Thursday, March 31, 2016

Logic of English: Essentials (Schoolhouse Review Crew Review!)

We received this for review purposes!

Logic of English Logo

 Product Links: Essentials 2nd Edition

Vendor Information Link: Logic of English

Age Appeal: ages seven and up

Format: student workbook, hardback teacher’s book, flash cards

Price: Please visit the website for current prices and options.

Logic of English Essentials-001

Are you looking for a comprehensive language curriculum for your family?  Logic of English Essentials Second Edition, Volume 1, could be exactly what you’re looking for.  Essentials covers reading, spelling, phonics, fluency, grammar, and vocabulary.

In this volume there are 15 weekly lessons, which are divided into five lessons per week.  The set includes:

  • Essentials Teacher’s Guide, Volume 1
  • Consumable Student Workbook, Volume 1
  • Consumable Spelling Journal
  • Spelling Analysis Card
  • Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference
  • Morpheme Cards, Set 1
  • Spelling Rule Flash Cards
  • Grammar Flash Cards
  • Basic and Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards
  • Phonogram Game Cards: Bookface and Manuscript or Cursive
  • Phonogram Game Tiles

Our Experience: 

B and C have some problems spelling, because we have yet to find the program that works best for them.  I was excited to try using the second edition of Essentials. 

It was a little overwhelming when the box came in the mail.  But after looking at the Teacher’s Guide, I understood everything and it was easy to teach the children.  The lessons were completely written out, so I couldn’t make a mistake teaching.

The weekly lessons were divided into five days of fun.

  • Day One has “Essential Concepts” with new phonograms, exploring sounds, and new spelling rules.
  • Day Two has “Building Words” with review, spelling analysis, and spelling journal.
  • Day Three has “Words in Context” with review, grammar, and dictation.
  • Day Four has “Words in Action” with review, vocabulary, dictation, reading, and composition.
  • Day Five has “Check Your Understanding” with basic review and great review to make sure all concepts and words have been learned.

Each lesson has three different levels, so I had B and C each work on level two.  It was challenging for C and good review for B.  I wanted both of them to have a solid foundation.  Each day’s activities took a while, but I felt they were getting a solid spelling foundation. 

Logic of English second edition

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • This is a great program.  I really appreciated the all of the detail in the teacher’s book.  It told me everything I needed to do to teach the children.  We have a busy life, so it was nice having a program all done for me.
  • B and C enjoyed the different games.  One of their favorite things to do was making words with the Phonogram Game Tiles.  They made their names, phrases, and spelling words.
  • I thought each daily lesson took too long (around 45 minutes) for B and C.  They were used to lessons that took around 15 minutes.
  • I know that the lessons took a long time, but I think that all of the concepts that are learned are really important.  It’s important to learn the spelling rules and the different phonograms.  If children learn these concepts when they are younger, they will be consistantly strong spellers when they are older.
  • I like how each of the weekly lessons has three different levels.  This makes this program great for families who have children at different levels.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 12, officially in sixth grade):

Logic of English Essentials was not my favorite way to learn how to spell.  Each daily lesson took approximately 45 minutes, which was way too long for me.  I liked the games, like Phonogram Bingo.  I liked making words with the Phonogram Game Tiles.  I spelled my name and "I love reading."  I liked the "Plurals Practice."  For example, it was fun figuring out if the picture showed bag or bags.  

I wouldn't recommend it to people who learn better with short lessons.

Logic of English second edition Essentials

 C’s Thoughts (girl, age 10, officially in fourth grade):

I liked the Phonogram Game Tiles.  The teacher's book has instructions for sections that the student book doesn't have.  l liked the Phonogram Bingo game and the other games.  I liked the compound words, they were fun to do!

I think this product would be good for kids my age and youger.

Dad’s Thoughts:

Dad was not available.

Mama recommends to your homeschooling family!

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Picture of the Week! (Week of March 20, 2016)- Mystery Photo

DSCF5285 (Small)

Does anybody know what this is? 

The children were building with Legos.  I saw the shadow of the tree on the table and had to take a photo of one of the branches.  I thought it looked interesting and mysterious.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Last Ride by Susan K. Marlow (Book Review!)

