Reviews

I've got the kettle on, ya got a minute to visit?

I'm so happy you dropped by! Stay and visit awhile and please leave me a comment- it's so encouraging to hear from you!

Friday, April 27, 2012

One year ago our world came crashing down....

ok, so maybe it was just our oak tree.......



But still, it felt like the world...and often it still does.  Nothing has been right since that tree fell.  Don't get me wrong, it was a blessing in many ways (New a/c that we needed desperately, new roof, a closet!), but there are still issues.....and it's a year later and I'm mentally exhausted.

I'm grateful for dear friends who came to our aid when we needed them most.  I'm grateful for homeowner's insurance.  I'm grateful for my Lord who hears my daily prayers for my children to be "happy, healthy, and safe".  I'm grateful for a well made house that is nearing a hundred years old.  And I'm grateful to new friends who didn't know us from Adam and showed up to sift through my wet, nasty, broken stuff to see what we could save.

So much to be grateful for.....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TOS Review" ScienceandMath.com's Amazing Science DVD



From Scienceandmath.com comes "Amazing Science: Volume 1", a DVD of easy and fun science experiments that you can conduct with your budding scientists at home!  Your little Einsteins will learn about electricity, magnetism, heat, temperature, pressure, surface tension, buoyancy, and much more!



This 2 DVD set comes with complete, concise, clear instructions for 23 different science experiments!


Disk 1 Disk 2
1) Color Changing Milk 13) Floating Eggs
2) Egg in a Bottle 14) Keep Paper Dry Underwater               
3) Exploring Air Pressure 15) Dry Ice Bubbles
4) Build a Lemon Battery 16) Balloon in a Candle Flame
5) Inverted Cup of Water 17) Ocean in a Bottle
6) Candle Suction Power 18) Build a Motor with Lights
7) Amazing Magnetic Force 19) Simple Lava Lamp
8) Lift an Ice Cube with String 20) Invisible Ink
9) Unburnable Money 21) Density Tower
10) Matchstick Speedboat 22) Soda Can Fizz
11) Reversing an Image with Water                23) Build a Motor #2

A supply list is given at the beginning of each experiment, and most experiments require little more than items you may have lying about your house.  I think my favorite experiment was the lemon battery experiment.  The instructor used two lemons, two pennies, and two nails to power a small calculator! Amazing, indeed!

  After each experiment, Jason Gibson gives a clear and understandable explanation of the science behind each reaction. A little about Mr Gibson- he's degreed in engineering and physics.  He's worked as a rocket scientist with NASA, and has a passion for teaching science and math.

Amazing Science Volume 1 is available at the scienceandmath.com website as a DVD for $19.95or as a download for $17.99. They also offer DVDs on Physics, Chemistry, Math, Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus!

Opinions and Observations
  First let me say- you should NEVER sit down to watch a science experiment DVD with the intent for review with a Chemical Engineer.  Seriously, it was like watching "The Princess Bride" with me.....constantly reciting the lines.  My man JUST. COULD. NOT. HELP. HIMSELF.! (It was UBER cute, though!)
  I think this DVD is awesome!  I am NOT a general science kind of girl and I find myself teaching it at co-op next year to a group of middle schoolers!  I am so excited to have this DVD as a resource for experiments!  Also, the material and experiment is presented in such a way as you could totally show the video if you couldn't pull off the experiment and the kids would just love it!
  I also think it is a great value.  I know $19.99 is the going rate for a DVD- but look at it this way.... that is less than a dollar per experiment!


As always, if you have used this product or if you give it a shot, please let me know!

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Amazing Science Volume 1 in exchange for a fair and honest review through The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Review Crew.

Love and Days

There are days when we wake up, roll over, look at each other- and remember why we committed to spending our lives together.

There are days we wake up, roll over, look at each other- and wonder what we were ever thinking!

Today we woke up, rolled over, looked at each other- and knew it was going to be one of THOSE days.

You know, one of those days when fear finds its way into your heart and all you can think or pray is, "I trust you, Lord.  I trust you."  One of those days when you hold hands every chance you get.  And when you're holding hands, it's tighter than most other days.  One of those days that demands more kisses, more hugs, more "I love you"s.

One of those days where one of you is at the hospital getting a test run, while the other sits in the waiting room wondering "What would I ever do if......how would I...could I??

One of those days where you praise God, from the bottom of your heart- from the bottom of your soul, for hearing you.  And for good news.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TOS Review: God's Great Covenant

We've been busy with lots of reviews here at "Cainberly Academy"!  We had the great opportunity to check out a Classical Academic Press bible study titled God's Great Covenant NT1

Covering the gospels, this study is intended for fourth grade and above and goes into quite some depth.  There are four themed-units which cover 36 weeks of teaching.  The workbook is rich in material and graphics- including some fabulous maps. 

For each chapter there is a memory page that includes a weekly memory verse, a chart of key facts, and a  fulfillment of prophecy section. 

There is also a "Think About It" question to encourage children to think on their own and helps them to reason how God can relate to them in their own lives.  At the end of each chapter is a worksheet and quiz.  There are unit reviews to wrap things up that contain a memory verse worksheet, a devotional guide, and a short story of life in Simon’s world.  Simon is a character throughout the workbook who explains his life during the times of the events unfolding in the gospels.


