You can get this awesome preschool learning subscription for as low as $9.95 a month.

I'm sure you would love to read more about what other moms are saying about MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS by PandaParents click the banner below to do so.

Messylearning For Preschoolers and Kindergartners {PandaParents Reviews}
You can find PandaParents on Social Media

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Kid Friendly Email Account - A Review

Although we don't allow our children to freely roam the internet there are a few things we would still like them to learn.  Things like how to send/receive emails and proper email etiquette.  In learning that we don't them to be exposed to inappropriate spam mail or have to worry about who they are sending and receiving emails from.  Kids Email helps alleviate a ton of the worrying.  Which is why we were happy to review a one-year subscription to their Kids Email Safe Email for Kids.  This has been a great way for them to continue practicing their keyboarding skills, writing skills, and spelling.  They really enjoyed being able to keep in contact with their grandparents and the grandparents enjoyed it just as much.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kayla Jarmon an author writing from a Christian worldview - Book Review

Most of you know that our family loves to read, well most of us do, and the ones that don't like to read they love to listen to me read.  However, finding kid-friendly books is getting as hard as finding kid-friendly movies.   Kayla Jarmon writes stories from a Christian worldview so we were happy to read and give our honest review of three of her books, A Boy and His Dog, Dying is Part of This World, and Don't Forget Me.

A is for Apricot - Blogging Through The Alphabet

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we are already in the month of May.  Where has the year gone?  Life as Mrs. Cooks has grown so much this year and we are so grateful for all of our readers!  With that growth, we are going to be co-hosting, Blogging through the Alphabet, with some other amazing mom bloggers!  Each Thursday we will be bringing you a new topic based on the letter of the alphabet we are on.  I have no theme in mind so I will have very random topics.  This week's letter is "A"

A is for Apricot DIY Soap

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Improving our Reading with Reading Kingdom - Homeschool Curriculum Review

My youngest daughter struggled with reading and spelling when she attended public school.  The first thing we started working on when we started homeschooling was how to improve her reading and spelling.  Although she has improved tremendously she is not where I would like for her to be.  I am always on the lookout for ways to help her improve more.  I was introduced to Reading Kingdom through the Homeschool Review Crew.  I did some research and figured we should give it a try.  We were offered a year subscription in exchange for our honest review.  When my daughter was in public school she was taught spelling and reading by sight words.  She had no idea how to phonetically sound out a word so, when we started homeschooling I started teaching her how to spell and read by doing phonics.  However, that has only gone so far because many of the English words can't be "sounded out", you know we have so many exceptions to the rules.  To my surprise reading requires six skills and Reading Kingdom teaches all six.

Friday, May 4, 2018

CodeWizardsHQ - A Coding Class Review

Our children don't have the privilege of using electronics too often.  However, after being introduced to coding at homeschool convention one year, my son showed interest in learning how to code.  We purchased a few workbooks, but it wasn't enough for him to actually learn programming.  We just finished a coding class from CodeWizardsHQ and I am excited to tell you all about it.  Their computer programming class is great for all kids rather they are a homeschool students, in public or private school.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

C.S. Lewis Master Storyteller - Book Review

Our family was first introduced to YWAM Publishing about 5 years ago when we first started our homeschool journey.  We read several books about Christian missionaries from their Christian Heroes: Then & Now series and we enjoyed all of them.  I was thrilled when the Homeschool Review Crew was given the opportunity to review one of their books.  My two older children recently read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia series and our whole family has watched the movie, so we definitely wanted to learn more about the author, C.S. Lewis.  We love adding Christian biographies to our studies so we were excited to review C.S. Lewis Master Storyteller, one of the books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now we also received a Study Guide to use with our book.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Stuck - Five Minute Friday

I really hope you all are enjoying reading these FMF posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them!  It is a nice writing challenge for me.  Anyways, it is that time again and this Five Minute Friday word is...


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App Review

The most important part of our homeschool is Bible study.  As a Christian, it is a must that our children know and have a personal relationship with the Lord.  Although, all of my children have learned to read the KJV of the Bible my youngest son and my niece still enjoy bible stories with fun colorful pictures.   Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals provided us with just that and more with their Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App.  They have brought bible bed time stories to life with their augmented reality in our home.  We were thrilled to be able to review this and share it with you all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Adaptive Math Curriculum Online from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) - Review

We all know that math is one of those subjects that you either love or hate.  There's very rarely an in between when it comes to math.  I happen to be on the love side it has always been my favorite school subject.  The problem is I am not always good at teaching it because I can't always explain how to get the answer to a problem.  I just know the answer.  Yes, I know I am a total math geek.  So, between pulling my kids from public school and changing math curriculums a few (maybe a lot) times trying to find the right fit I knew my kids may have had some learning gaps when it came to math.  I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review Adaptive Math Curriculum Online.   With Adaptive Math Curriculum Online from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.), we were able to identify and address those learning gaps.

