Thursday, March 22, 2018

Where's Spring?!

The calendar says spring, but....The weather says SNOW!


We review a lot of curriculum offerings, a lot of books...and every now a then we get a fun and unique product to show you like this one from Zirrly. Zirrly offers a plethora of goodies on their site, and one such product is called Super Beads!

Super Beads are these little bead like "things" that magically fuse together with a spritz of water. You can use them to create all sorts of different designs and pictures. For this review, we received one Super Beads Mega Pack.

Super Beads Mega Pack
This pack comes with:

4500+ Super Beads

Assorted Templates: multiples of the same ones so if you have more than 1 child wishing to work on the same project, they can.

4 trays

2 spray bottles for the water needed

1 design tool


How We Used This

I just knew Mr. B would love this! He loves arts and crafts, and he loves beads, so this is a hit, right?! Well, he has had fun with these, BUT...they have a bit of a strange smell to them, and he can't tolerate it at all. So the only time he's been able to play with these has been during really nice, breezy days when we can have the windows open. They smell rather strongly of a glue-like smell, and with his autism that smell is sort of magnified I guess. So use your discretion there if you have a child who is very sensitive to smells, this may cause them some issues. If your child isn't bothered by that, then these are a lot of fun.

They are tiny, and perfect to help develop and perfect that pincer grip that some of our kiddos need help with. It's a great resource for fine motor skill and control. You can also use this as a matching game using the template beneath the tray since the child has to match the color bead to the color square to create their creation. The spray bottle offers more in the way of therapy skills since it is a pump style bottle.

Mr. B made numbers on his own, planets-that he promptly took from me and I never got a photo of those, and a turtle so that we could try out the templates. The templates were a bit hard for him to get just right. It took a few turns to get them lined up the right way. There are 4 tabs that need to fit in just right, and he didn't like taking the time to do that. The beads also need to be lined up just right for the water to fuse them together-but that's explained in your directions. His numbers fell apart when I took them off the tray (harder to do than I thought, HAHA!) but a little spritz of water and it was all better. These do take about an hour or so to dry fully, so you'll need to be mindful of that.

Overall, these are great so long as the glue-like smell doesn't bother you. It didn't bother me. I could smell it, but it didn't bother me. He nearly gagged because...autism. These can be great for therapy use, fine motor skills, pincer grip, and the like, and I would recommend them to others! 

Check out The Homeschool Review Crew to see what others had to say. 

Super Beads {Zirrly Reviews}
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Home School in the Woods REVIEW

Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte products
Home School in the Woods is one of our FAVORITE vendors. We were recently blessed with three choices from their  Á La Carte line of products. These are tidbits taken from their larger series that are available for purchase, individually. I have noticed a few projects that seem to be exclusive to the  Á La Carte line. 
These projects are fun, hands on, and full of educational value. For this review we received: 
Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte products
Martin Luther's 95 Theses - This project includes a beautiful file folder project that features history concerning the life of Martin Luther, a list of his hymns, and all 95 Theses. We were talking about Martin Luther and Reformation Day. This project would be a great one to do on that day! This was designed as the 500th Anniversary Project.
Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte products
The New Testament News: The New Testament News is a really fun way to approach biblical history and study. The layout is like a newspaper, including ads! Your student will be tasked with writing columns and editorials, even drawing up ads, that go in the newspaper. 
Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte products
The Old Testament Tribune: Similar to The New Testament News, The Old Testament Tribune features a newspaper-like layout that draws in your student and has them writing articles in the paper.
How We Used This:

We first tackled Martin Luther's 95 Theses. We've been talking about it a lot, because I realized we hadn't covered that in history for some reason. 

I didn't find the directions as clear on this project as on projects in the past. Maybe it was because we were both sick at the time, and I wasn't firing on all my brain cylinders. I'm not sure, but it wasn't hard to figure out on my own. The steps gave us a bit of issues because those should be on card stock, and I was out. Overall, we both had a lot of fun working on this together. That's what I love about these projects. We can work on them together, and I can teach him the lesson while we laugh and color. 
With that said, I'm the horrible homeschool mom right now because I keep forgetting to pick up "scrolls" for the newspapers! I want to use real wood dowels, and every time I got to the store, I forget them! So for now, it's a flip paper. 