The Last Ride: An Andrea Carter Book (Circle C Milestones 3)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)


Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Young Adult

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 176

Age Group- Young Adult (12+)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $9.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4369-5

Her sixteenth birthday isn’t far away, and Andrea Carter is looking forward to it.  She has been enjoying training Taffy’s colt.  Chad has also given her more responsibilities.

One of those responsibilities is teaching her cousin, Daniel, the important tasks on the ranch.  He doesn’t want to learn what to do and proves to be a danger to everyone.  He causes Andi to become devastated.  Will she be able to heal?

About the Author-

Susan K. Marlow currently lives in Washington.  She writes books, teaches writing workshops, and shares information about being a homeschooling parent.  Her website is

My thoughts-

I thought this book was very powerful.  Daniel caused Andi so much heartache.  (I would tell you about it, but it would spoil it for you.)  I am glad that she learned to forgive, which is what this book was about, letting go of resentment.

I hope that I would be able to forgive as Andi did.  I know that it was hard for her entire family, especially after they learned what Daniel was doing and had done.

I thought this book was as good as the others in the series.  I hope you take the time to share it with young adults.  There are so many books that have been written that don’t have good values, so this one is a breath of fresh air.

P.S.  Even though it is the third book in the series, it is not necessary to read the other two first.  You will want to read all of the books about Andrea after reading this one.

My review of Heartbreak Trail.

My review of Thick as Thieves.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Last Ride: An Andrea Carter Book, by Susan K. Marlow, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Rainforest Journey from EdTechLens (Schoolhouse Review Crew Review!)

We received this for review purposes!

Rainforest Journey Collage rectangular with logo Edtechlens Rainforest Journey

 Product Links: Rainforest Journey

Vendor Information Link: EdTechLens

Age Appeal: K-5, we used 4th and 5th

Format: Online and downloadable PDF questions and text

Price: Please visit the website for current prices and options.

Does your family want to explore the rainforest from the comfort of your home?  EdTechLens has developed a program called Rainforest journey.  This science program contains five units:

  • Big Picture
  • Adapt or Die!
  • Animals, Plants, and Fungi
  • Ecosystem

There are 34 lessons which include stunning photos, text, and video clips.  Each section of text is also linked to an audio version.  There are also interviews with scientists and rainforest trip journals.  At the end of each lesson there are reviews and activities.


Our Experience: 

B and C enjoy science and learning about different ecosystems, so I was excited to be able to review Rainforest Journey.

I had C work on fourth grade and B review fifth grade.  They each did a lesson a day.  At first I had them go in the program’s order, then I decided to open it up for them, so they could see what the rest of the program was like.  I thought C’s program was a lot more detailed than B’s.  Her lesson review pages were usually three to four pages and B only had two.  Her lessons were also a lot more complete, with added descriptions, videos, and other extras.

They both enjoyed this program, so I plan on having them continue working on it.


Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I thought the photos were spectacular.  I liked the interviews with the scientists and the rainforest journals.  They were a great addition to the text.
  • I was glad that there was audio to go with the text, because it gives those who have diffculties reading a chance to enjoy the program.
  • I liked the ability to download the PDFs of each lesson and the lesson review.  I had the children verbally give the answers, but being able to print the reviews was a great option.
  • I thought this online science program for kids had a lot of good information, but I would have liked more detail about the animals and plants.  Fifth grade seemed to have a lot less detail and work than fourth grade did.  It would have been nice if the photos had been labeled with the specific name of the item and not the generic name.  The videos were really short and did not contain a lot of detail. 
  • I had B and C work on one lesson a day (it took them around 20 minutes each time).  They could have done more though, because they really like to learn.
  • I think that more multiple choice questions would have been nice for the lesson review.  It would have been a good break from the essay questions.  sunlight shining through trees. Used in lessons and Illustration - U5 - Ecosystem - Primary.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 12, officially in sixth grade):   

I thought that EdTechLens was an interesting science program.  I liked learning about the rainforest, which is a subject I have learned a whole lot about. 

I thought that the photographs were really nice.  It would have been nice if the photos had been labeled better.  For example, instead of saying “an owl,” it could say “eagle-owl.” 

I would have also like more info. about the topic being studied. 

I would recommend this product for people younger than me. 