Adaptive Math

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ten Years of Marriage

As I sit here in my room listening to the rain hit my window I'm reflecting back on what God joined together.   My husband and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Turn - Five Minute Friday

It is that time of the week again.  You know the time when I bring you Five minutes of goodness. Yes, it is Five Minute Friday!   Our word for this week is TURN.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mom Tip Tuesday - Introduction

I just wanted to introduce my readers to a new ongoing series I will be starting here on my blog.  I know the majority of you are moms, so I thought it would be fun and interesting to start what I am calling, "Mom Tip Tuesday."

Friday, April 13, 2018

Other - Five Minute Friday

I am back with another Five Minute Friday.  This weeks word is a tough one to write about because I'm not sure what comes to my mind when I think about OTHER.   Yes, other is this week's word.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Latina Christiana from Memoria Press || A Curriculum Review

I love it when I have the opportunity to learn with my kids!  I never learned Latin growing up when I was in school, but I wanted to introduce it to my kids being that many of our English words derived from Latin.  We had the opportunity to review Latina Christiana from Memoria Press and I have really enjoyed learning alongside with them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Creation Illustrated Review

Unit Studies are a great way to dig deeper and learn more about a specific topic while still using all subjects.  So basically a unit study combines all your tradition subjects around a particular topic.  They can be as short or long as you want them to be.  I did some research on them when I first started homeschooling and always wanted to try one, but never made the time to create my own.  You have to really plan that out!  Then I heard about Creation Illustrated!  What!  The Unit Study was already put together for me?  Awesome!  Creation Illustrated sent us two of their unit studies as well as gave us access to those magazines that go with those unit studies for us to review.  I was excited to check out this popular method of homeschooling our family focused on Pine Tress Unit Study.

Creation Illustrated Unit Study Pine Trees

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Carole P. Roman books and collections - Review

You all know how I feel about reading to my children and how important I feel it is for you to read to your children.  I mean it's so beneficial and it gives you a free cuddling pass when you are tired of house chores and want an excuse to sit down.  The review crew was given the opportunity to review some books from Carole P. Roman books and collections.  Children's books like those written by Carole P. Roman can be such a fun way to explore history, culture, or even practice reading.  We were blessed to receive three books to add to our forever, growing home library.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Routine - Five Minute Friday

It's that time of the week again.  Five Minute Friday also known as FMF.  This weeks word is 


Routine is something when I would think of it I would think of peace and order.  I mean if you have a good routine down everything should run smoothly, right?

five minute friday

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Arts & Crafts Fun - A Zirrly Super Bead Jewelry Set Review

Arts & crafts, crafts & arts however you say it my kids are down for the part.  HAHA, that was funny!  Seriously though my kids love arts and crafts and their mama, that's me, is not a crafty person at all!  I mean I can make a few things here and there, but I am not an all-out arts & crafts type of person like they are, especially my youngest daughter.  I've been trying to do more arts &crafts so we were thrilled to try Super Beads from Zirrly.  We chose the Jewelry Set because she also loves jewelry.  I was like this is definitely going to be a hit.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wordless Wednesday- Day Trip for Granny's Birthday

Wordless Wednesday is a post on Wednesdays with only pictures to describe the title.  I'm joining Wendy at Life at Rossmont in this fun Wednesday post.

This Wednesday's post was encouraged by my granny's birthday day trip!


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

PARENTING MADE PRACTICAL - Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think Review

Do you get tired of repeating yourself a million times to your kids?  How many times have you had to have a lecture with your kids about the same thing?  Have you ever repeated your self so much that you start feeling like you are the bad person?  Maybe you have fussed so much that you start to feel like maybe what you are fussing about is really not a big deal after all.  I know I am not alone in this.  I was just beginning to think it was part of parenting.  You know, one of those things you have to do until they get older and it finally sticks.  I was tired of nagging and fussing because I didn't want to be that mama.  The one that is always fussing about something.   Being apart of the Homeschool Review Crew has given me so many opportunities to review and be exposed to things that I would not have considered on my own.  Being able to review the Parenting Made Practical book Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think and the DVD with the same title was one of those opportunities.  I was happy because I already love to read and I'm tired of fussing and lecturing about the same thing every day.  It's not just tiring it's exhausting!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Sisters in Christ - Note to Self

Hey you.  Yes, you!  How's life going?  Does it seem too busy?  Maybe, it seems like there's a storm all around and you can't get out.  I've been there several times in life so trust me when I say I understand.  As a wife, mom, daughter, granddaughter, sister, and friend life can sometimes seem so overwhelming.  Especially, when those storms come.  The storm can seem so big when we are in the midst of it, but we have to always remember God is way bigger!  Here's a note to myself and all of my sisters in Christ for when we are going through those storms and life just seems so overwhelming.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Five Minute Friday: Regret

Today I am joining Kate and her Five Minute Friday Community.  As part of the FMF challenge, I have to write for five minutes.  This Friday the topic is Regret - what is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word regret.  Here I go...