These are pictures of both The Old Testament Tribune and The New Testament Times. My son HATES to write anything. Seriously, he hates it. I only asked him to do one half of one sheet for a day's lesson, and he did everything I had printed out! He refused to let me put any color on the pages. He said newspapers were supposed to be in Black and White HAHA! I love how these make him think critically, and creatively, and encourage him to do the one thing he hates the most: write! 

Overall, we love Home School in the Woods. We've never had a product we didn't love, and I'm pretty sure we have almost everything they offer. I really want to try out the Literary Genres Lap Book Mini-Study! We also have the Erie Canal Lap book Project that I want to do, again. OH! And the Get Your Kicks on Route 66 File Folder Game looks like a ton of fun! All of the projects look GREAT! They are creative, educational, and beautiful works of art. 

Does Home School in the Woods Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

We received the digital download. You can print and work as you want. You can choose to omit what you want, or add in more if you'd like. That's up to you, of course. I wouldn't omit anything because it's all FUN! 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

This would easily cover multiple grades. I could see little kids working along side their older siblings, even into high school. I'm an adult, obviously, and I enjoy working and learning along with Mr. B. There are no hidden fees, but this includes ONLY the PDF files needed to complete the projects. You are responsible for all printing and materials such as paper, colored pencils, glue, tape, file folders, etc. needed for the projects. We had everything on hand already.   

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

It's NOT boring. Mr. B LOVES it. It's great for special needs learners because it's so hands on and easily adaptable.   

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

YES! There are dozens of choices to choose from! 

Previous Reviews
US Elections Lap-Pak
Project Passport: Middle Ages
Project Passport: Ancient Greece
Make-a-State Activity-Pak

Please be sure to click the banner below to read what other members of The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed from this great company! 

À La Carte Projects - Individual projects designed to enhance your studies! {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, March 15, 2018

NatureGlo's eScience REVIEW

natureGlo's eScience
One of the best parts of being a Homeschool Review Crew member is trying out products I've never heard of before, like the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle by NatureGlo's eScience. This bundle features 4 classes that stream online and feature printable activities over the course of 6 weeks for each class. We found these classes to feature science and math in a totally different way, involving the world around us.

For this review, we received access to the bundle classes for one year. 

MathArt Online
These courses, like I said above, are very unique and unlike any other math course we've tried before. I want to say it's more applied, but that's not quite right, either. We focused on the course titled Math Connections in the Real World. This class brings together everything from ancient history to art, and shows how math ties it all together.

I will fully admit to having some issues navigating the website. I'm not sure if it's just me, or not, but it took us a little while to figure out how to get to the videos, then to the activities. I kept getting lost trying to get to the brunt of the course. I would like to see a more user friendly interface, especially for kids. Mr. B could not do this alone because he could not establish a clear path from one point to the next. This led to quite a bit of frustration on his part. So even though I really like the overall program, it was made difficult because of this. 
Here's an example:

It took me FOREVER to realize I had to mark things complete. So Mr. B, bless his heart, kept doing lesson one over...and over...and over because it never looked complete to him. Maybe it's just us? I really have no idea. But once I figured that out, I had a bit of a difficult time getting him to proceed through the rest. Autism for ya...he thought he would have to repeat EVERYTHING like that. Whew, once I showed him for the umpteenth time that it was MY fault it did that, he was good to go.

A bit of warning: I was hoping if I clicked "mark complete" at the end of the lesson, it would just complete the whole thing and change the overall percentage at the top. Learn from my mistake special needs homeschooling people! It doesn't HAHA! So if that is a trigger for your child, don't do what I did lol!

Ok, so after we (Ok, ok...after "I") figured out what I was doing wrong, it was smooth sailing after that.