 C’s Thoughts (girl, age 10, officially in fourth grade):

  • I think that the photos are really beneficial, so that I could see what the plants and animals look like.
  • I think audio clips of the text would be good for people who can’t read.
  • This science curriculum would be good for people of all ages.
  • I thought that the photos could be labeled better.

 Rainforest Journey_6-Animal-Types

Dad’s Thoughts:

Dad was not available.

Mama recommends!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Picture of the Week! (Week of March 13, 2016)- Spotted Leaf

DSCF5340 (Small)

I love taking my camera with me when I go outside.  There are so many interesting little things to photograph.  It helps me appreciate nature even more.

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith (Book Review!)

The Jazz Files

Book One of Poppy Denby Investigates

By Fiona Veitch Smith

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Jazz Files

Genre- Historical Fiction / Christian / Mystery

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 319

Age Group- Adult 

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-175-9

It’s 1920 and Poppy Denby is moving to London to help her elderly aunt.  Aunt Dot, as a former suffragette, encourages Poppy to fulfill her dream of becoming a journalist.

Poppy gets a job at The Daily Globe.  Immediately she is thrown into the suffragette movement and a mysterious death. 

Poppy makes new friends in London.  She meets flappers, goes to jazz clubs, and meets someone special. 

Will her job help her solve the mysterious death, or will it put her in danger?

About the Author-

Fiona Veitch Smith currently teaches at Newcastle University and Northumbria University.  She was formerly a journalist in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

My thoughts-

I don't know a lot about London in the 1920s or the suffragettes, so I thought this book was intriguing.  When I was in school I never studied a lot about the suffragettes either in the United States or abroad.  Since I live in the U.S., I didn't learn about London either.

Poppy is a spunky young woman, who is inquisitive and endearing.  Her enthusiasm for her new job and desire to make things right made me want to continue reading this book.  I had a hard time putting it down.

There were extras that I appreciate.  I like the 1920s map of London, the list of characters, a historical note, and the list of books and links to more information about this time period.

There was a hint of romance with Daniel, a photographer from The Daily Globe, so I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I recommend The Jazz Files to you.  I hope you enjoy it.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Jazz Files, by Fiona Veitch Smith, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Digital Manipulatives from Math-U-See (Schoolhouse Review Crew Review!)

We received this for review purposes!

Demme Learning logo

 Product Links: Digital Packs and Epsilon

Vendor Information Link: Demme Learning

Age Appeal: The student needs to be able to do addition, subtraction, Multiplication, and division

Format: Online digital manipulatives (need Chrome or Safari browsers), video lessons, PDF Instruction Manual, Answer Keys (12 month access)

Price: Please go to the website for current prices.


Does your family use Demme Learning’s Math-U-See program?  Is it a homeschooling math program your family would like to use?

Math-U-See now has Digital Packs.  You will get access for twelve months to everything you would get if you purchased the physical instruction pack.

Our Experience: 

My children really enjoy using Math-U-See, so I was really excited for the Digital Pack.  Our homeschool library has the fraction overlays, but each set was missing some, so B wasn’t able to do the problems.  The Digital Pack solved our problem.

B would watch the video, and use the manipulatives while he was completing his worksheets (a separate workbook is necessary).  C is working on Division with Delta, so I had her use the manipulatives when she needed the extra help.  I also had her watch a couple of the Epsilon videos, so she had an idea of what she would be doing next.

Digital Manipulatives

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • It was wonderful having this program.  I was glad that B had an unlimited amount of digital fraction overlays at his hands.  He was always disappointed when he couldn’t do what he needed to do, because some of the physical overlays were missing.
  • I liked the easy access to the lessons.  It was nice that we could use the computer instead of having to find the DVD and get it ready in the DVD player. 
  • I appreciate the instructional videos from Steve Demme.  I have the children watch them.  After they do that, they work on their worksheets.  This works for us, because they appreciate having someone different teach them something. 
  • Initially I thought it was an inconvenience when we had to use Chrome or Safari to use the manipulatives, but it worked out very well.  I didn’t even notice we were using a different browser.