What we read in February in our Homeschool

I can't believe the month of February is already gone!  The days seem to be going by a lot faster lately.  The kids and I did not do as much reading this month.  Life got hectic and we just had a lot going on.  We did get some reading in though and we even listened to an audiobook, which we absolutely loved!  Even though we did not read as much as I would have liked to this month we could still meet our reading goal for the year.  Well, I will meet my goal, I didn't set one for the kids I just want them to read and enjoy it.  As promised I will be sharing with you all what books we are reading each month. So, here is what we read in February.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Drive Thru History Adventures Review

History! History! History!  If it were up to my oldest son that is all we would cover in a school day.  He loves history!  Can you imagine how happy I was when I saw that Drive Thru History Adventures was up for review by the Homeschool Review Crew?!?  I was stoked, not for me, but for my son because I knew this would be like opening Christmas gifts all over again for him.  Seriously, he likes history that much.  When we hear the word history we often think of boring reading of events, tons of dates to remember, death,  and old black and white photos.  Right? Well, Drive Thru History is the complete opposite.  It's not your ordinary online history curriculum you get to ride shotgun (in the front seat) with Dave and go on many amazing adventures all while still learning all things history.  Don't worry moms there is still reading, art, worksheets, and discussion questions, but the adventure is definitely still there.  So, if you are looking for a Homeschool Video Curriculum for American History, Bible History, or Ancient History you should definitely check out Drive Thru History Adventures.

Drive Thru History Adventures

Monday, February 26, 2018

Baby Names A-Z

Our youngest child is 9-years-old and my husband and I are not planning to have any more children, but I am always thinking of cute baby names especially when I am having baby fever.  I remember when I was pregnant with all of my kids I would look through book after book trying to find names that my husband and I agreed on.  Guess what, none of my children names came from any of the books I read.  I like unique names and if it wasn't unique I wanted to a least spell it unique.  I thought it would be fun to come up with baby boy and girl names for every letter of the alphabet. You may or may not like any of the names I suggest but at least you can look through and share them with others.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

UltraKey Family Subscription Review || Typing Program

We are living in a time where everything is fast past and technology driven.  However, many kids, teens, and even adults don't know how to properly type.  Most people can work their two thumbs exceptionally well, but could not tell you where their fingers should go on a keyboard.  Home row keys?  What's that? Most of them would ask.  I am one of those parents that strongly feel we should still learn how to properly type and use a keyboard.  I'm not even sure if they still offer keyboarding in public school, but I always knew I wanted my children to learn proper typing skills.  So, I was beyond thrilled when the homeschool review crew was given the opportunity to review UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning.  Surprisingly all of my children have really enjoyed this and even ask, "Can we do typing today?" 

With their UltraKey Online Family Subscription Bytes of Learning provides fun, engaging media-rich instruction for learning how to type. 

Wulf the Saxon Review

Our family enjoys jumping into a good book, especially when it is being read aloud.  The kids love to stop me so that they can ask questions or try to predict what will happen next and I love to leave them hanging in suspense at the end of some chapters.  We just love a good story.  I've heard so much, from friends and other homeschool moms about how exciting audiobooks were and how it would free up my time so that I could get other things around the house done.  We tried some and some were ok but for the most part we just never really got into them because, to be honest, they just didn't have a lot of excitement to them.  The reader read in monotone and we couldn't tell which character was which.  A couple months ago we were offered the opportunity to review Wulf the Saxon, the newest release from Heirloom Audio Productions'  series.  I was hesitant at first, but the storyline and cover art caught my attention and I decided to give it a go.  Boy, am I ever glad that I did!  The story was engulfing, my children and I were able to truly live the adventure, it was as if we were right there back in the 1060's.  Yes, this audio drama was that good.  I would love for you to join me on the adventure, so grab your things and let's go!

Heirloom Audio Productions' Wulf the Saxon

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom

 It breaks my heart to hear all the controversy about being a working mom or being a stay at home mom.  The hateful and unsolicited advice that comes from people makes my stomach turn.  I've heard so many strong opinions on both sides.  They say that if you work you don't love your kids as much as moms who stay home. If you are a stay home mom you're "lazy."  Some say they would never stay home and depend on a man and the one that tickles me the most is when people say it must be nice to just sit at home all day.  Then comes the advice "you know that's not a good idea what if your husband leaves you", or  "you know it's not that hard to just quit"  I could on and on for days with the comments.  Listen, coming from a mom that has been on both sides of the fence I've heard it all.  People can and will have something to say no matter which one you do.  I mean really is it that bad if a mom decides to work?  Is a mom who stays home and allow her husband to provide for the family worthless?   Is being a working mom better than being a stay at home mom?  We are going to talk about all of that and then some.  I would love to share my experience with being a working mom and being a stay at home mom with you and encourage you.