Fibonacci is COOL! ~Mr. B

We usually have a 4 day week, and we take Friday as a make up day, extra curricular day, or life lesson day. There are 4 lessons, and a quiz for each lesson in the course we chose. so we did 1 lesson each day, and on the last day we did the lesson and a quiz. some lessons actually lasted a little longer than a week for us because Mr. B wanted to take more time to explore more than what the lesson covered, which was just fine with me. Section 4 actually has 8 lesson links in it, so we took almost two weeks to finish that one.  So while I jumped ahead and looked through the last week of lessons, he's just now finishing up lesson 4. Most typical kids will be able to do the whole thing in 6 weeks, but he needed a bit more time than that. I figure we will finish up in the next week and a half or so. Well, I say we will finish up in the next 10 days. But honestly, he's so into the Great Pyramids now after Lesson 4, we may have to take a detour for a week to study pyramids.

I gotta say, I was pretty amazed by the first couple of lessons hearing about Da Vinci and the Fibonacci number, but I was truly fascinated by Lesson 4. The Great Pyramids are amazing anyway, but seriously...I was just amazed.

The questions in the study guide are really great for your child to use as they watch the video, or to complete afterwards to see how much they retained from the video. 

One of Mr. B's favorite parts of this course are the fun activities. Some are hands on, some are online like this fun game from Lesson 4.

I personally love a course that integrates more than just one subject. This weaves together so much more than just math or science. I mean look at this game? Is it Science? Is it Geography? Is it History? Math? It's all of the above, and a lot of fun, too! 0.

Along the way, your student earns reward certificates here and there. Those are pretty good motivators for them to continue onward. 


Overall, I wish I had been able to get the hang of the web page a little sooner, and I wish it was a little more autism friendly in terms of layout and use. The course itself is pretty fantastic, and we both really like it. I love how this particular course shows the importance and wonder of the Golden Ratio, and how it applies to the world around us, and how math has impacted history. I took the time to go through Mathematics in the Arts & Sciences, too, and I can't wait for Mr. B to start that one. I may do Lesson 3, Celtic MathArt, myself since we have a lot of Celtic Heritage. Math in Ancient Cultures also looks pretty awesome. It looks like we're going to be learning a lot of folklore and music goodies there. 

Does NatureGlo's eScience Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

You are within the limitations of your subscription, but you can move about the courses and lessons as you please. I always advise working in order for obvious reasons. You can pause the videos, and work at your own pace. Just remember, you do have the time constraints of the subscription. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

There are no hidden fees, but some projects may require some materials like an Apple if you want to reproduce them. This is good for multiple ages. I'd say a good, solid middle school age to even adult. I don't think younger kids would "get it."  

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

It's NOT boring. Mr. B LOVES it. The only non-special needs friendly aspect is the overall layout and design. If that could be reworked in a more visually appealing way for autism, it's be fantastic.  

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

YES! This is NOT just a math or science course. It's like a unit study of sorts for each different course, even each different lesson with in the course. There's history, math, science, literature, art, and even music. It's truly integrated! 

Several members of The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed this topic, and others. Please click the banner below to read their reviews! 

MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle {NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wedding Wednesday

This is one of my most popular shots! Nearly every couple requests something similar to this. I love it, too! 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Paul, Apostle of Christ MOVIE PROMO!!!! CHECK THIS OUT!

The trailer for this came on and M said, "Wow, I'd like to go see that!" That right there tells me all I need to know about this movie. It's got to be a hit when the trailer makes him want to go see it. And I have to agree, it looks great. 

From this movie we learn that we are always surrounded by a lurking evil that can, and will, strike without notice. But Love, Love can overcome and the only answer!

Paul, Apostle of Christ is visually stunning, and historically accurate. A definite MUST SEE! 


In PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST , Luke risks his life to visit Paul, who is held captive in a Roman prison under Nero’s rule. Together, they struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spread their message to the world.

 Paul’s letters and writings were vital to the spreading of Christianity, and became a large part of the New Testament. Our story focuses on how, despite persecution and peril, they shared Jesus’ message of love, redemption and forgiveness with a small community of believers who in turn, took it to the whole world.