B’s Thoughts (boy, age 12, officially in sixth grade):   

I like doing Math-U-See, but never really had access to the manipulatives, so this was perfect for me. I liked how fun the manipulatives were to use, one time I made a heart out of the blocks. I relished how you had unlimited access to all the manipulatives, and fraction overlays, and how easy it was to use. I also enjoyed watching the online math lesson videos, for Epsilon, which I am doing. I liked how we had access to the answers to the lessons, as Mamma sometimes has me check my own answers. I would highly recommend this product to kids my age.

 C’s Thoughts (girl, age 10, officially in fourth grade):

  • I think this product would be good for people who need help with fractions. 
  • The digital manipulatives are fun to work with.  You never have to worry about losing any of the manipulatives, because it’s on a computer.
  • I had fun making stairs out of the blocks, when I was done with my work.


Dad’s Thoughts:

Dad was not available.

Mama recommends Demme Learning’s Math-U-See Digital Packs!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Still Restless by Jan David Hettinga (Book Review!)

Still Restless:

Conversations That Open the Door to Peace

By Jan David Hettinga

(received in exchange for an honest review)



Genre- Nonfiction / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 200

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4309-9

Do you feel restless, like something is missing in your life?  Do you have a relationship with God?

In this book, Jan Hettinga will help you find the source of your restlessness and how to grow closer to Jesus.  You need to meet Him and grow closer with the conversation that works best for you.

Here are some sources of restlessness towards God:

  • Arguing with Him
  • Blaming Him
  • Abusing Him
  • Playing Him

Here are ways to solve the restlessness:

  • Seeing Him
  • Curious about Him
  • Respect for Him
  • Coming to Him 

About the Author-

Jan Hettinga and his wife, Scharme, currently live in Washington state.  They have three married children and eleven grandchildren.  He was a pastor near Seattle for many years, and he is currently the leadership development pastor at Cascade Community Church.

My thoughts-

I thought this book was very relevant for today’s society.  On the news and on social media, I see so many people who are restless and need to find peace in God.

I liked how the book was divided into “Sources of Restlessness” and “Coming to the End of Restlessness.”  Some of the sources are anger, at odds with God, and arguing with Him.  People can come to God by being curious and seeing and respecting him.

The personal stories of others’s struggles is what helped make this book more personal.  I could see myself in those people.  I have argued, walked away from, and played God.  It made me restless, and I didn’t even know it.  These days I am wtih God and I know that He will always be there for me and I have great respect and desire to know Him.

As I said before this book is relevant, please read it.  After that share it with your friends and family members. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Still Restless, by Jan David Hettinga, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Testament Overview (Part 1) from Grapevine Studies (Schoolhouse Review Crew Review)

We received this for review purposes!


 Product Links: New Testament 1: Level 3 Birth of John to Jesus' Ministry and New Testament 1: Level 4 Birth of John to Jesus' Ministry

Vendor Information Link: Grapevine Studies

Age Appeal: Level 3 is for 10-12 years of age.  Level for is for those 12 years and up

Format: Downloadable PDF with 12 weekly lessons or 45 daily lessons

Price: Please go to the website for current prices.

Grapevine Studies-001

Are you looking for a new and fun way for your children to learn about the Bible?  With Grapevine Studies, you and your children will read Bible verses, draw stick figures depicting certain aspects of those verses, learn memory verses, and more.

Our Experience: 

I was excited when we had a chance to review Grapevine Studies, because I wanted a new way for the children to learn and remember the Bible.

We reviewed the New Testament Overview (Part 1) with Level 3 for C and Level 4 for B.  We recieved the e-books for both of those levels and a teacher’s guide for me, which conveniently covered both of those levels.  We chose to do the daily lessons, which meant we did one page a day.  I would read the Bible verses, then I would draw the stick figures to show them what they looked like.  We would also look at the illustrations in the teacher’s guide, because they were much better than mine.  Since B was in Level 4, he had extra practice in finding information in a Bible Dictionary, Concordance, and Topical Bible.