There's a teacher's edition available which provides answers to questions, small print duplication of the student workbook, teaching resources, and space for note-taking.




 Beginning with the introductions, the historical, cultural, and geographical settings are covered so that students will have a deeper understanding of the significance of events and life during the time of Jesus' ministry of Earth.  In four sections, this study teaches Jesus as the Son of Man, God’s Servant, the Messiah, and the Son of God.



Student edition is $26.95 and the teacher edition is $29.95.  There is also an MP3 audio file available for $9.95 here.

Opinions and Observations:
  The content of this study is phenomenal!  My fourth grader truly enjoyed the lessons and stated that she's eager to continue in the study.  While I let her work primarily on her own- doing her own reading and answering of questions- she felt more at ease if I stuck close by to answer any questions she may have or work out any theology she was unsure of.
  I am thrilled that this study is so independent!  And the only thing I may change is not administering a "quiz".I don't want her to think I am testing her on her relationship with the Lord.  I may change it to a memory bowl at the end of the book using the quiz questions.
  Because I am a budget minded homeschooler- may I suggest that while the teacher edition is helpful- if that's a deal breaker for you, then please skip it to get your child the workbook.  You can absolutely work fine from the student edition and better to sacrifice it than not do the study at all!

As always, let me know if you have used this product in the past or if you decide to give it a shot!  You know how I love to hear from you!

Disclaimer: As a reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was provided with the student and teacher edition at no charge in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, April 16, 2012

TOS Review: AIMS: It's About Time




Everybody knows that I think my boy is the cutest thing in God's great creation (equaled only by my girl and perhaps their father!) Part of what I adore about my son (and previously what I adored about his sister-and still do to some extent) is his utter unawareness.  He's new to this world, right?!  Only seven years on this side of Momma's womb makes him a fresh newbie!  I see this in certain ways like a lack of extensive vocabulary.....though he finds every opportunity he can to insert actually, apparently, and truthfully into a conversation.  I also see it in his lack of experience......."Momma, I CAN mow the yard all by myself!  I KNOW I can!" But I also see it in his concept of time....."Last morning we had french toast for breakfast!" or "How many sleeps until we go see Nonny?"or my personal favorite "Remember when I broke my foot?  I was five." (He was 2....everything happened when he was 5!)

I was excited when this review came my way. AIMS Education Foundation is a non-profit foundation based out of Fresno Pacific University.  It began in 1981 by a group of elementary and middle school teachers who wanted to make learning math and science more hands-on and engaging for their students.  Not only do they have fabulous activity books (like the one I'm about to share with you) but they also offer professional development workshops, video resources, and manipulatives to help with certain topics.

So now that you know a little about AIMS, let's look at their activity book It's About Time.
It's About Time
This activity book is geared toward kindergarten- second graders and covers building a sense of time, measuring time, and clock reading. The activity book comes with all of your printables to copy, but then also has a CD with them to print from your computer.

Let's take a look at a lesson- we'll do my favorite, The Long and Short of It. The "Learning Goal" is:  Students will classify events based on the time it takes to complete them.

Standards are measured by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000.  This lesson would teach students to:
  -Recognize the attributes of length, volume, weight, area, and time (Time, in this instance)
  - Compare and order objects according to these attributes
  - Develop common referents for measures to make comparisons and estimates

There is then a materials list, how to teach the lesson, questions for discussion, and ideas for extending the lesson (Homework).  This lesson REALLY helped Ben, I think that's why it was my favorite.  Recognizing the duration of an activity helped him to conceptualize time much better and more accurately.  Also, there was an activity mentioned in the section opening page that truly helped Ben.  They suggested making a time line that had "Today" in the middle, "Yesterday"" on the far left, and "Tomorrow" on the far right.  Then you have your child draw a corresponding picture to go in each section.  I literally saw a light bulb go off for Ben!  This helped him to grasp not only time placement, but also time vocabulary.

If you're considering teaching your kindergarten thru second grader about time, I think AIMS is a great resource!  You can purchase this activity book for $21.95 at their website store here.  While you're there, check out their other great activity books as well- I think we may try The Budding Botanist next!  Or maybe It Must Be a Bird!

Opinions and Observations:
    While I really loved so many things about this activity book- there were a few things that I wanted to make you aware of.  First, this book is written to classroom teachers, not necessarily to homeschoolers who may only be teaching one child.  This doesn't pose a problem really, you just may need to adjust for the activities.  Second, there are materials needed for each lesson- some are just your printables, but some require a trip to the store. Lastly, there is a level of preparation involved in some of these activities.  You can't just open the book up and begin teaching.  While none of them are difficult, just plan to get your activity ready the night before you intend to teach, or take a day to get all of your projects ready, label them in gallon bags and/or files, and place them in a file box under the lesson name.

None of these issues would keep me from using It's About Time.  It is well planned and written and sincerely benefited Ben.  If you give it, or any other activity book from AIMS a shot, let me know how it goes!

Where has it gone?

Totally invisible since March 23. 

Oooo, I almost sank into a sudden pity party- but I shan't go there!  Instead, I will say that I have been out of town for 3 weeks and am finally home for a bit.  I have some things to share, some pics, some curriculum reviews... and it's time for Spring Cleaning at the Cain house.  Notice that was in caps?  Major event.....MA-JOR!

Image Detail

talk to ya soon.