Great pains were taken to maintain biblical accuracy. Using scripture as the only reference, director Andrew Hyatt recreated the story of Paul on film, including the close relationship with Luke, whom at the end of Paul’s life, at his own peril, traveled in and out of the prison carrying Paul’s writings to the community of believers

The MPAA has rated the film PG-13 for some violent content and disturbing images
Running time is 1:47 min
In Theaters Nationwide Week Before Easter Friday, March 23, 2018.


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC, Collide Media Group and Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc. for providing tickets to see this movie on its release in exchange for this promotional post.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Star DVD

Ok, so y'all remember a while back I did a promo/review for the movie "The Star."   Well, guess what?! It's out on DVD!!!! YES, you heard me! DVD FOLKS!  I can't tell you just how much we LOVE this movie! It's grounded in Bible truths and faith, and doesn't hold back. 

You wanna know what makes it even better? They have even made an live-guided interactive Bible study available through Facebook Messenger! How cool is that?! 

There's also a bunch of extras included! So be sure to check it out! 


“Full of humor and heart” – Huffington Post

“The Star is destined to become a classic!” – The Dove Foundation

Golden Globe® Nominated for Best Original Song by Mariah Carey & Marc Shaiman


The Tale of Faith and Friendship Includes Six Sing-Along Videos from Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony, Kelsea Ballerini, A Great Big World, and Kirk Franklin

Includes a Dance Along, “How-to” Crafts Video and Much More

Available on Digital February 6 and
On Blu-ray + DVD + Digital on February 20

About the DVD

From the studio that brought you MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN & CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS comes the timeless tale about faith, friendship, and the importance of believing in yourself. AFFIRM Films and Sony Pictures Animation’s THE STAR arrives for the first time on Digital on February 6 and on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital February 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The heartwarming animated comedy follows a small but brave donkey named Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun, “The Walking Dead”), who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth (voiced by Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”), a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key, Friends From College), a dove with lofty aspirations, along with three wisecracking camels voiced by Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”), Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Bo and his new friends follow the star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told.

Rounding out the all-star voice cast including Gina Rodriguez (“Jane The Virgin”) as Mary, Zachary Levi (“Chuck”) as Joseph, Grammy® Award-Winner Kelly Clarkson as Leah the horse, Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) as Zach the goat, Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible) as Thaddeus the dog, Gabriel Iglesias (Coco, Ferdinand) as Rufus the dog, Patricia Heaton (“The Middle”) as Edith the cow, Emmy® and Tony® Award-Winner Kristin Chenoweth as Abby the mouse, and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) as King Herod.

THE STAR is filled with more than an hour of engaging bonus materials including the “Star-aoke: Sing Along with Bo & Friends,” a dance along to “Life Is Good” by A Great Big World, plus a collection of fun lyric videos that will have you singing along to the inspiring music from THE STAR. Families can enjoy crafting and baking with “how-to” videos “Star Mason Jar Votives” and “Sweet and Sparkly Stars,” and they also can go behind-the-scenes to explore the amazing talent who bring these characters to life. In “Faith All Year Round,” renowned pastor and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin delivers a fun and engaging children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and keeping the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day.

THE STAR is directed by Academy Award® nominated writer/director Timothy Reckart, screenplay by Carlos Kotkin, and story by Simon Moore and Carlos Kotkin. The film is executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Brian Henson and Lisa Henson, and produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook. The Star is presented by AFFIRM films and Sony Pictures Animation in association with Walden Media, Franklin Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company. The uplifting theme song, “The Star” by Mariah Carey and veteran songwriter Marc Shaiman was also nominated for a 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. “The Star” song is nowavailable on The Star: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which assembles new music from a bevy of powerhouse superstars.
Bonus Materials Include:

· Star-aoke: Sing-Along with Bo & Friends: In this all new song, sing along with your favorite characters including Bo, Dave, Ruth and the unforgettable camels
· "Life Is Good" Dance-Along: Shake your tail feathers and move your hooves in this fun dance along
· Lyric Sing-Along Videos: Enjoy the eclectic and inspiring music of THE STAR with these colorful lyric videos that allow you to sing along with your favorite recording artists
o “The Star” by Mariah Carey
o “Can You See” by Fifth Harmony
o “Children Go Where I Send You” by Kelsea Ballerini
o “We Three Kings” by Kirk Franklin
o “Life Is Good” by A Great Big World
· Sweet and Sparkly Stars: Create star-themed cookies to be enjoyed year round
· Star Mason Jar Votives: Let the light of THE STAR shine with this simple yet stunning craft
· Faith All Year Round with DeVon Franklin: A children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and how to keep the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day
· An All-Star Cast: Meet the stars of the film and explore the exciting voice cast who bring these amazing characters to life