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I think this is an excellent way for children to study the Bible, since they draw the important facts from each set of Bible verses.
  • C and B had a fun time drawing the characters and listening to the Bible verses.
  • I liked how the teacher’s guide included both levels.  The two levels flowed together so well, that I was easily able to instruct each of the children when they needed to work on different topics.
  • I was glad that B would have experience using the difference Bible references.  We didn’t have a Bible Dictionary or Topical Bible at the time, but we used the excellent resources that are available on the internet.  He enjoyed looking for the information and writing down his answers. 
  • I liked how each lesson took about 15 to 20 minutes.  Our family has always used the Charlotte Mason Method of learning, so this Bible study was perfect for us. 
  • It was fun watching the children get their colored pencils out and select which the colors they would use for the day.
  • The teacher’s guide was very helpful.  I was able to learn the teaching method, statement of faith, teacher and student goals, and the supply list.  There were also a lot of helping instructions how to teach the lessons.  I liked having the answers to each lesson with that specific lesson.

 Part 1 New Testament Overview Birth of John to Jesus Ministry Level 4

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 12, officially in sixth grade):   

I liked the New Testament Overview (Part 1) Level 4.  It was fun drawing the stick figures. 

I would recommend this Grapevine Bible study for kids my age and younger.    

 C’s Thoughts (girl, age 10, officially in fourth grade):

  • I liked that there was a Student Drawing Page.  It was fun choosing the picture I liked best from that lesson.
  • I think Grapevine Studies is a great way to learn about the Bible.  I thought that drawing stick figures was fun.

Part 1 New Testament Overview Birth of John to Jesus Ministry Level 3

Dad’s Thoughts:

Dad was not available.

Mama recommends Grapevine Studies!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Here to Help Learning (Schoolhouse Review Crew Review!)

We received this for review purposes!








Product Links: Flight 3 Essay Writing and Flight 3 Paragraph Writing

Vendor Information Link: Here to Help Learning

Age Appeal: First through sixth grade.

Format: We had the online family membership with full website access.  We needed to print out the worksheets for each week.

Price: $6.99 per month, the first fourteen days are free.  It is renewed monthly and you may cancel at any point in time.

Here to Help Learning-001

Are you looking for a strong writing course for your family?  Here to Help Learning with Mrs. Mora has paragraph writing for children in first to third grade and essay writing for those in fourth to sixth grade.  Each of those levels is called a Flight and has 32 lessons.  One lesson will be completed each week.

All of the Flights have been designed the same with different information.

  1. Pre-Flight Check List
  2. Flight Check-In
  3. Take Off
  4. Full Throttle
  5. Flying Solo

Your child will watch the videos and work on the assignments (like writing warm-ups) given in the videos on one day.  The second day they will complete the Flying Solo assignment.


Our Experience: 

B loves to write creatively and C does not, so I thought this program would work well for both of them.

B chose Flight 3 Essay Writing, because in this level he would work on writing a six chapter book.  I chose Flight 3 Paragraph Writing for C, because she is not keen on creative writing.  I thought this level would work better for her, because it would ease her into writing.

When we got the program they were both excited to give it a try.  We worked on printing out the weekly papers, getting it put into a binder, learning the Bible verse, and the different parts of each lesson.  Some parts of the lessons were the same in the different flights, so B and C were able to work on it together.

B worked on his solo work separately had a fun time doing it.  In the beginning C had a hard time with the writing warm-ups, but I did them with her and she ended up having a fun time.

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I was really impressed with this homeschool writing curriculum.  I saw my children grow in their writing abilities.
  • I had fun watching the videos with the children and learning different ways of creative writing.
  • I liked watching the interviews with the different authors in B’s Flight 3 essay writing.
  • I thought Mrs. Mora’s enthusiam was catching and helped the children want to write.  She made me want to get out a pencil and paper and begin working on my own book.Logo

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 12, officially in sixth grade):   

I really liked Here to Help Learning.  Before this product, we did not do a lot of creative writing, something that I enjoy. 

I liked watching the videos on the website.  I liked when Mrs. Mora pretended to be a flight attendant. 

I liked the writing warm-ups, even though some of them were hard.  Here is a sample of a story I wrote.  One day a bear was climbing a skyscraper.  As he was climbing, the building began to lean.  It had almost tipped over on top of the bear, when his mother leaned on the other side.  The building still sagged lower and lower.  With one last desparate move, the mother pulled her cub off the side of the building, just as the skyscraper plunged into the water.  The End

I liked adding conflict to my story.  Originally I wasn’t going to add any conflict to my story, but then I learned about “character verses nature” conflict, and decided to some in my story.