THE STAR has a run time of approximately 86 minutes and is rated PG: for some thematic elements

GOLDEN GLOBE® is a registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and family entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits—the record-breaking monster comedies Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, and the mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies—with the fully animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village available on digital and Blu-ray now; a surprising and comic take at the secret world inside our phones with The Emoji Movie now on Digital HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD; the inspirational The Star currently in theaters. Next will be Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation from director Genndy Tartakovsky in July 2018; and the groundbreaking animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse from the minds of Chris Miller and Phil Lord in December 2018. The studio, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films: the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. In 2007, Surf's Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film; a sequel entitled Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania is now available on digital and DVD. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise including the brand new Open Season: Scared Silly now available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray, was founded in 2002. Sony Pictures Animation is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group.

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AFFIRM Films produces, acquires and markets films that inspire, uplift and entertain audiences around the world. Since releasing its first theatrical film-The Kendrick Brothers’ drama, Facing the Giants in 2007, AFFIRM Films has released numerous quality faith-based films including Soul Surfer, based on the inspirational true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton; When the Game Stands Tall, the sports drama inspired by the story of the De La Salle Spartans; War Room, which hit #1 on the domestic box office chart; Risen, which followed the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer; and was the faith-based marketing partner with Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures for their films Miracles from Heaven and the #2 faith-based film of all time, Heaven Is for Real. AFFIRM Films also released All Saints in August of 2017. In partnership with Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures AFFIRM Films released the animated film The Star on November 17, 2017, the story of the first Christmas from the perspective of the animals in the stable. AFFIRM will next release Paul, Apostle of Christ on March 28, 2018. AFFIRM Films is a division of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA), a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this opportunity.   Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this post.

Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Dragons

Fathom Events is bringing a wonderful inspirational animated musical for the whole family on March 24 and 26th only! You'll find hope in a song when your family takes an amazing journey to an enchanted land full of wonder! 

Just look at these great images taken from the movie! 

Based on a short story by Canadian director and producer Bruce Stacey, this faith based-based adventure featuring the voice talents of Rheal Rees as Melody,  Justin Debe as Lief, and Bill Bray and Nicholai is sure to be a hit for all! Presented in over 700 select theaters across the United States, Fathom Events, Chelsea Road Productions, and Tricord media will also be treating viewers to an original live-action short film and an exclusive music video! 

The family-friendly story of "Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies" is coming to cinemas nationwide on March 24th and 26th only. Moviegoers of all ages will enjoy this thrilling adventure, along with the short film and music video. You can get tickets at

About the Movie:

Melody, a gifted young dreamer and her feisty friend Leif, must set aside their differences and use the power of magical Blue Daisies and an ancient Song to save their world from an evil Ice Dragon. When the blue flowers that once bloomed all around her village begin to disappear, Melody and her eccentric grandfather recognize this as a sign of great danger… but no one believes them! Racing against time, Melody must convince Leif and the other villagers before it’s too late. Great songs and engaging characters highlight this inspiring, animated adventure for the whole family.

So, go see it and let me know what you think! March 24 and 26th! 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this opportunity.   Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this post.

Parenting Made Practical {{REVIEW}}

parenting made practical
I'm always on the look out for helps when it comes to parenting, and Why Can't I Get My Kids to Behave by Parenting Made Practical is just that. Why Can't I Get My Kids to behave is the instruction book I had wanted years ago because it offers logical, practical solutions that are based in the Bible, and that really work.  
Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave?
Mr. B and I have been working on behavior modification in some way or another for a decade. We have done programs through the local university dedicated strictly to autism, we've tried medicines, and recently we had a stint with a great behaviorist with a children's hospital located more than 3 hours away. 3 hours, one way, twice a month is hard to manage, so as successful as that was, I had to take a break for both of us. I was eager to get my hands on this book to see if we could implement some of the strategies within it in our own lives.