I liked how much you learn from this program.  For example, I am learning about different types of writing styles, like metaphors.

I would highly recommend this program to kids of all ages.

 C’s Thoughts (girl, age 10, officially in fourth grade):

  • The writing warm-ups were hard at first, but it got easier as we did more.
  • I think that Here to Help Learning would be good for people my age, younger, and older.
  • Here is one of my writing warm-ups.  It was a hot day at the arena.  There was a dinosaur in the ring.  Joe, the matador, couldn’t believe his eyes.  When it was time for him to go into the ring, he hopped over the red fence.  The dinosaur was very scary.  Joe wanted to run away.  He knew he had to fight the dinosaur to keep his honor.  The End!

Dad’s Thoughts:

Dad was not available.

Mama highly recommends Here to Help Learning!

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Picture of the Week! (Week of March 6, 2016) Geranium

DSCF3950 (Small)

Geraniums are some of my favorite flowers.  I currently have one that is this color and one that is salmon.  I really like how well they bloom when they spend a lot of time in the sun.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Dragon and the Raven (Schoolhouse Review Crew Review!)

We received this for review purposes!


Product Links: The Dragon and the Raven

Vendor Information Link: Heirloom Audio Productions

Age Appeal: 6 and up

Format: Physical set of two CDs (2 1/2 hours) and downloadable bonuses

Price: $99.97 for “The Family Four-Pack” (includes four copies of The Dragon and the Raven and 7 bonuses), $29.97 for the Single Pack (one copy and three bonuses), and $19.97 for the Instant Access MP3 download and two bonuses  

Heirloom Audio-001

Does your family enjoy listening to audio dramas? 

Heirloom Audio Productions latest adaption of G. A. Henty’s, The Dragon and the Raven, is one your family will want to listen to.

This story is about King Alfred of Wessex and the fighting he must do against the Danes.  The Danish army has been winning against every kingdom they fight.  King Alfred realizes that his country needs to turn to the God his country has forgotten about.

Will King Alfred be able to help his kingdom?  Who is Edmund, and how will he be able to help?

Our Experience: 

Our family has always enjoyed listening to audio books, so we were excited to try this audio drama.  B was especially excited, because he has read several G. A. Henty books.

We listened to the story as we were driving around town and eating meals.  It was an awesome and powerful story.  We used the 49 page study guide too.  We would go over the questions after we listened to some of the tracks. 

I know this is a story we will listen to again and again.  We will also make great use of the study guide at that time.


Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I really thought this was a great story about God and country.  I don’t remember ever hearing about King Alfred.  I thought he was a really spectacular king.
  • The downloadable study guide was very useful.  At the end of each track there were three section of questions and vocabulary.  There were the Listening Well questions, the Thinking Further questions, and the Defining Words section.  These questions helped me determine if B and C had listened to the track well enough, or if we needed to listen to it again.  This study guide will work for us for many years to come and many different grade levels.  The list of recommended reading at the Bible studies at the end were helpful for our family.  There was also extra information about G. A. Henty and King Alfred.
  • C thought that the parts of the story that had the fighting were scary.  B enjoyed the entire story. 
  • I enjoy listening to the mp3 soundtrack (one of the bonuses) when I’m working on the computer.
  • I was impressed with the actors and actresses, who were involved with this production.  I remember seeing them in the different movies like, The Hobbit, Indiana Jones, and The Lord of the Rings.  It was a lot of fun watching them in the behind-the-scenes documentary (one of the bonuses).

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 12, officially in sixth grade):   

I liked this Christian audio drama.  I thought it was fun, adventurous, and exciting.

I liked listening to this during lunch and while traveling.

I liked the behind-the-scenes documentary.  It was fun learning more about The Dragon and the Raven.  I thought it was cool that some of the actors worked on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars.   

I would highly this audio drama to boys and girls, who are six and up. 