I read the first page, and knew this was going to be a winner. The first page showcases what I think is one of the biggest mistakes ALL parents make. They give in, they overlook, they are inconsistent. A lack of consistency is a HUGE problem, especially in today's world. It's so easy to stand on the outside and see others as being inconsistent in their parenting, but it's very hard to see your own inadequacies here. So you tell your child to pick up his toys a couple of times and he doesn't. You think to yourself, "Oh..I'll do it this time. I'll model the behavior. He's only little. That's really too much for him..." Or a million other justifications to do it for him because, let's face it, it's just plain easier to do sometimes. Sound familiar? I know I would boast about being 100% consistent, until I had to answer direct questions. That's when I realized, whooooa. I'm not. THAT is a MAJOR issue. The book points this out indirectly in the first few pages, but what struck me in those first few pages, and made me continue reading long past the point I had decided to stop for the night, was when I got to the part that discussed the difference between obedience and compliance. I decided to go through Mr. B's notes from my visits with the behavioral doctor. Each visit I would be given notes from the visit about what we were going to work on next, our goals, etc. I noted that not one time was the word obedience used. Instead our goals were for Mr. B to comply with mom's orders. Wow...harsh much? I never noticed. 

Moving on through the first chapter I was hit again with another word: CHOICE. Now, this is a lesson I was taught many years ago by one of Mr. B's great speech therapists: Give your child a choice to behave. Make him aware his behavior is a CHOICE. Now I can truly say I have always made him aware that each action on his part is a choice, and as a direct result each consequence is also a choice. So if he chooses to run in the house, knowing that is a direct violation of our house rules, then that means he is choosing to be given a punishment, too. 
Moving on through the book I found REAL examples and the strategies used with those examples, and why it all matters. There's an example of a 4-yr old boy who is killed when he doesn't respond to his name being called and a neighbor accidentally backs over him. There's the story of counting to 3, and the author's daughter responding when he got to 3-not a good thing by the way. Even though we may think it is, you have to read the book to find out why it's not! And one of my favorites, the story of "Fun Daddy" vs. "Mean Mommy."

The book is full of real examples, and these examples are ones I'm sure any of us can identify with to some degree. For example, a child not remember? Yeah...I could have written this part. That's Mr. B! Just last weekend he had a full on meltdown because he forgot his Atlas at home. Now, keep in mind, he knew for DAYS in advance he was going to be spending several days with Auntie and Mamaw. He knew for HOURS before we left that he had to pack his things. I also reminded him that if he didn't pack it, it wasn't going. I even asked him again before we walked out of the house AND when we were in the car in the driveway- "Did you get everything? Are you sure?" His reply? An attitude filled "YES! Now please stop asking questions!" Well, we get 45mins from the house to meet Mamaw and what happens? Full on meltdown because Mr. Attitude forgot his beloved Atlas. Now, any other time I would have said tough luck kid, deal with it. But, my dumb self spent $50 on other stuff to appease him so that they wouldn't have a rough 4 or 5 days with him. He begged for another Atlas, and he didn't get one. But still, I gave him a LOT more than I should have! I didn't listen to what I learned from the book-make him realize the consequences so he doesn't forget again-so I wonder if he really learned a lesson at all. 
In addition to the real life stories, and the real strategies presented in this book, I very much appreciate the biblical grounding it has. And I LOVE how it even directs you to the chapter/verse! 

It's also important to note that while the book focuses on a husband/wife relationship, there are tools for the single parent, as well. 

See what I mean?! 

It's not too late. 

I wondered if it was too late for us to use a book like this. But no, it's definitely not, and the end of the book tells the story of a 15-yr old boy. It is never too late. 
Overall, I really like this book. I think it presents REAL, true, meaningful tools to help today's parents get back the respect and obedience lacking in today's youth and families. It has helped us immensely as I am seeing a definite change in Mr. B's attitude. I am seeing more respect, and more true obedience, instead of mere compliance. I really think you should give this book a try, and read it for yourself. 
Members of the Homeschool Review Crew where given several different products from Parenting Made Practice. Please click the banner below to read more of those reviews! 
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Logical Approach to Cursive Writing with CursiveLogic (REVIEW)

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you should know that I have quite the fondness for CursiveLogic. I love the logical approach to cursive writing that CursiveLogic presents. Cursive letter structure is presented in a way that just makes sense. Instead of focusing on each different letter, CursiveLogic focuses on the shared shapes between letters, such as the oval shapes found in Bs, Ds, etc. The program is color coded, and utilizes little chants that really tie together all of the lessons. But did you know they have now added a FANTASTIC adult coloring book?! A while back I told you about a kickstarter they were doing for their coloring book, and I reviewed a few sheets. Well, that book is now in print, and available for sale! 
For this review we received: 
 One CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack

This includes your 112-page spiral bound book. There are 10 lessons in the book that cover each lesson shape. I particularly appreciate the added practice, and the ease of use with the book. They've changed the overall design, and it seems much more user friendly to me now. While the target age is 8 years old, this is perfectly acceptable for older students, even adults to use. 
12 months access to their webinar that includes great instruction in implementing this program, and one The Art of Cursive, their new adult coloring book. This was available on VIMEO, so it was super easy to access. I did have to maintain an internet connection, and during peak periods I had to let it buffer a bit, but that's totally my internet service and the fault of the video. The webinar provides great instruction, tips, and tricks for using CursiveLogic so that you get the most out of it. Linda Shrewsbury developed CursiveLogic when a student longed to learn cursive so that he could sign his name. She has always believed learning the art of cursive handwriting shouldn't be a difficult process, and anyone who can use a pencil and can learn cursive. 
The Art of Cursive: This is their newest addition to the CursiveLogic Family. This coloring book is great! It incorporates beautiful artwork and inspirational quotes to assist your student in their practice. Each design is comprised of the same shapes that form the letters for cursive writing. This is geared toward older students and adults. 
Cursive Logic New Edition
The Art of Cursive Logic
My Thoughts

I've been a fan of CursiveLogic since the beginning. I was blessed to review them years ago, and doubly blessed to review them a number of times since. I've been able to see the transformations the books have gone through, and I was one of the first people to experience the coloring sheets. I can't stress how much I appreciate a company that targets special education and special needs learners to bring them an art, an activity that others learn so easily. CursiveLogic is not just for special learners, it is for any learner. But it is especially great for special needs learners, and I think that's why it holds such a soft spot in my heart. Mr. B has always met me with disdain and complaint when approached to practice cursive writing, but with CursiveLogic, he improves daily. There's less complaint, and he doesn't get lost in the formation of the letters as he had done so with every thing else we had used in the past.

The webinar is a very useful tool. If you have older students, they could watch the webinar on their own and ultimately teach themselves. Younger students could watch along, too, and that would better aid their understanding as you sit with them and help them along. 
I simply love the coloring book. The Art of Cursive is a beautiful work of art, and the quotes are perfect. This is my stress buster, and it also helps Mr. B with extra practice and extra fine motor skills work. As I've mentioned in the past, I love any product that can double as a therapy tool. Overall, we would highly recommend CursiveLogic to others! 
Cursive Logic New Edition March 2018 Discount
Does CursiveLogic Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

I wouldn't suggest working the lessons out of order as that would defeat the purpose. These are physical books, and you can take breaks as needed. I would not jump ahead or flat out skip, at all. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

There are no hidden fees. The books are physical books, and the webinar is streamed online for a period of time. This is good for child through adult. 

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

It's not boring. The chants and shape practice lend to muscle memory, and the chants make it more fun, too. The use of color also adds some appeal. The color book is GREAT! I loved it. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

This is strictly cursive handwriting and an adult coloring book. 

Please be sure to check out The Homeschool Review Crew to see what others have to say! 

The Art of Cursive & Quick Start Cursive {Cursive Logic Reviews}
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