C’s Thoughts (girl, age 10, officially in fourth grade):

  • I think this audio book would be good for boys and girls.
  • I liked the music in The Dragon and the Raven.
  • I thought it was scary, because of the Danes and all the fighting.
  • When our oven is fixed, I would like to make the “Alfred cakes.”
  • I thought the Behind the Scenes video was exciting, because I didn’t know that some of the actors worked on The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

 Dad’s Thoughts:

One of the things I like about The Dragon and The Raven is the casting of multiple people to tell the story. While one person can speak many voices the story leaps to life when you have different voices for different characters. This production is well done and has been enjoyable to listen to. I hope you get the chance to immerse yourself in this tale telling story.

  Henty TheDragon and the Raven Album Art_zpsgmx7xdnz

Mama highly recommends the !

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Faith Builders Bible (Schoolhouse Review Crew Review!)

We've been enjoying the Faith Builders Bible from Zonderkidz.

Zondervan Logo

Product Links: Faith Builders Bible NIrV

Vendor Information Link: Zonderkidz

Age Appeal: Ages 6 to 9 (or older for those who like building with blocks or need an easier version to read), third grade reading level 

Format: Hardback, ISBN 978-0-310-75463-3

Price: $24.99

Faith Builders Bible-001

Do you have any members of your family who enjoy building with blocks and learning the different stories of the Bible?

The Faith Builder’s Bible will enable your children to build, read, and memorize verses from different stories in the Bible.  There are more than 18 pages with different building opportunities.  Each page includes information about the Bible story, where to go for more information, the picture to build with blocks/Legos, and a memory verse.

It also includes a complete explanation of what the New International Reader’s Version contains and how it is different than the New International Version.

Faith Builders Bible

Our Experience: 

God’s word is an important part of our family’s daily life.  My children and I were excited to learn about the Faith Builder’s Bible, because it involved building the stories of the Bible with bricks.

B loves building with Legos, so I knew he would enjoy looking at the photo, reading the story, building item, and memorizing the verses.

I was hoping that C would enjoy doing the same.  She enjoys building with Legos, but not as much as B.  I thought this version would be good for her to read, because it is geared towards those who are beginning readers.

We used this version in our daily Bible study.  I had C read the verses, so she could practice and I could learn how well this version worked for her.

I used the building pages as building challenges for B and C.  I would have them build the page, and I would read the story and we would talk about the memory verse.

I plan on continuing using this Bible for our Bible study.  I’m going to develop my own building challenges that the kids can build on their own.

Faith Builders Bible Can You Build It

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I thought this was an excellent Bible for children in the elementary grades.  It had simple words that were easy to read and understand.  I really appreciated all the effort that was put into making this version easy to understand, yet relevant.
  • It’s important to learn what the Bible teaches, and if a child is kinesthetic this version would be perfect for them.  They can build, read, and memorize verses from the different Bible stories.
  • I liked the list of 92 Bible stories in the back of the Bible.  I plan on turning these different Bible stories into more building challenges for B and C.  In our daily devotions they learn a lot of different individual verses, but it’s important to learn the complete stories. 
  • I wish the dictionary had been longer, because children always like to learn more.  It would have helped me if Jesus’s words were in red, so I’m sure children would like that too.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 12, officially in sixth grade):   

I really enjoyed the Faith Builders Bible.  I love playing and building with Legos, so this Bible was perfect for me.  My mother picked building pages and had my sister, C, build them. 

I liked that the scripture in the New International Reader’s version was easy to understand and enjoy. 

It would have been nice to have an introduction page for each book describing who wrote it.  It would have been helpful if this Bible was a red letter edition, as I sometimes have trouble finding out when Jesus is speaking.

I would highly recommend this Bible to people of all ages.


C’s Thoughts (girl, age 10, officially in fourth grade):

  • I really liked how Mama made building challenges from the building pages.
  • I like the fact that it is easier for young children and me to understand and read.
  • From the building pages, I built sheep.  I tried to build a fish, but it didn’t work.
  • I think this Bible would be good for children who are reading easy chapter books and like to build with Legos and blocks.

Dad’s Thoughts:

I liked the New International Reader's Version Faith Builders Bible. I think this is a good way to interest younger readers in the bible. With biblical scenes created out of Legos it helps to illustrate important messages. The Faith Builders Bible is an asset in introducing young readers to history and important lessons.

Faith Builders Bible Jesus

Mama highly recommends the Faith Builders Bible!

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